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 BidenPelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Hillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Fox News poll: Biden ahead of Trump in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Ohio MORE scored three major back-to-back endorsements this week from Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump faces backlash after not committing to peaceful transition of power Bernie Sanders: 'This is an election between Donald Trump and democracy' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump stokes fears over November election outcome MORE (I-Vt.), former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama warns of a 'decade of unfair, partisan gerrymandering' in call to look at down-ballot races Quinnipiac polls show Trump leading Biden in Texas, deadlocked race in Ohio Poll: Trump opens up 6-point lead over Biden in Iowa MORE and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Democratic senators ask inspector general to investigate IRS use of location tracking service 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 ClintonFox News poll: Biden ahead of Trump in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Ohio Trump, Biden court Black business owners in final election sprint The power of incumbency: How Trump is using the Oval Office to win reelection 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 TrumpSteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Pelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Trump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance 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 McSallyThe Hill's Campaign Report: Presidential polls tighten weeks out from Election Day Mark Kelly: Arizona Senate race winner should be sworn in 'promptly' New ABC/WaPost poll finds Trump edging Biden in Arizona, Florida MORE, Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerBillionaire who donated to Trump in 2016 donates to Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Cook Political Report shifts Colorado Senate race toward Democrat MORE and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump faces backlash after not committing to peaceful transition of power Billionaire who donated to Trump in 2016 donates to Biden Credit union group to spend million on Senate, House races 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 HurdHillicon Valley: Oracle confirms deal with TikTok to be 'trusted technology provider' | QAnon spreads across globe, shadowing COVID-19 | VA hit by data breach impacting 46,000 veterans House approves bill to secure internet-connected federal devices against cyber threats House Democrats' campaign arm reserves .6M in ads in competitive districts 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 SherrillHillicon Valley: DOJ indicts Chinese, Malaysian hackers accused of targeting over 100 organizations | GOP senators raise concerns over Oracle-TikTok deal | QAnon awareness jumps in new poll House passes legislation to boost election security research Lawmakers call for bipartisan push to support scientific research MORE (D-N.J.) and Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindWisconsin Rep. Ron Kind wins primary Democrats exit briefing saying they fear elections under foreign threat Bottom line 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 SpanbergerVulnerable Democrats tell Pelosi COVID-19 compromise 'essential' Trump asked Chamber of Commerce to reconsider Democratic endorsements: report Virginians wait up to four hours to cast early voting ballots 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 McBathThis week: House returns for pre-election sprint House Democrats' campaign arm reserves .6M in ads in competitive districts Black Lives Matter movement to play elevated role at convention 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 HandelHouse Democrats' campaign arm reserves .6M in ads in competitive districts Black Lives Matter movement to play elevated role at convention QAnon backer Marjorie Taylor Greene wins Georgia GOP runoff 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 ObamaBlack stars reimagine 'Friends' to get out the vote Obama shares phone number to find out how Americans are planning to vote Michelle Obama: 'Don't listen to people who will say that somehow voting is rigged' 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 MaddowGOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power Schiff urges Trump administration members to resign: 'You cannot maintain your silence' Michael Cohen: Trump hates Obama because he's everything he 'wants to be' 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 AmashInternal Democratic poll shows tight race in contest to replace Amash Centrist Democrats 'strongly considering' discharge petition on GOP PPP bill On The Trail: How Nancy Pelosi could improbably become president 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 HickenlooperThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Cook Political Report shifts Colorado Senate race toward Democrat Willie Nelson playing at virtual fundraiser for Hickenlooper 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 TillisTillis appears to reinforce question about COVID-19 death toll Billionaire who donated to Trump in 2016 donates to Biden Collins: Winner of presidential election will be sworn in next year 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!