The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic Unity Taskforce unveils party platform recommendations

The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic Unity Taskforce unveils party platform recommendations
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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. 

BREAKING: The Biden-Sanders unity task force unveiled its recommendations for the Democratic Party platform on Wednesday. The task force, which was launched in May, laid out its platform recommendations on a number of key issues including climate change, criminal justice reform, immigration policies, health care, education and the economy in a 110-page document. You can read the full list of recommendations here.

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LEADING THE DAY:

Democrats are pulling in record-setting fundraising hauls that could help them recapture control of the Senate in November.

In North Carolina, Democratic candidate Cal Cunningham raised $7.4 million in the second quarter of 2020, beating a quarterly record previously set by former Sen. Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic Unity Taskforce unveils party platform recommendations Democrats awash with cash in battle for Senate The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's job approval erodes among groups that powered his 2016 victory MORE (D-N.C.) in 2014. In Montana, Gov. Steve BullockSteve Bullock300 green groups say Senate has 'moral duty' to reject Trump's public lands nominee Lincoln Project targets Senate races in Alaska, Maine, Montana with M ad buy Exclusive: Poll shows pressure on vulnerable GOP senators to back state and local coronavirus aid MORE (D) brought in $7.7 million for his bid to unseat Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David Daines300 green groups say Senate has 'moral duty' to reject Trump's public lands nominee Stimulus checks debate now focuses on size, eligibility On The Money: GDP shrinks by record amount in second quarter amid virus lockdowns | Jobless claims rise for second straight week | McConnell tees up fight on unemployment benefits MORE (R-Mont.), also setting a state record in the process. 

The list goes on.

Jaime Harrison, the Democratic Senate nominee in South Carolina, raised $13.9 million in the second quarter; Theresa Greenfield, who’s challenging Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstIowa Senate candidate raises 2K after dog goes viral Obama announces first wave of 2020 endorsements On The Trail: The first signs of a post-Trump GOP MORE (R) in Iowa, brought in more than $6 million. And Maine state House Speaker Sara Gideon (D) raised more than twice as much as her opponent, Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsObama announces first wave of 2020 endorsements Senate GOP divided over whether they'd fill Supreme Court vacancy  On The Trail: The first signs of a post-Trump GOP MORE (R) in the pre-primary period spanning April, May and most of June. 

Democrats are celebrating the staggering fundraising numbers as a sign of momentum and enthusiasm for their candidates four months before Election Day. The party needs to pick up at least three or four Republican-held Senate seats this year to capture a majority in the chamber, depending on which party wins control of the White House, and the flood of campaign cash provides a critical financial cushion ahead of what is expected to be an exceedingly expensive fall campaign season. 

“Democratic Senate candidates have had strong grassroots fundraising all cycle, and these latest record-breaking numbers reflect the growing interest in these Senate battlegrounds and an unprecedented motivation to hold Republicans accountable,” Lauren Passalacqua, the communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said.

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Some Republicans dismissed the Democratic fundraising numbers, pointing to instances in which better-funded candidates ultimately lost to hopefuls with tighter budgets. In 2014, for instance, Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisObama announces first wave of 2020 endorsements On The Trail: The first signs of a post-Trump GOP Chamber of Commerce endorses Ernst for reelection MORE (R-N.C.) beat out then-incumbent Hagan despite her setting a quarterly fundraising record that year.

“I’m not panicking,” said Brent Littlefield, a Washington-based GOP strategist from Maine who was a senior adviser to former Gov. Paul LePage (R).

“I’ve run a lot of races where we’ve been heavily outspent by our opponents ... if you spend efficiently, you can make up for fundraising disparities, and at some point there’s a diminishing return for just throwing your money around out there.”

—Max Greenwood

READ MORE: 

Democrats awash with cash in battle for Senate, by Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley

Trump campaign says Univision is 'Leftist propaganda', by The Hill's J. Edward Moreno

Maryland governor says all polling locations will be open to in-person voters in November, by The Hill's Justine Coleman

New Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries, by The Hill's Tal Axelrod 
 

FROM THE TRAIL:

Democrats are taking aggressive steps to highlight President Trump's focus on the hot-button cultural topics of race and heritage, betting it will play to their party’s advantage in November. The Hill's Mike Lillis and Cristina Marcos report.

Progressive activist Ady Barkan threw his support behind Biden on Wednesday and urged the presumptive Democratic nominee to pick progressive Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenCuba spells trouble for Bass's VP hopes Democrats want Biden to debate Trump despite risks Overnight Defense: Embattled Pentagon policy nominee withdraws, gets appointment to deputy policy job | Marines, sailor killed in California training accident identified | Governors call for extension of funding for Guard's coronavirus response MORE (D-Mass.) as his running mate. “Even though he wasn’t our first choice, I don’t think that progressives and Democratic socialists should sit out the election, or vote third party, and I wanted to make that clear,” Barkan said in an interview with the New York Times. Jonathan Easley has more.

Barkan's support for Biden is good news for the former vice president's campaign, as some progressives told The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Jonathan that they’re wary of Biden’s pledges to find areas of compromise with Republicans.

The Trump campaign has tapped White House official Max Miller to oversee its advance team and organize rallies as the deputy campaign manager for presidential operations. Miller will be responsible for any events including Trump, Vice President Pence and other “notable figures.” Tal reports.



MONEY WATCH:

Theresa Greenfield, the Democratic nominee that will take on Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), raised more than $6 million in the second quarter of the year, her campaign announced on Tuesday. She’s the latest Democratic Senate hopeful to shatter a fundraising record in her state. 

Kansas state Sen. Barbara Bollier (D) raised $3.7 million in the second quarter for her Senate campaign. The haul is the largest reported single-quarter fundraising of any candidate in any race in Kansas history. Bollier’s campaign said it has $4 million in the bank. Tal reports.

The Republican State Legislature Committee (RSLC) announced this week that it brought in a record $10.5 million in 2020’s second quarter along with the State Government Leadership Foundation. Additionally, the RSLC said it had its best ever online fundraising quarter and added 5,500 new donors. Their average online donation was less than $28.00. 

“Americans in every state are stepping up to join our fight to save this country – and they’re doing so with an unprecedented amount of support and enthusiasm,” RSLC president Austin Chambers said in a statement. 

Meanwhile, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) announced it raked in $5.8 million in the second quarter. The group said that it, along with its affiliated organizations, have raised a total of $30 million this cycle. 

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“Thanks to record-breaking fundraising and grassroots energy, Democrats are primed to flip state legislatures across the country,” said DLCC president Jessica Post. 

The nation’s second largest teacher’s union is putting $1 million behind a new television and digital ad campaign urging the GOP-controlled Senate to provide additional funding to schools to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) said that in addition to current funding levels, U.S. schools need an additional $116.5 billion to meet “public health, well-being and instructional needs of students, teachers and school staff in order to reopen safely.” Jonathan reports.

The liberal super PAC American Bridge is launching a new round of television, radio and digital ads in three battleground states aimed at weakening President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE among key groups that supported his 2016 White House bid. The ads, which will run in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, are part of a $25 million campaign running through the end of August targeting rural voters and seniors. Jonathan reports.

PERSPECTIVES:

Albert Hunt: Bellwether counties show trouble for Trump

Chuck Hagel: Congress must act to protect the legitimacy of the election this fall




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MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

 

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