The Hill's Campaign Report: 200 days to Election Day 2020

The Hill's Campaign Report: 200 days to Election Day 2020
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Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail. 

 

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LEADING THE DAY:  

200 DAYS OUT: We’re officially 200 days away from Election Day in November, and while America’s attention is on the coronavirus pandemic, campaigns are gearing up. 

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination The Memo: Job numbers boost Trump and challenge Biden Chris Wallace: Jobs numbers show 'the political resilience of Donald Trump' MORE scored three major back-to-back endorsements this week from Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump signs order removing environmental reviews for major projects | New Trump air rule will limit future pollution regulations, critics say | DNC climate group calls for larger federal investment on climate than Biden plan Google: Chinese and Iranian hackers targeting Biden, Trump campaigns MORE (I-Vt.), former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaMattis denounces Trump, applauds protests, defends America On The Trail: Crisis response puts Trump on defense, even in red states The Hill's 12:30 Report: NYT publishes controversial Tom Cotton op-ed MORE and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenTwitter CEO: 'Not true' that removing Trump campaign video was illegal, as president has claimed Biden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination Warren, Pressley introduce bill to make it a crime for police officers to deny medical care to people in custody MORE (D-Mass).

The show of unity from the party’s leadership demonstrates Democrats’ urgency to unify ahead of November. It also puts Biden in a better position than 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden: Probably '10 to 15 percent' of Americans 'are just not very good people' Mattis's Trump broadside underscores military tensions Mark Cuban says he's decided not to run for president MORE was in four years ago. Sanders did not endorse Clinton until the summer of 2016, leading to questions about how deep the party’s divisions were. Additionally, Biden racked up larger wins over Sanders than Clinton did in 2016. 

In terms of a head-to-head matchup against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTwitter CEO: 'Not true' that removing Trump campaign video was illegal, as president has claimed Biden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination Barr says he didn't give 'tactical' command to clear Lafayette protesters MORE, Biden leads the president in a number of key swing states according to recent polls. Biden currently leads Trump in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average. 

However, Trump has the advantage of having a massive financial war chest, thanks to his campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC). Trump has also gotten massive media exposure due to his daily White House coronavirus task force briefings. 

Meanwhile, in the Senate, Democrats need to win the White House and a net three seats to get a majority in the upper chamber. However, they will have to win four Republican seats to flip the Senate. Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) is facing an uphill reelection battle in Alabama, which Trump is likely to sweep in November.

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Democrats will have to unseat Sens. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyFox News polls: Trump trails Biden in Ohio, Arizona and Wisconsin Kelly holds double-digit lead over McSally in Arizona: poll The Hill's Campaign Report: Minneapolis protests rock the nation MORE, Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerWe need a '9-1-1' for mental health — we need '9-8-8' Overnight Energy: US Park Police say 'tear gas' statements were 'mistake' | Trump to reopen area off New England coast for fishing | Vulnerable Republicans embrace green issues The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump juggles three crises ahead of November election MORE and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump| Esper orders hundreds of active-duty troops outside DC sent home day after reversal | Iran releases US Navy veteran Michael White Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump GOP Sen. Murkowski 'struggling' with whether to vote for Trump MORE in Arizona, Colorado, and Maine, respectively, in addition to winning a fourth seat. The party appears to have a decent shot in all three of the contests. 

The House, on the other hand, is the least likely chamber to flip in the general election. The GOP needs a net gain of 20 seats to take back the majority. Republicans also have to take into account the redistricting in North Carolina, which will endanger two GOP-held seats, as well as retiring Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach The Hill's Morning Report - Protesters' defiance met with calls to listen GOP Rep. Will Hurd marches with protesters in Houston MORE’s (R-Texas) district, which Democrats are favored to take. 

The focus for Republicans will be on districts Trump won in 2016, but that are currently held by Democrats. The Cook Political Report rates Rep. Angie Craig’s (D-Minn.) district, which Trump won by 1.2 percentage points, as “lean Democratic.”

Meanwhile, Cook rates Reps. Mikie SherrillRebecca (Mikie) Michelle SherrillGun control group rolls out House endorsements Bipartisan Senate group offers new help to state, local governments Human Rights Campaign rolls out congressional endorsements on Equality Act anniversary MORE (D-N.J.) and Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindCoronavirus culture war over reopening economy hits Capitol Hill How the GOP hopes to overcome steep odds in House battle The Hill's Campaign Report: 200 days to Election Day 2020 MORE’s (D-Wis.) races as “likely Democratic.” Trump won Sherrill’s district by 1 point and Kind’s district by 4 points. 

However, Republicans do have an advantage in a number of key districts. For example, Rep. Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerGun control group rolls out House endorsements The Hill's Campaign Report: DOJ, intel to be major issues in 2020 Human Rights Campaign rolls out congressional endorsements on Equality Act anniversary MORE’s (D-Va.) race in Virginia’s 7th District, which was also won by Trump in 2016, is considered a “toss-up” by Cook's report. The website also rates Rep. Lucy McBathLucia (Lucy) Kay McBathDemocrats call for Congress to take action following death of George Floyd Julián Castro launches PAC to support progressive candidates Gun control group rolls out House endorsements MORE’s (D-Ga.) seat in Georgia’s 6th District as a “toss-up.” That district was won by Trump in 2016 and was formerly held by former Rep. Karen HandelKaren Christine HandelTrump lends support to swing district Republicans How the GOP hopes to overcome steep odds in House battle The Hill's Campaign Report: 200 days to Election Day 2020 MORE (R-Ga.), who is running again for the seat. 

 

READ MORE:

Here's where things stand 200 days before Election Day, by Julia Manchester and Max Greenwood 

 

FROM THE TRAIL:

Biden’s campaign is planning a rollout for Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama celebrates seniors, tells them to 'breathe deep and dance your heart out' at virtual prom The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Mnuchin: More COVID-19 congressional action ahead Michelle Obama working with 31 mayors on increasing voter participation MORE’s endorsement, although there are questions about just how public a role the enormously popular former first lady will play in his campaign. Sources tell The Hill that the Biden campaign’s early plans include a focus on remote fundraising and voter registration efforts. The trick for Michelle Obama and the Biden campaign is finding the right balance for the pop culture icon, who could be a massive asset for the campaign but has never shown much enthusiasm for campaign politics. Amie Parnes and Jonathan Easley report.

Sen. Warren said she would agree to be Biden’s running mate if she’s offered the job, The Hill’s Rebecca Klar reports. Asked by MSNBC’s Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowWebb: The modern age of dissent versus riot Cable news audience numbers jump amid coronavirus, protests Demings: 'America is on fire' and Trump 'is walking around with gasoline' MORE on Wednesday night what she would say if the former vice president offered her the No. 2 slot on the Democratic ticket, Warren answered bluntly: “Yes.”

The Democratic National Convention (DNC) host committee is laying off and reassigning employees in the latest sign of trouble for the party ahead of the scheduled convention in August, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Former DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe told the paper it’s very “unlikely” there will be a convention in Milwaukee this year, and he urged the party to get “creative” in considering a workaround.

 

PERSPECTIVES:

Zachary Wamp and Meredith McGeheeHow Congress must aid states to ensure safe and secure elections

David Brady and Brett Parker: The Trump Bump’s likely demise

David Siders: Why Democratic unity is a problem for Trump

 

FROM CONGRESS & THE STATES:

Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashMark Cuban says he's decided not to run for president Amash readying legislation allowing victims to sue officers The Hill's Morning Report - Trump mobilizes military against 'angry mob,' holds controversial photo op MORE (I-Mich.), who left the Republican Party and registered as an Independent last year, has reignited speculation that he’ll run for president on a third party ticket in the fall. That speculation has led to excitement among Libertarians, who view him as their best shot at breaking through on the national stage in 2020. Amash has described himself as a libertarian in the past. There has never been a sitting member of Congress from the Libertarian Party. Jonathan Easley takes a look at what an Amash candidacy could mean for the presidential race, particularly in the battleground state of Michigan.

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Mail-in voting doesn’t lend an advantage to either major political party. That’s according to a new study from Stanford University’s Democracy and Polarization Lab, which looks at election results in three states that phased in vote-by-mail programs county by county. More from The Hill’s Zack Budryk: “Comparing county-level election results and public party registration data for California and Utah voters ranging from 1996 to 2018, researchers found 'a truly negligible effect' on partisan turnout rates with the addition of a vote-by-mail option, with turnout slightly up across the entire voting-age population.”

 

MONEY WATCH:

Democrats in some of the most competitive Senate races out-raised their Republican opponents in the first quarter of 2019, recent filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) show. Here’s a quick rundown:

Arizona

-Mark Kelly (D):

-Receipts: $11,008,599.35

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-Disbursements: $4,910,934.63

-Cash on hand: $19,706,843.19 

 

-Martha McSally (R):

-Receipts: $6,372,756.09

-Disbursements: $3,780,574.23

-Cash on hand: $10,252,063.35

 

Colorado

-John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperOvernight Energy: US Park Police say 'tear gas' statements were 'mistake' | Trump to reopen area off New England coast for fishing | Vulnerable Republicans embrace green issues Hickenlooper appears before ethics commission after defying subpoena Vulnerable Republicans embrace green issues in battle to save seats MORE (D)

-Receipts: $4,077,784.93

-Disbursements: $2,413,321.07

-Cash on hand: $4,880,041.96

 

-Sen. Cory Gardner (R):

-Receipts: $2,469,739.20

-Disbursements: $656,715.07

-Cash on hand: $9,565,416.45

 

Maine

-Sara Gideon (D):

-Receipts: $7,100,800.94

-Disbursements: $5,229,219.02

-Cash on hand: $4,649,432.36

 

-Susan Collins (R):

-Receipts: $2,405,597.36

-Disbursements: $3,989,003.52

-Cash on hand: $5,611,935.58

 

North Carolina

-Cal Cunningham (D):

-Receipts: $2,983,423.54

-Disbursements: $1,451,578.91

-Cash on hand: $3,000,479.06

 

-Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisGOP Sen. Murkowski 'struggling' with whether to vote for Trump Poll: Biden leads Trump, Cunningham neck and neck with Tillis in North Carolina Scaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach MORE (R):

-Receipts: $1,376,774.26

-Disbursements: $298,583.77

-Cash on hand: $6,483,413.82

 

POLL WATCH:

Gallup: Trump’s job approval rating dips by 6 points.

 

PUBLIC POLICY POLLING – NORTH CAROLINA PRESIDENTIAL

Biden: 48 percent

Trump: 47 percent

 

PUBLIC POLICY POLLING – NORTH CAROLINA SENATE

Cunningham: 47 percent

Tillis: 40 percent

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

(Keep in mind these dates could change because of the outbreak)

 

April 17:

Wyoming

 

April 28:

Ohio

 

May 2:

Kansas Democratic primary

 

May 12:

Nebraska primaries

 

May 19:

Oregon primaries

 

May 22:

Hawaii Democratic primary

 

June 2:

Connecticut primaries

Delaware primaries

District of Columbia primaries

Indiana primaries

Maryland primaries

Montana primaries

New Mexico primaries

Pennsylvania primaries

Rhode Island primaries

South Dakota primaries

 

June 9:

Georgia primaries

West Virginia primaries

 

June 20:

Louisiana primaries

 

June 23:

Kentucky primaries

New York primaries

 

July 7:

New Jersey primaries

 

August 17-20:

Democratic National Convention

 

August 24-27:

Republican National Convention

 

We’ll be back tomorrow with more campaign news of the day!