The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden visits Kenosha | Trump's double-voting suggestion draws fire | Facebook clamps down on election ads

The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden visits Kenosha | Trump's double-voting suggestion draws fire | Facebook clamps down on election ads
© JIM WATSON/AFP via 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:



Democratic nominee Joe Biden met with the family of Jacob Blake and listened to emotional testimony from citizens in Kenosha, Wis., on Thursday.

Biden arrived in Kenosha and immediately huddled with Blake’s father, brother, two sisters and members of his legal team. Blake and his mother called in from the hospital.

Blake’s attorney, Ben Crump, described the 90-minute meeting as focused on “the disparate treatment of minorities in police interactions, the impact of selecting Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHere's why Joe Biden polls well, but Kamala Harris does not Immigration experts say GOP senators questioned DHS secretary with misleading chart Carper urges Biden to nominate ambassadors amid influx at border MORE as a Black woman as his running mate, and Vice President BidenJoe BidenWarren calls for US to support ceasefire between Israel and Hamas UN secretary general 'deeply disturbed' by Israeli strike on high rise that housed media outlets Nation's largest nurses union condemns new CDC guidance on masks MORE’s plans for change.”

“The vice president told the family that he believes the best of America is in all of us and that we need to value all our differences as we come together in America’s great melting pot,” Crump said. “It was very obvious that Vice President Biden cared, as he extended to Jacob Jr. a sense of humanity, treating him as a person worthy of consideration and prayer.” 

Later, Biden attended a small community event at Grace Lutheran Church, where he heard emotional testimony from people who live in Kenosha. Biden heard from a white business owner who said her store had been destroyed by rioters and a Black attorney who pleaded with him to address criminal justice reform.

Biden mostly listened, but he got up in the middle of the event and accused President TrumpDonald TrumpSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans Navajo Nation president on Arizona's new voting restrictions: An 'assault' on our rights The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez MORE of inflaming racial tensions. The former vice president pointed to the president’s response to the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville as evidence of his failed leadership on race. 


“It’s not all [Trump’s] fault,” Biden said of the racial divisions seizing America. “But it legitimized a dark side of human nature. What it did though, was also expose what had not been paid enough attention to. The underlying racism that is institutionalized in the United States that still exists and has for 400 years. So we end up with a circumstance like we have here in Kenosha.” 

Trump toured Kenosha earlier in the week to highlight the businesses that had been destroyed as part of the protests. The president has blamed Democratic officials in cities for allowing protesters to destroy property.

“Let’s get something straight here, protesting is protesting…but none of it justifies burning, looting or anything else,” Biden said. “So regardless how angry you are, if you loot or burn you should be held accountable the same as someone who has done anything else, period.”


Trump’s remarks to a local North Carolina affiliate on Wednesday that people should vote twice has ignited fury and blowback from Democrats and election watchdogs. In the interview, Trump appeared to be telling people to send in their mail ballots and to vote in-person under the assumption that their mail ballots will not have been received.

“They will vote and then they are going to have to check their vote by going to the poll and voting that way because if it tabulates then they won’t be able to do that. So let them send it in, and let them go vote. And if the system is as good as they say it is, then they obviously won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated, they will be able to vote. So that’s the way it is, and that’s what they should do.” - Trump

It is illegal to vote twice. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany played clean up on Thursday, saying the president was not suggesting people “do anything unlawful.” McEnany said Trump was telling voters to “verify” that their mailed ballot is counted.

“The president is not suggesting anyone do anything unlawful. What he said very clearly there is make sure your vote is tabulated and if it is not, then vote.” - McEnany 

The nonpartisan elections watchdog Common Cause said that Trump’s call for voters to cast two ballots was itself a felony for inciting a felony. 

“Americans expect and deserve more from their President than statements urging his supporters to commit a felony by voting for him twice in the coming election. President Trump’s repeated requests to his followers to commit felonies are felony crimes themselves because he is inciting the commission of those crimes.” - Common Cause 

The North Carolina State Board of Elections reminded voters that it is illegal to cast a ballot twice. In a statement, officials noted that voting more than once in the same election is a felony and that audits are conducted after each election to catch anyone violating the law.

"It is illegal to vote twice in an election. Attempting to vote twice in an election or soliciting someone to do so also is a violation of North Carolina law." - NCSBE Director Karen Brinson Bell


Speaking of North Carolina…

Biden and Trump are statistically tied in the Tar Heel State. That’s according to a new Monmouth University poll released on Thursday. The survey shows Biden with a scant 2-point lead over Trump — a negligible advantage given the poll’s +/-4.9 percentage point margin of error. Overall, Biden garners 47 percent support to Trump’s 45 percent

More on that poll here

A new Quinnipiac University poll out of Pennsylvania yields a sunnier picture for Biden, who leads Trump there 52 percent to 44 percent, well outside the survey’s +/-3 point margin of error. 

But the presidential race in Florida remains tight. Another Quinnipiac survey out of the Sunshine State showed Biden with a 3-point advantage over Trump, 48 percent to 45 percent. That’s not much given the poll’s +/-2.8 point margin of error. But it’s also not particularly unexpected. As the nation’s largest swing state, Florida has a reputation for deciding elections by ultra-slim margins and there’s no reason to think this year will be any different.


Max has more on the Quinnipiac polling here and here.


Facebook is taking a major step in how its handling political advertisements in the run-up to the election. The platform announced on Thursday it would ban new advertisements in the week ahead of the election. 

The move is apart of the social media giant’s effort to halt the spread of disinformation in order to "secure the integrity of this year's elections."  

"This election is not going to be business as usual," CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergBipartisan attorneys general urge Facebook to scrap planned Instagram for kids Hillicon Valley: Broadband companies funded fake net neutrality comments, investigation finds | Twitter rolls out tip feature | Google to adopt 'hybrid work week' Oversight Board achieving what government cannot MORE said in a Facebook post. "We all have a responsibility to protect our democracy. That means helping people register and vote, clearing up confusion about how this election will work, and taking steps to reduce the chances of violence and unrest."


Almost 100 former Republicans lawmakers and officials  endorsed Biden for President on Thursday. Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman (R) has launched a group called Republicans & Independents for Biden, joined by former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldThe Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? Ralph Gants, chief justice of Massachusetts supreme court, dies at 65 The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden visits Kenosha | Trump's double-voting suggestion draws fire | Facebook clamps down on election ads MORE (R), among others. Their “sole mission is to defeat Donald Trump and elect Joe Biden the next President of the United States."