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The Hill's Campaign Report: Republicans go on the hunt for new convention site

The Hill's Campaign Report: Republicans go on the hunt for new convention site
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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. 

LEADING THE DAY: 

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Republican National Committee (RNC) officials are set to begin touring potential host cities for their national convention in August after the party pulled the plug on its gathering in Charlotte, N.C. 

Among the cities under consideration are Jacksonville, Fla., Nashville, Tenn., and Atlanta according to a person familiar with the plans. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) said earlier this week that RNC officials were planning to visit Nashville on Thursday. An Axios report published on Thursday also listed Dallas, Phoenix, New Orleans and Savannah, Ga., as potential host cities for the convention. 

Setting up a new convention won’t be an easy task. But President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Pence's chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19 MORE and party officials made the decision to abandon the main convention in Charlotte after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) said that Republicans would need to scale back their convention plans due to the coronavirus pandemic. The RNC’s executive committee voted this week to allow most of the convention to happen somewhere else, while official party business will still be handled in Charlotte. 

A few state and local leaders have already expressed interest in bringing the Republican convention to their states in August. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) tweeted late last month that his state would be "honored to safely host the Republican National Convention.” And Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry (R) said his city was well equipped to handle such an event, given its successful hosting of an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) match last month. 

Still, Republicans are facing a tight timeline for moving their convention. Such gatherings typically take months if not years to plan and involve relocating staffers across the country. At the same time, they require the buy-in of local governments, many of which are still concerned about the coronavirus pandemic and a possible resurgence of the virus. 

But Trump and his reelection machine appear eager for a full-fledged campaign season in spite of the pandemic.

Trump Victory, the joint venture between the Trump campaign and the RNC, is set to resume some of its regular campaign activities next week, a spokesperson told The Hill’s Jonathan Easley on Thursday. That includes resuming in-person training sessions for its volunteers. 

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The expected ramp up comes as a growing number of national and statewide polls show Trump losing ground to former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Brad Pitt narrates Biden ad airing during World Series MORE. A batch of Fox News polls released on Wednesday showed Trump trailing Biden in key battleground states including Arizona, Ohio and Wisconsin. And a Monmouth University poll out earlier this week found Biden leading by 11 points nationally. 

--Max Greenwood

READ MORE: 

Mark CubanMark CubanMark Cuban condemns human rights violations worldwide, but 'OK doing business with China' Ted Cruz, Mark Cuban spar over NBA viewership tweet Mark Cuban calls for households to receive two ,000 stimulus checks per month MORE says he's decided not to run for president, by Zack Budryck

FROM THE TRAIL:

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) Climate Council rolled out a list of policy recommendations on Thursday, calling for greater investment than Biden’s plan. The Hill’s Rachel Frazin reports.

The executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, Bill JohnsonWilliam (Bill) Leslie JohnsonOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Climate change a factor in most of the 7,000 natural disasters over last 20 years: UN report | Contentious pipeline can resume construction, regulators decide | California investigators seize PG&E equipment California investigators seize PG&E equipment in search for cause of deadly wildfire PG&E pleads guilty to 84 felony counts of involuntary manslaughter in 2018 Camp Fire MORE, criticized Vice President Biden’s calls for police reform on Thursday. Johnson said that Biden “kept moving left” in his rhetoric on law enforcement, and has “gone off the deep end.” The Hill’s Justine Coleman reports.

Scaled-back Pride Month events are presenting a challenge for LGBTQ+ advocacy groups that were hoping to boost funding and outreach ahead of the general election in November. With the coronavirus pandemic forcing people to social distance and avoid large gatherings, many of this month’s events will be held online. The Hill’s Alex Gangitano reports.

Former President Obama made his first public remarks about George Floyd, calling for police reforms. Obama did not mention Trump and largely steered clear of the polarizing politics that have wracked the nation following Floyd’s death. Jonathan reports.

PERSPECTIVES:

J.T. YoungCoronavirus lockdowns threaten an electoral lock-up for Trump

Liz Peek: Biden courts black voters with empathy while Trump delivers real change

CONGRESS & STATES:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezProgressive lawmakers call for United Nations probe into DHS 'human rights abuses' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats play defense, GOP goes on attack after Biden oil comments | Energy Dept. exempts quick dishwashers from existing efficiency standards | Ocasio-Cortez says having Green New Deal would have helped handle COVID-19 pandemic Ocasio-Cortez says Biden vote can be 'tactical' effort to support marginalized communities MORE (D-N.Y.) has endorsed Jamaal Bowman, the Democrat mounting a primary challenge against House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelOvernight Defense: Trump, Biden set to meet in final debate | Explicit Fort Bragg tweets were sent by account administrator | China threatens retaliation over Taiwan arms sale Is Trump a better choice for Jewish voters than Biden? Overnight Defense: Trump says he's leaving Walter Reed, 'feeling really good' after COVID-19 treatment | White House coronavirus outbreak grows | Dems expand probe into Pompeo speeches MORE (D-N.Y.). Rebecca Klar reports.

MONEY WATCH:

Pro-Trump Super PAC America First Action is putting millions of dollars behind an ad campaign slamming Biden’s record on NAFTA the in the swing state of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Jonathan reports.

POLL WATCH:

President Trump trails presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden in Ohio, Wisconsin and Arizona, according to surveys from Fox News. Full rundown HERE.

PUBLIC POLICY POLLING – NORTH CAROLINA PRESIDENTIAL

Biden: 49 percent (+1)

Trump: 45 percent (-2)

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PUBLIC POLICY POLLING – NORTH CAROLINA SENATE

Cunningham: 43 percent (-4)

Tillis: 41 percent (+1)

FOX NEWS – WISCONSIN PRESIDENTIAL

Biden: 49 percent

Trump: 40 percent

FOX NEWS – ARIZONA PRESIDENTIAL

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Biden: 46 percent

Trump: 42 percent

FOX NEWS – OHIO PRESIDENTIAL

Biden: 45 percent

Trump: 43 percent

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

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

June 9:

Georgia primaries

West Virginia primaries

June 23:

Kentucky primaries

July 7:

New Jersey primaries

Delaware primary

July 11:

Louisiana

July 14:

Alabama Republican Senate primary runoff

August 11:

Connecticut primary

August 17-20:

Democratic National Convention

August 24-27:

Republican National Convention