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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 TrumpVirginia GOP gubernatorial nominee acknowledges Biden was 'legitimately' elected Biden meets with DACA recipients on immigration reform Overnight Health Care: States begin lifting mask mandates after new CDC guidance | Walmart, Trader Joe's will no longer require customers to wear masks | CDC finds Pfizer, Moderna vaccines 94 percent effective in health workers 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 Biden. 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

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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 JohnsonSix ways to visualize a divided America Former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel jumps into Senate race READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results MORE, criticized Vice President BidenJoe BidenVirginia GOP gubernatorial nominee acknowledges Biden was 'legitimately' elected BuzzFeed News finds Biden's private Venmo account Kid reporter who interviewed Obama dies at 23 MORE’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-CortezSanders: Netanyahu has cultivated 'racist nationalism' Meghan McCain: Greene 'behaving like an animal' Deleted video shows Greene taunting Ocasio-Cortez's office in 2019 MORE (D-N.Y.) has endorsed Jamaal Bowman, the Democrat mounting a primary challenge against House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelLawmakers on hot mic joke 'aisle hog' Engel absent from Biden address: 'He'd wait all day' Bowman to deliver progressive response to Biden's speech to Congress Liberal advocacy group stirs debate, discomfort with primary challenges 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