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The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump pulls the plug on COVID-19 negotiations l What will the debates look like? l Texas becomes a battleground

The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump pulls the plug on COVID-19 negotiations l What will the debates look like? l Texas becomes a battleground
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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:

LEADING THE DAY:

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BREAKING NEWS...

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rages against '60 Minutes' for interview with Krebs Cornyn spox: Neera Tanden has 'no chance' of being confirmed as Biden's OMB pick Pa. lawmaker was informed of positive coronavirus test while meeting with Trump: report MORE on Tuesday unexpectedly pulled the plug on coronavirus stimulus negotiations until after the election. He shocked Washington by telling his top aides to stop negotiating with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiObama chief economist says Democrats should accept smaller coronavirus relief package if necessary The five biggest challenges facing President-elect Biden Democrats were united on top issues this Congress — but will it hold? MORE (D-Calif.).

The move rattled the markets, sending the stock indices spiraling downward. It comes just weeks before the election. Polls show Trump trails Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump rages against '60 Minutes' for interview with Krebs Cornyn spox: Neera Tanden has 'no chance' of being confirmed as Biden's OMB pick Five things to know about Georgia's Senate runoffs MORE badly, and surveys repeatedly find broad support for a new economic stimulus as the pandemic lockdown continues to make life difficult for ordinary workers and small businesses.

The way the negotiations ended ensures Democrats will be able to pile the blame on Trump as Biden takes control in the race for the White House and Republicans fret over their majority in the Senate.

DEBATE PREP:

While the political world is gearing up for tomorrow night’s vice presidential debate, everyone is talking about next week’s second presidential debate, which Trump’s campaign says he will attend in person.

That’s right — less than a week after testing positive for the coronavirus and less than a day after he was released from the hospital, Trump’s team says he will be in attendance at the forum in Miami.

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"The President intends to participate in the debate in person," the Trump campaign's communications director, Tim Murtaugh, said in a statement to The Hill’s Brett Samuels.

Trump also signaled he was willing to debate in a tweet earlier Tuesday but didn’t clarify whether he meant virtually or in person.

What’s noteworthy is that it’s unclear what physical condition Trump will be in next week given the unpredictability of the virus. There’s also the question of whether he’ll risk exposing others, including Biden, to the virus.

Remember, this is a virus that has killed 210,000 people so far in the U.S. But Trump has not shown any signs that he will change his behavior on the virus. Trump notably returned to the White House from the hospital on Monday night, walked up the stairs of the South Portico, and removed his mask and looked over the balcony. He was standing by a photographer, and other staffers were visible. He walked back into the building without putting on the mask.

Meanwhile, Vice President Pence and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden announces all-female White House communications team Biden to nominate Neera Tanden, Cecilia Rouse to economic team: WSJ Memo to Biden: Go big — use the moment to not only rebuild but to rebuild differently MORE (D-Calif.) appear to be at odds over safety precautions ahead of that debate slated for tomorrow night in Salt Lake City.

The Washington Post first reported on Tuesday that Pence’s team has requested that plexiglass dividers not be placed on his side of the stage.

This comes as Pence faces scrutiny for not quarantining ahead of the debate after he came in contact with a number of people in Trump’s orbit who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

POLL WATCH:

Biden has opened up solid leads over President Trump in two crucial battleground states, while the two candidates remain tied in Florida, according to a new batch of polling released on Tuesday.

A new poll out of Michigan from the Detroit News and WDIV-TV found the former vice president with a 9-point advantage over Trump. He’s currently garnering 48 percent support in the state — which Trump won narrowly in 2016 — to the president’s 39 percent. The Hill’s Zack Budryk has more on that poll here.

In Pennsylvania, Biden has opened up an even wider 12-point lead, scoring 54 percent support to Trump’s 42 percent. That’s a big change from last month, when Biden led Trump by only 5 points in the Keystone State. Biden’s post-debate surge in Pennsylvania is bad news for Trump, who won the state in 2016 by only about 44,000 votes. Jonathan has more on that poll here.

While Pennsylvania and Michigan appear to be moving further in Biden’s direction, Florida is looking as competitive as ever. A new Suffolk University-USA Today poll out on Tuesday showed the two candidates deadlocked at 45 percent each in the Sunshine State. Another 6 percent remain undecided with less than a month to go before Election Day. More on that poll here from Julia.

READ MORE:

Biden’s wide lead in post-debate polls leaves Republicans panicking, by Jonathan Easley.

LONE STAR DREAMING:

Is 2020 the year Democratic dreams of turning Texas blue finally come true?

Republican operatives we talk to in Texas are skeptical. But Trump’s national polling is collapsing, and the Biden campaign is pushing into Texas with an investment of $6 million.

That’s not a huge amount in a massive state with several expensive media markets. But there’s no doubt the investment will help down-ballot Democrats as the party seeks to pick up House seats and flip the Texas legislature.

Other groups are also getting involved, including Forward Majority, which is putting $6.2 million into flipping the state House, the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, which has launched a $1 million ad campaign aimed at suburban women, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

INTO THE FRAY:

Former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaObama: 'Hopeless' to try to sell as many books as Michelle Obama sold record-breaking 1.7 million copies of memoir in first week Media and Hollywood should stop their marching-to-Georgia talk MORE says she does not like politics. 

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But on Tuesday, she jumped in with both feet, attacking Trump as “racist” and accusing him of endangering American lives with his behavior during the pandemic. 

The 24-minute, straight-to-camera video was ostensibly meant as a “closing argument” for Biden.

But much of the video was a series of blistering attacks against Trump, who she accused of seeking to “gaslight the American people by acting like this pandemic is not a real threat.” The former first lady also accused Trump of “stoking fears about Black and brown Americans” with his “racist” rhetoric.

Watch the full video HERE.