Castro releases ad directed at Trump

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

August 14, 2019: Julián Castro released an ad criticizing Donald Trump. John Hickenlooper is considering a Senate run, according to a New York Times report.


Notable Quote of the Day

“The repeated and direct attention to swing-state cities [Detroit, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee] at this early stage in the primary reflects a growing urgency to address the failures of the 2016 Democratic campaign, as well as the belief that Mr. Trump could win again if the party focuses on appealing to white, blue-collar swing voters in the Rust Belt, and makes less frequent overtures to core constituencies like people of color and young people.”

– Nick Corasaniti, The New York Times


  • Michael Bennet released a new book called Dividing America that details Russia’s disinformation campaign during the 2016 election.

  • Bill de Blasio appeared on Fox Business’ Bulls & Bears to promote his plan to make the top tax rate on the richest one percent approximately 70 percent.

  • Steve Bullock criticized the fundraising threshold for the third and fourth debate after Tom Steyer met the threshold following large online ad campaigns. “We’re kidding ourselves if we’re calling a $10 million purchase of 130,000 donors a demonstration of grassroots support,” he said.

  • Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders addressed union members at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades annual convention in Las Vegas.

  • Julián Castro purchased airtime during Fox & Friends to air a new ad directed at Trump, criticizing his rhetoric about immigrants.

  • In an interview on Fox News, John Delaney said Democrats needed “someone who can actually capture the center” to be able to defeat Trump.

  • Kirsten Gillibrand signed on to an amicus brief in a Supreme Court case involving restrictions on gun transportation.

  • The New York Times reported that John Hickenlooper was considering dropping his presidential bid to run for U.S. Senate in Colorado.

  • Jay Inslee launched his first Donor Dash, seeking as many donors as possible in 48 hours.

  • Tim Ryan discussed gun safety legislation in an interview on CNN’s New Day.

  • Joe Sestak wrote an op-ed in the Daily Caller about this presidential campaign.

  • Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs endorsed Elizabeth Warren.

  • Marianne Williamson discussed morality in politics and her previous statements about antidepressants on Late Night with Seth Meyers


  • Donald Trump said he was delaying a portion of the tariffs on Chinese imports until Dec. 15 to prevent any negative effect on holiday sales.

On the Cusp: Tracking Potential Candidates

  • Stacey Abrams announced that she would not run for president, focusing instead on combating voter suppression. 

Special Guest Analysis

Jim Ellis is a 35-year political veteran who now analyzes election data for major corporations, associations, and legislative advocacy firms. He is president of EllisInsight, LLC. We invited him to share analysis on the state of Texas in the 2020 election.

Since late July, Republican House members have been announcing their retirements in rapid-fire succession. Though the number of open seats has recently increased by 60%, we still see an aggregate of only 14 retirements and 2 vacancies. This pales in comparison to the open seat number from the four past election cycles during this present decade, all falling between 47 and 64, inclusive.

Though the total open seat count is low, the partisan division within this sector is extremely lopsided. Eleven districts are Republican-held.

Of the 11 Republican open seats, six appear competitive or highly competitive. Included in this group are three of the four Texas open seats, the ones concentrated in the Houston (TX-22), San Antonio/El Paso (TX-23), and Dallas (TX-24) metro areas. Of the three Democratic openings, only one, the southeastern district of Iowa (IA-2), could conceivably be contested. All of the regular election open seats, however, will host highly competitive partisan primary elections.

The media argument comes to the forefront that the Texas seats are particularly vulnerable because the state is changing, and the new demographics clearly favor the Democrats. While true to a degree, it must be remembered that all four of the Lone Star State open seats still elected a Republican even within the “blue wave” election, and it’s clear that the GOP will still field energetic candidates capable of winning in all districts.  

Furthermore, the eventual Democratic presidential nominee calling for the elimination of the fossil fuels industry in ten years cuts to the heart of the Texas economy, a message that should prove devastating for the party’s congressional candidates in such an energy-dependent state.

While the latest retirement trend doesn’t make re-claiming the House majority any easier for the Republican challengers, the development doesn’t in and of itself necessarily preclude such an outcome, either.

Flashback: August 14, 2015

Eighteen presidential candidates were set to visit the 11-day 2015 Iowa State Fair.