2020 candidates respond to El Paso, Ohio mass shootings

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

August 5, 2019: The 2020 presidential candidates respond to mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Tulsi Gabbard crossed the fundraising threshold for the third Democratic debate in September.

There are eight new candidates running since last week, including two Democrats and two Republicans. In total, 807 individuals are currently filed with the FEC to run for president.

Notable Quote of the Day

“Under the traditional model for American presidential politics, winning candidates veer left (or right for the Republicans) in the primaries and then scamper back towards the center for the general election. So the real question is whether the leading Democrats have already staked out positions that would prevent the eventual nominee from modulating his or her tone in the fall of 2020.”

– Walter Shapiro, The Guardian


  • The 2020 Democratic candidates responded to the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, in formal statements, interviews, and tweets. Candidates focused on Trump’s rhetoric on immigrants, congressional inaction, and gun violence policies.
  • Joe BidenKamala HarrisAmy Klobuchar, and Bernie Sanders will speak on Latino issues at the UnidosUS Annual Conference in San Diego on Monday.
  • Michael Bennet campaigned across northern Nevada in Carson City, Reno, and Sparks on Sunday.
  • Biden’s affiliated PAC, American Possibilities, will shut down in the coming months.
  • While campaigning in Los Angeles, Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks interviewedBill de Blasio about campaign finance and the mass shootings.
  • Pete Buttigieg‘s New Hampshire state director, Michael Ceraso, departed from the campaign.
  • John Delaney began a six-day swing through Iowa Sunday.
  • Tulsi Gabbard crossed the donor threshold of 130,000 unique contributors for the third Democratic presidential primary debate in September. She has not yet passed the polling threshold.
  • Kirsten Gillibrand introduced the Funding Attorneys for Indigent Removal (FAIR) Proceedings Act Friday, which would guarantee legal counsel for children, victims of abuse or violence, and those at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • Beto O’Rourke canceled campaign events Saturday through Monday to return to his hometown in El Paso, Texas, following a mass shooting.
  • Tim Ryan campaigned in Iowa, hosting events in Nevada, Indianola, Atlantic, and Council Bluffs.
  • Joe Sestak held a coffee with the candidate campaign event in Iowa Saturday.
  • More than 41 percent of donors who contributed to more than one presidential candidate through the ActBlue platform donated to Elizabeth Warren—the highest percentage of any candidate—according to a BuzzFeed analysis.
  • Marianne Williamson discussed mental health treatment, electability, and her spiritual beliefs on Real Time with Bill Maher Friday.
  • Andrew Yang called for a new federal domestic terrorism statute that would better allow law enforcement the resources to investigate domestic terrorism cases.


  • Katrina Pierson will lead the African Americans for Donald Trump coalition set to launch after Labor Day.
  • Trump called the weekend’s mass shootings part of a “mental illness problem” Sunday. Monday morning, Trump tweeted, “Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform.”
  • The Nevada Republican Party will vote Sept. 7 whether to cancel the state primary. If approved, caucuses will still be held to choose delegates.

On the Cusp: Tracking Potential Candidates

  • Attorney Michael Avenatti said he is again considering running in the Democratic presidential primary. “The Dems need a non-traditional fighter. They have a lot of talent but not a lot of fighters,” he said, adding that there was a 50/50 chance he would enter the race.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: August 5, 2015

The Hillary Clinton campaign made a $2 million ad buy in New Hampshire and Iowa focused on Clinton’s biography.