The Hill's Campaign Report: Florida hangs in the balance

The Hill's Campaign Report: Florida hangs in the balance
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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:




With less than two months to go until Election Day, Florida isn’t offering many clues as to which way it will go in the presidential race.

An NBC News/Marist College poll released on Tuesday showed the race for Florida in a dead heat, with both President TrumpDonald TrumpFacebook temporarily bans ads for weapons accessories following Capitol riots Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP Section 230 worked after the insurrection, but not before: How to regulate social media MORE and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMissouri woman seen with Pelosi sign charged in connection with Capitol riots Facebook temporarily bans ads for weapons accessories following Capitol riots Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP MORE notching 48 percent among likely voters. Among registered voters, the result wasn’t much different; Trump garnered 48 percent support to Biden’s 47 percent — comfortably within the poll’s 4.5 percentage point margin of error. Those results largely track with the findings of a Quinnipiac University poll of the state released last week that showed Biden leading Trump 48-45 percent. 

Over the summer, it appeared as if Biden might actually have the edge in the Sunshine State. At the beginning of August, the former vice president held a nearly 6-point edge over Trump in the FiveThirtyEight polling average. Today, it stands at just 2.7 percentage points.

That’s more in line with what political strategists and pollsters on both sides of the aisle say it should be. Florida has a reputation for ultra-close elections. Trump carried the state by just about 1 point in 2016 and former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaFor Joe Biden, an experienced foreign policy team 'Nationalize' Facebook and Twitter as public goods Millennials and the great reckoning on race MORE beat Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyImpeachment trial tests Trump's grip on Senate GOP 'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' — Joe Manchin and a 50-50 Senate The Hill's Morning Report - Biden asks Congress to expand largest relief response in U.S. history MORE there in 2012 by less than that. That’s not to mention the state’s 2018 Senate race, which was decided by only about 10,000 votes.

But there are some warning signs for Biden…

A poll from the firm Bendixen & Amandi International and the Miami Herald released on Wednesday showed Biden leading Trump in Miami-Dade County, the largest in the state, by 17 points. While that’s a sizable lead, it’s almost half the size of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFor Joe Biden, an experienced foreign policy team Millennials and the great reckoning on race Biden chooses Amanda Gorman as youngest known inaugural poet MORE’s 30-point margin of victory there in 2016. Another survey from the Democratic firm Equis Research released last week showed Biden underperforming Clinton’s 2016 margins among Hispanic voters in Florida. 


Both campaigns are ramping up in the state…

On Tuesday, Trump paid his first visit to South Florida since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March, stopping off in Jupiter where he announced that he was extending the moratorium on offshore oil drilling along Florida’s Gulf Coast and would extend the ban to include the state’s Atlantic Coast.

And later this week, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris to be sworn in by Justice Sotomayor using Thurgood Marshall's Bible In calling out Trump, Nikki Haley warns of a more sinister threat On The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits MORE (D-Calif.), the Democratic vice presidential nominee, is expected to make a stop in Miami along with her husband, Doug Emhoff.  



Is the Trump campaign facing a cash crunch? As impossible as that sounds for a campaign that has coupled with the Republican National Committee to raise more than $1 billion this cycle, the president on Tuesday confirmed reports that he’d be willing to contribute $100 million of his own money if needed.

“If I have to, I will,” Trump said. “Whatever it takes, we have to win.”

However, the president said he didn’t think it was necessary because they campaign has way more money than it did when he won in 2016.

Trump’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, said Tuesday that he’s “carefully managing the budget” and that money will not be a problem down the stretch.

But the questions linger as the Biden campaign invests heavily in television advertising, while the Trump campaign has had a spottier presence on the airwaves.

When Stepien took over the campaign in late July, he briefly took the ads off the air entirely as he reassessed former campaign manager Brad ParscaleBrad ParscaleAides tried to get Trump to stop attacking McCain in hopes of clinching Arizona: report MORE’s spending strategy. Parscale spent heavily on advertising early on, which failed to give Trump any bump in the polls. 

Now the campaign says it is focused on running ads in the states where early voting will begin soon.

“We’re comfortable and confident in where we’re spending, how much we’re spending and how much we’ll have down the stretch,” Stepien said. 


Meanwhile, in the House…

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reserved $2.6 million in ads in a number of media markets home to competitive House races. 

Here’s a breakdown of the reservations, which were first reported by Politico.

GA-06 and GA-07: $771,000

IA-01: $35,000

IN-05: $90,000

NM-02: $30,000


NY-02: $650,000

NY-22 (Binghamton): $130,000

NY-22 (Syracuse): $130,000

NY-22 (Utica): $80,000

TX-21 and TX-23: $1,029,000


You can read more about the reservations here.


On the Republican side, two former rivals are putting aside their differences to get behind a Republican looking to flip their old district. 

Former House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorLeaving on a high note: Outgoing NRCC head looks to build on 2020 Overnight Defense: US sanctions NATO ally Turkey over Russian defense system | Veterans groups, top Democrats call for Wilkie's resignation | Gingrich, other Trump loyalists named to Pentagon board Gingrich, other Trump loyalists named to Pentagon advisory panel MORE and former Rep. Dave Brat will work together on GOP candidate Nick Freitas’s general election finance committee in his race to unseat Rep. Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis Spanberger'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack Chamber of Commerce slams GOP effort to challenge Biden's win Five centrist Democrats oppose Pelosi for Speaker in tight vote MORE in the commonwealth’s 7th congressional district. 

Cantor and Brat make an unexpected team. Remember, Brat, a Tea Party insurgent candidate, unseated Cantor, a longtime darling of the GOP establishment, in Virginia’s Republican primary in 2014. 

READ MORE: Eric Cantor teams up with former rival Dave Brat in supporting GOP candidate in former district, by Julia Manchester 

And with two months to go until Election Day, voters are preparing to cast their vote in person or by mail. Many undecided voters are also still in the process of deciding who they will vote for. 

But, The Hill’s Reid Wilson reports that there is a very unlikely, but possible chance House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMissouri woman seen with Pelosi sign charged in connection with Capitol riots Boebert communications director resigns amid Capitol riot: report Revising the pardon power — let the Speaker and Congress have voices MORE could win the presidency in 2020. 

Reid breaks down all of the possible scenarios here.

However, Pelosi spokesman asked to respond to the longest of long-shot scenarios, said the Speaker is confident Biden will be sworn in as president on Jan. 20.