The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump visits Kenosha | Primary day in Massachusetts | GOP eyes Minnesota as a battleground

The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump visits Kenosha | Primary day in Massachusetts | GOP eyes Minnesota as a battleground
© Getty Images

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:

ADVERTISEMENT

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Pelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Trump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance MORE visited property affected by recent civil unrest in Kenosha, Wis., on Tuesday as he sought to drive home his campaign’s message of law and order following demonstrations across the country over police violence against Black people.

Kenosha has become the epicenter of the cultural debate roiling the country over police reform and racial justice demonstrations, which at times have been marked by violence and destruction of property.

The president has stuck to one note throughout, accusing Democrats of allowing rioters and looters to overrun major cities. Trump has barely addressed Jacob Blake, the Black man who was shot in the back seven times by the police in Kenosha, reigniting racial protests.

Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenPelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Hillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Fox News poll: Biden ahead of Trump in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Ohio MORE gave a speech on Monday denouncing violence, but also blaming Trump for inciting racial animus and accusing him of trying to profit politically off the chaos in the streets.

Biden is expected to visit Wisconsin in the near future, although a top aide seemed to indicate on Tuesday that he would not go to Kenosha because “he doesn’t want to do anything that would create a tussle on the ground.” 

Democrats on Tuesday slammed Trump’s visit, accusing him of being divisive in a time when the community needs to heal.

ADVERTISEMENT

The president infuriated Democrats this week by saying that Kyle Rittenhouse, the young man who is accused of killing two protesters in Kenosha, may have been acting in self defense.

READ MORE:

Trump warnings on lawlessness divide GOP candidates, by Alexander Bolton.

Wisconsin takes center stage in Trump-Biden fight, by Amie Parnes.

MASSACHUSETTS VOTES

Massachusetts voters are heading to the polls and mailing in their ballots as we speak, marking a historic primary day in the commonwealth. 

The Sept. 1 primary is the Bay State’s first-ever statewide election where mail-in voting is an option. 

The polls close at 8pm EDT and voters have until 8pm EDT for their ballots to reach local elections officials. If you’re a Massachusetts voter and want to track your ballot, click here.

We’re watching a number of contests in tonight’s primary, including the showdown between incumbent Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John Markey3 reasons why Biden is misreading the politics of court packing Democrats shoot down talk of expanding Supreme Court Schumer: 'Nothing is off the table' if GOP moves forward with Ginsburg replacement MORE and challenger Rep. Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedyDemocrats see fundraising spike following Ginsburg death Massachusetts town clerk resigns after delays to primary vote count Bogeymen of the far left deserve a place in any Biden administration MORE III

Polls show Markey with a sizable lead over Kennedy, who led Markey by double-digits before he announced his candidacy over a year ago. 

Kennedy would be the first member of his family to lose a statewide race in Massachusetts if Markey wins tonight. The Senate seat was once occupied by his great-uncle, the late President John F. Kennedy and his uncle, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy

Meanwhile, in the state’s first district, Holyoke's progressive Mayor Alex Morse is hoping to oust House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealPelosi asks panels to draft new COVID-19 relief measure AARP endorses Democrats' measure to overturn Trump payroll tax deferral Pelosi, Democrats unveil bills to rein in alleged White House abuses of power MORE. Polling in the race has been scarce, but if Morse were to defeat Neal, it would be seen as one of the biggest primary upsets since Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOn The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline McCarthy says there will be a peaceful transition if Biden wins Anxious Democrats amp up pressure for vote on COVID-19 aid MORE unseated former Rep. Joe CrowleyJoseph (Joe) CrowleyHillicon Valley: Election officials prepare for new Russian interference battle | 'Markeyverse' of online fans helps take down a Kennedy | GOP senators unveil bill to update tech liability protections 'Markeyverse' of online fans helps take down a Kennedy The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump visits Kenosha | Primary day in Massachusetts | GOP eyes Minnesota as a battleground MORE in New York’s 14th District. 

THE BIG PICTURE: Progressives are going all in on Massachusetts. They are hoping to defend one of their biggest champions in the Senate, while looking to inject new blood into the state’s congressional delegation. 

READ MORE: Progressives aim for big night in Massachusetts

SWING STATES BATTLE TAKES SHAPE:

The Trump campaign says it’s “going all in” to win Minnesota, which hasn’t gone for the GOP presidential candidate since 1972, the longest such streak in the nation.

The Trump campaign has reserved $14 million in television ads in Minnesota between Labor Day and Election Day, as it seeks to push the president over the top after he fell short to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFox News poll: Biden ahead of Trump in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Ohio Trump, Biden court Black business owners in final election sprint The power of incumbency: How Trump is using the Oval Office to win reelection MORE there by only 1.5 points in 2016.

Democrats say they’re taking the state seriously — Biden’s campaign has $3 million in air time reserved and the state Democratic Party has a vaunted turnout machine. The Democrats have a huge advantage in the Twin Cities and suburbs that most expect will outweigh Trump’s gains in rural parts of the state. Republicans got clobbered in Minnesota in the 2018 midterms.

ADVERTISEMENT

But Minnesota is unquestionably a battleground this cycle, as Trump’s campaign seeks to capitalize on what it describes as the same cultural shifts that turned Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin red for the first time in decades in 2016.

Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, lawmakers called on Postmaster General Louis DeJoyLouis DeJoyPostmaster general says postal service can't return mail-sorting machines Hillicon Valley: Murky TikTok deal raises questions about China's role | Twitter investigating automated image previews over apparent algorithmic bias | House approves bill making hacking federal voting systems a crime Judge orders Postal Service treat election mail as priority MORE to return recently removed Postal Service sorting machines, saying in a letter that their removals have caused a delay in mail delivery.

Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseySecond GOP senator to quarantine after exposure to coronavirus GAO report finds brokers offered false info on coverage for pre-existing conditions Catholic group launches .7M campaign against Biden targeting swing-state voters MORE (D-Penn.) and nine House Democrats signed the letter to DeJoy, which said that 30 sorting machines have been removed from Pennsylvania facilities. Election expert are bracing for a spike in mail and absentee balloting due to the coronavirus and Democrats have accused the Trump administration of seeking to undermine the Postal Service to sow confusion.

READ MORE:

Trump, Biden face broad battleground as ballots go out, by Reid Wilson.

POLLING UPDATE:

ADVERTISEMENT

The big picture: A new poll out of the University of Southern California’s Dornsife Center for the Political Future shows Biden leading Trump by 11 points nationally, bolstered by a 13-point edge over the president among suburban voters. 

All told, the poll shows Biden garnering 52 percent of the vote to Trump’s 41 percent. Fifty-three percent of suburban voters said they back Biden compared to 40 percent who support Trump, suggesting that the suburban swing toward Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections could hold through 2020. 

The survey also found some of Trump’s support eroding among the key groups that powered his 2016 campaign, including men, white people and seniors.

The battleground states: New polling of 11 battleground states from Morning Consult shows Biden ahead in nine of them — Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin — with only two, Texas and Ohio, going to Trump. 

More interesting, however, is that the polling shows that the Democratic and Republican National Conventions had little effect on the state of the race in most battleground states, with the only exception being Arizona. Prior to the conventions, Trump led Biden by 2 points in the state. Post-convention, Biden has a 10-point edge of the president.