The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump faces backlash after not committing to peaceful transition of power

The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump faces backlash after not committing to peaceful transition of power
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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:




Washington is on edge after President TrumpDonald John TrumpHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: 'I love you back' Police called after Florida moms refuse to wear face masks at school board meeting about mask policy Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to shorten North Carolina mail-ballot deadline MORE declined to commit to a peaceful transition of power in the event that he loses his reelection bid. 

The comments drew criticism from Democrats and Republicans, arguing that a peaceful transition of power has been a hallmark of democracy in the U.S. 

Progressive Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOcasio-Cortez says she doesn't plan on 'staying in the House forever' What a Biden administration should look like Ocasio-Cortez: 'Trump is the racist visionary, but McConnell gets the job done' MORE (I-Vt.) is the latest lawmaker to push back on Trump’s remarks, saying in an address from George Washington University that November’s election would be a contest between Trump and democracy, itself.

He even quoted conservative icon and former President Ronald Reagan, citing his promise to protect “orderly transfer of authority." 

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, Senate and House Republicans were on cleanup duty after Trump’s remarks. 


"The winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th. There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell: Battle for Senate 'a 50-50 proposition' 'Packing' federal courts is already a serious problem What a Biden administration should look like MORE (R-Ky.) said in a tweet.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was left to answer for the president’s remarks in the press briefing on Thursday, where she said that Trump will accept the results of a “free and fair election.” 

But the most dramatic images of the day came from the steps of the Supreme Court, where Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: One week from Election Day | Biden looks to expand map | Trump trails narrowly in Florida, Arizona Melania Trump focuses on coronavirus in return to campaign trail Watch live: Melania Trump holds MAGA event MORE were booed while they paid their respects to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgPence seeks to lift GOP in battle for Senate 'Packing' federal courts is already a serious problem McConnell and Schumer's relationship shredded after court brawl MORE

As the pair stood silent and solemnly besides the casket, boos and chants of “vote him out” and “honor her wish,” referring to Ginsburg reportedly telling her granddaughter that her final wish was for the next president to fill her vacancy. 

Trump called it a “political chant” and said he could barely hear it. 

Speaking of the Supreme Court… don’t expect the news cycle to die down anytime soon. Trump is expected to announce his nominee to replace Ginsburg on Saturday. 


A flurry of new polls have come out today. We’ll help you try to make sense of these:

National: A new Yahoo News/YouGov poll finds Biden leading by 5 points nationally, down from a 10-point margin only two weeks ago. That’s obviously very good news for Trump, although we’ll need to see a few more of these before we call it a trend. Biden leads by 7 points nationally in the RealClearPolitics average, and it would be almost impossible for Trump to lose the popular vote by that margin and still win the Electoral College.

States Trump must win: New surveys show Biden running strong in states Trump won easily in 2016, which is alarming news for Republicans. A new Quinnipiac University survey finds the race is deadlocked in Ohio, which Trump won by 9 points in 2016. The poll found Trump leading by 5 points in Texas, while a New York Times-Siena College poll put Trump’s advantage at 3 points in the Lone Star State. In Iowa, which Trump won by 8 points in 2016, the New York Times poll found Biden ahead by 3 points, although Monmouth University found Trump ahead by 6 points in the Hawkeye State. The New York Times-Siena College poll found the candidates tied in Georgia, which hasn’t gone for the Democratic nominee since 1992.

Core battlegrounds: A new Franklin & Marshall survey of Pennsylvania put Biden’s lead at 9 points among all registered voters, up from 7 points last month. The race tightens to a 6-point Biden advantage among likely voters. New surveys from the University of Wisconsin-Madison find Biden leading in Michigan (+8), Pennsylvania (+5) and Wisconsin (+5) among registered voters.

The bottom line: Biden has a wide path to victory but tightening polls in Florida and Arizona are something watch. The Democratic nominee has had a stable lead for months nationally and in the former “blue wall” states. Biden is competitive in traditionally red states, like Texas and Georgia, and in states Trump won easily in 2016, such as Iowa and Ohio. Trump badly needs to win Florida, Arizona and North Carolina, where polls show the race getting closer. But Biden still looks like the favorite in Arizona. Florida and North Carolina look like tossups.



A major trade group representing credit unions is launching a $7 million dollar spending campaign in support of congressional candidates on both sides of the aisle. The beneficiaries, according to The Hill’s Alex Gangitano, are Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGideon holds 3-point lead over Collins in new poll The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - One week out, where the Trump, Biden race stands The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Justice Barrett joins court; one week until Election Day MORE (R-Maine), Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesDemocrat trails by 3 points in Montana Senate race: poll Poll shows statistical tie in Montana Senate race Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid MORE (R-Mont.), Gary PetersGary Charles PetersBiden leads Trump by 7 in Michigan: poll The Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 spending wars | Biden looks to clean up oil comments | Debate ratings are in Jaime Harrison raises million in two weeks for South Carolina Senate bid MORE (D-Mich.) and Tina SmithTina Flint SmithGOP sees path to hold Senate majority Minnesota Senate candidate Jason Lewis discharged from hospital The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Justice Barrett joins court; one week until Election Day MORE (D-Minn.).

Meanwhile, another vulnerable GOP senator, Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamLate donor surges push election spending projections to new heights Pence seeks to lift GOP in battle for Senate Wall Street backed Biden campaign with million in 2020 cycle: report MORE (S.C.), is sounding the alarm about his opponent’s fundraising. 

“I'm being killed financially,” Graham said on Fox News Channel. “This money is because they hate my guts.”

Democrat Jaime Harrison has raised $28 million as of the last Federal Election Commission filings in June, compared to $29 million for Graham. But the money has been rolling in for the Democrat, who says he raised $6 million in the 72 hours after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.