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The Hill's Campaign Report: Progressives raise expectations ahead of big primary night

The Hill's Campaign Report: Progressives raise expectations ahead of big primary night
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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: 

Progressives are anticipating a series of primary wins on Tuesday, seeing opportunities to take out two establishment-backed candidates in Kentucky and New York. 

Jamaal Bowman, a former middle school principal backed by liberal groups like Justice Democrats, is on the cusp of unseating 16-term Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelIs 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 House Democrats push forward on probe of Pompeo's political speeches MORE (D-N.Y.) in New York’s 16th District. And in Kentucky, state Rep. Charles Booker is benefiting from an eleventh-hour surge in his bid for the Democratic Senate nomination against former Marine combat pilot Amy McGrath. 

Publicly, progressives are still managing expectations. But if they are able to pull off wins in both races on Tuesday, it would be one of their biggest triumphs of the election cycle to date.

So far, their efforts to oust establishment-backed challengers and incumbents have yielded a mixed bag of results. The Democratic presidential nomination slipped through their fingers earlier this year, after former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden holds massive cash advantage over Trump ahead of Election Day Tax records show Trump maintains a Chinese bank account: NYT Trump plays video of Biden, Harris talking about fracking at Pennsylvania rally MORE staged a comeback in late February.

Several progressives challenging incumbents in down-ballot contests came up short in their primaries, as well. Jessica Cisneros, an immigration attorney, was ultimately defeated by Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) in Texas’ 28th District, and another progressive, Morgan Harper, lost her primary bid to Rep. Joyce BeattyJoyce Birdson BeattySharpton, police reform take center stage at National Mall Sanders raised over 0,000 for candidates in Tuesday primaries The Hill's Campaign Report: Progressives raise expectations ahead of big primary night MORE in Ohio’s 3rd District. 

Perhaps the biggest win so far this year for progressives was in Illinois’s 3rd District, where Marie Newman ousted Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) in a March primary. As one of the few remaining conservative Democrats in Congress, Lipinski was among the top targets for the left this cycle. 

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Still, Democratic strategists and operatives cautioned against reading too far into the Tuesday primaries in Kentucky and New York.

While they acknowledged that Booker and Bowman are well positioned heading into their respective elections, they noted that the current political moment — including protests over racial injustice and police brutality — have helped boost both candidates in recent weeks. Booker, for instance, has appeared multiple times at demonstrations in Louisville calling for broad reforms to police practices. And Bowman has spoken personally about his experience with police as a Black man.

Regardless of what happens on Tuesday, don’t expect a quick resolution to either race. Both states are expecting an unprecedented surge in mail-in ballots and election officials have cautioned that final results may not be known for days or even longer.

--Max Greenwood

 

READ MORE:

Left eyes huge night in NY, Kentucky primaries, by Max.



FROM THE TRAIL:

Former Vice President Biden is committing to three debates with President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden holds massive cash advantage over Trump ahead of Election Day Tax records show Trump maintains a Chinese bank account: NYT Trump plays video of Biden, Harris talking about fracking at Pennsylvania rally MORE this fall, keeping with the schedule set by the Commission Presidential Debates. The Trump campaign is pushing for four debates, believing that Biden will commit gaffes on stage if he’s forced to appear more frequently. Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon confirmed the former vice president’s plans in a letter to the commission on Monday obtained by The Washington Post. The three debates are currently scheduled for Sept. 29, Oct. 15 and Oct. 22.

Biden has tapped former Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) to lead the transition team tasked with laying the groundwork for a presidential administration. Kaufman, who served for years as Biden’s chief of staff in the Senate, is one of the former vice president’s closest confidantes. He was appointed to fill Biden’s Senate seat in 2009 at the outset of the Obama administration. The Hill’s Reid Wilson reports.


PERSPECTIVES:

Michael Kruse: The woman who helped save Joe Biden.

Joshua H. Sandman: Trump’s populist presidency may carry him to a second term.

James KitfieldDonald Trump election game plan buries the truth about voter fraud

Brad BannonBiden beat Bernie but the battle between progressives and pragmatists still rages

 

CONGRESS & STATES:

Democrats are worried their party unity is fraying five months out from the presidential election as several contested primaries pitting progressives against mainstream Democrats go down to the wire. Amie Parnes and Jonathan Easley report.

 

POLL WATCH:

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TRAFALGAR GROUP – MICHIGAN PRESIDENTIAL

Biden: 46%

Trump: 45%

CYGNAL – ALABAMA SENATE 

Tuberville: 50%

Jones: 36%

CYGNAL – ALABAMA SENATE

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Sessions: 45%

Jones: 35%

 

MONEY WATCH:

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raked in more than $11.2 million last month, outraising its GOP counterpart, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) by more than $1 million, according to the groups’ latest federal filings. The NRSC still ended the month with more cash on hand — about $40 million to the DSCC’s $32.4 million. But it was still the DSCC’s best month of fundraising for the cycle to date, and its best May on record for an election year. 

Biden and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) outraised the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC) for the first time ever last month. Federal filings show that Trump and the RNC brought in about $74 million in May. By comparison, the Biden campaign and the DNC pulled in nearly $81 million. Still, Trump’s reelection apparatus has a wide cash-on-hand advantage over Biden, boasting roughly $265 million in the bank. The Hill’s Tal Axelrod reports.



MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

June 23:

Kentucky primaries

New York primaries

Virginia primaries

Mississippi primary runoffs

North Carolina primary runoffs

South Carolina primary runoffs

 

June 30:

Colorado primaries

Oklahoma primaries

Utah primaries

 

July 7:

New Jersey primaries

Delaware primaries

 

July 11:

Louisiana primaries

 

July 14:

Alabama primary runoffs

Texas primary runoffs

Maine primaries

 

Aug. 4:

Arizona primaries

Kansas primaries

Michigan primaries

Missouri primaries

Washington primaries

 

Aug. 11:

Connecticut primaries

Minnesota primaries

Vermont primaries

Wisconsin primaries

Georgia primary runoffs

 

Aug. 18:

Alaska primaries

Florida primaries

Wyoming primaries

 

Aug. 17-20:

Democratic National Convention

 

Aug. 24-27:

Republican National Convention

 

Sept. 1:

Massachusetts primaries

 

Sept. 8:

New Hampshire primaries

Rhode Island primaries

 

Sept. 15:

Delaware primaries

 

Sept. 29:

First presidential debate

 

Oct. 7:

Vice presidential debate

 

Oct. 15:

Second presidential debate

 

Oct. 22:

Third presidential debate