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The Hill’s Campaign Report: Trump juggles three crises ahead of November election

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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: 

President Trump is having to contend with the three biggest crises of his presidency just five months out from the general election, casting doubt on his reelection chances.

The president is grappling with a public health crisis in the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to a nationwide economic crisis. On top of that, the U.S. is witnessing widespread protests over systemic racism in the country, which has led to controversial responses from the president. 

The Hill’s Reid Wilson reports in his latest piece that Republicans are becoming concerned over his responses to the crises, which some say could result in bringing the party down in November’s elections. Wilson spoke with more than a dozen GOP leaders, strategists and former Trump officials about the matter. 

The interviews come as a number of state and national level polls show Trump trailing former Vice President Joe Biden nationwide and in various critical battleground states. A Monmouth University poll released on Wednesday showed Biden with an 11-point lead over Trump nationally, while a Fox News poll released the same day showed the president behind the former vice president in Ohio, Wisconsin and Arizona. 

Trump is also down on a number of key issues surrounding this crisis. An NPR/ PBS News Hour/Marist poll released on Friday showed that 67 percent of Americans said they believed Trump has increased racial tensions in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, including 73 percent of Independents. 

Meanwhile, on the coronavirus front, only 39 percent of Americans said they approved of his handling of the nation’s response to the pandemic, according to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll.

But the president’s supporters are still holding out hope on his economic approval rating, something Trump has touted throughout his presidency. A CNN/SSRS survey released last month showed his economic approval rating at 50 percent. Additionally, Friday brought some welcome economic news, with the U.S. adding 2.5 million jobs in May amid reopenings, and the overall unemployment rate dropping to 13.3 percent from more than 14 percent the month before.

Overall, it’s impossible to predict what will happen in November, especially with 2020’s tumultuous news cycle.

Remember, it was just weeks ago when Trump was holding his daily coronavirus briefings in the White House, flanked by medical experts like Anthony Fauci and Debroah Birx. Fast forward to this week, the country is still reacting to his photo-op with a Bible in front of St. John’s Church near the White House after park police fired crowd control agents, including pepper balls and smoke grenades, to disperse demonstrators standing in the way. 

–Julia Manchester 

 

FROM THE TRAIL:

Former Vice President Biden said during a virtual town hall on Thursday that 10 to 15 percent of Americans are just “not very good people.” During the discussion with a number of young Americans, Biden discussed the importance of a president setting an example for the country on issues of race. The online conversation was moderated by actor Don Cheadle. The Hill’s Marina Pitofsky reports. 

Twitter removed a video tribute to George Floyd posted by President Trump’s reelection campaign, claiming it had run afoul of the website’s policy on copyrighted material. The move to sanction the Trump campaign’s content comes amid heightened tensions between the social media giant and the president and a fierce election year battle over online information dissemination. Jonathan Easley reports.

 

PERSPECTIVES:

Lanny Davis: 72 hours cementing the real choice in November.

David Catron: A silent majority will reelect Trump in November.

A.B. Stoddard: No matter what Trump says, the GOP needs vote by mail.

Lee Black: Online voting is my 2020 cybersecurity nightmare

Helmut Norpoth: Joe Biden lead in polls does not ensure final victory for election

 

CONGRESS & STATES:

Vulnerable Senate Republicans facing reelection in November are embracing environmental issues in a bid to save their seats. Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are putting their support behind legislation that permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) in an effort to boost Republican Sens. Steve Daines in Montana and Cory Gardner in Colorado. The Hill’s Rachel Fraizin reports.

Trump pledged to campaign against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) when she’s up for reelection in 2022 after the senator told reporters she was “struggling” with whether to vote for him in November. The Hill’s Brett Samuels reports.

 

POLL WATCH:

CNN – NATIONAL

Biden: 51 percent

Trump: 41 percent

 

NPR/PBS/MARIST – NATIONAL

Biden: 50 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

 

Tags Anthony Fauci Cory Gardner Donald Trump Joe Biden Lisa Murkowski Mitch McConnell Steve Daines
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