The Hill's Campaign Report: Campaigns prepare for homestretch run to Election Day

The Hill's Campaign Report: Campaigns prepare for homestretch run to Election Day

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:

Sunday will mark 100 days until Americans across the country cast their ballots for the presidential, Senate and House races. The coronavirus and economic crises are likely to play a factor in how voters choose their candidates, and Democrats appear to have an advantage across the board.

However, a lot can change between now and Election Day. Here’s a look at how the races are shaping up 100 days from Tuesday, Nov. 3.

PRESIDENTIAL

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTeachers union launches 0K ad buy calling for education funding in relief bill FDA head pledges 'we will not cut corners' on coronavirus vaccine Let our values drive COVID-19 liability protection MORE needs the trajectory of the race to change quickly if he’s to secure a second term in office.

Trump trails presumptive Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he is 'seriously' considering a capital gains tax cut Why Joe Biden is in trouble Harris favored as Biden edges closer to VP pick MORE by 8.7 points nationally in the RealClearPolitics (RCP) average of polls. One recent survey found Biden ahead by 15 points.

Biden’s lead is outside the margin of error in four of the six core battleground states. He leads by 6 points or more in the RCP averages of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida. Biden has smaller leads in North Carolina and Arizona. Trump won all of those states in 2016.

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Biden is also running strong in the traditionally red states of Texas, Georgia, Iowa and Ohio that Trump must win to have a path to reelection.

Polls show voters prefer Biden’s leadership on the key issues of the day — the coronavirus pandemic and racial inequality.

Trump has in recent days shifted to square himself with public opinion on the coronavirus, promoting masks and warning that the virus could get worse. Trump also cancelled the GOP convention in Jacksonville and restarted his daily briefings with health experts.

SENATE

With 100 days to go until the November elections, Democrats have a clear path to the Senate majority. Current polling trends show the party on track to pick up seats in Arizona, Colorado, Maine and North Carolina, and Democrats are now turning their sights on GOP-held seats in Georgia, Iowa and Montana, among other states that once appeared more favorable to Republicans.

Meanwhile, Republicans are scrambling to halt the expanding Democratic offensive, lining up multi-million dollar ad reservations in states like Georgia and Iowa, and spending in the GOP Senate primary in Kansas to boost Rep. Roger MarshallRoger W. MarshallThe Hill's Campaign Report: COVID-19 puts conventions in flux  The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Virus bill unlikely to pass this week Tracey Mann wins GOP primary to replace Rep. Roger Marshall MORE (R), whom they view as the candidate most likely to hold the open seat for Republicans in November.

But Trump’s slide in the polls in recent months combined with a surge in fundraising for Democratic Senate challengers has put Republicans in an increasingly dire position as they begin the crucial 100-day sprint to Election Day.

HOUSE

Democrats also appear to have an advantage in the race for the House majority, leading on the generic ballot and in a number of critical races. The Cook Political Report moved 20 House races toward Democrats last week, and the party currently leads the GOP on the FiveThirtyEight generic ballot.

Strategists say the low numbers for Republicans have to do with Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and Democratic efforts to tie GOP candidates to the president. Expect to see Democrats continue to hone in on health care, as well as how it relates to the pandemic. Expect them to also push back on Republican efforts to dismantle ObamaCare, which was an issue that helped them win back the House in 2018.

Republican candidates, on the other hand, will continue to tout economic growth under the Trump administration. While the country is in an economic slump at the moment, the GOP argues that Trump and the Republicans were responsible for the growing economy before the pandemic, and therefore are the best candidates to lead the recovery.

– Jonathan, Max and Julia

 

FROM THE TRAIL:

Trump is going all in to repeat his 2016 success in Florida, but recent polls show that he likely faces a tough road ahead. Trump’s campaign has reserved more in television advertising in Florida than in any other state — a staggering $40 million in airtime, more than he has reserved in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin combined, according to an analysis of advertising data by The Hill. On top of that, the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC) have unleashed a massive ground game in the state, with more than 180 staffers on the ground in every county. Julia and Max report.

Trump is seeking to squash lingering dissent within the GOP, lashing out at Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyRepublicans fear disaster in November Gaetz set to endorse primary opponent of fellow Florida GOP lawmaker House GOP pushes back at Trump on changing election date MORE (R-Wyo.) and former Bush administration official Tom Ridge after the two offered implicit and explicit criticism of the president. Brett Samuels and Jonathon report.

Trump’s new campaign manager Bill Stepien said Friday that the president’s support is underrepresented in public polls, and that surveys showing Biden leading by big margins do not accurately reflect the state of the race. Jonathan reports.

 

CONGRESS AND THE STATES:

The Cook Political Report moved a number of Senate races toward Democrats on Thursday, giving hope to Democrats looking to flip the Senate 102 days from now. The Hill’s Marty Johnson reports.

 

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MONEY WATCH:

The Democratic super PAC, MeidasTouch, is launching a six-figure ad buy in Texas that will feature ads in the Houston and Dallas television markets. A new ad, titled “Trump is a Disaster,” was released on Thursday and is a part of the buy. The Hill’s Rebecca Klar reports.

 

POLL WATCH:

FOX NEWS-- PENNSYLVANIA PRESIDENTIAL

Biden: 50%

Trump: 39%

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FOX NEWS-- MICHIGAN PRESIDENTIAL

Biden: 49%

Trump: 40%

FOX NEWS-- MINNESOTA PRESIDENTIAL

Biden: 51%

Trump: 38%

 

PERSPECTIVES:

Dennis Bailey: The Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsState aid emerges as major hurdle to reviving COVID-19 talks Senators ask for removal of tariffs on EU food, wine, spirits: report Coronavirus deal key to Republicans protecting Senate majority MORE conundrum

Steve Forbes and Stephen Moore: President Trump must avoid the 1990 Republican political curse

David Schultz: Is Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarMatt Gaetz, Roger Stone back far-right activist Laura Loomer in congressional bid The Hill's Campaign Report: LIVE: Trump from Gettysburg | The many unknowns of 2020 | Omar among those facing primary challenges 'This already exists': Democrats seize on potential Trump executive order on preexisting conditions MORE one and done? Why she could lose the August primary

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

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