Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: June 6-12, 2020

Ballotpedia's Weekly Presidential News Briefing
Every weekday, Ballotpedia tracks the news, events, and results of the 2020 presidential election.        

Notable Quotes of the Week

“The registration of new voters dropped dramatically in the U.S. amid the coronavirus pandemic, challenging efforts of both major political parties to enlist new supporters in battleground states ahead of the 2020 election.

The number of new voters registered across 11 states in April 2020 decreased by 70% compared with April 2016, according to a report from the nonpartisan Center for Election Innovation & Research released Thursday. …

‘This is not something that’s Democratic or Republican,’ [David] Becker said. ‘Both sides rely on the months leading up to a presidential election to engage with potential new voters and get them registered and hopefully voting. And it’s really hard to engage with a voter if you can’t get them registered.’”

– Joey GarrisonUSA Today

“For some Democrats, the choice [of vice president] is about strategy — and the realization that Democrats need to have high turnout among a diverse group of voters to win the presidency in November. They believe a black woman will boost turnout among black voters. For others, the decision is about policy — and the belief that a black candidate will have a better understanding of structural racism and push Joe Biden further left on issues of racial justice and police reform, while also giving him credibility with some Democratic voters who might doubt his convictions. And, yet for others, this demand is about loyalty — black women, they point out, have been the most consistent voting bloc of the Democratic base, they saved Biden’s campaign in South Carolina, and yet they’re never the candidates chosen for the number one or number two spot. The focus on choosing a candidate of color, specifically a black woman, as the vice president comes despite the fact that a historically diverse field of presidential candidates this cycle resulted in a final contest between two white men in their 70s.”

– Asma KhalidNPR

Week in Review

Jacksonville named host city for Republican National Convention main event

The Republican National Committee (RNC) announced on Thursday that Donald Trump will accept the party’s nomination in Jacksonville, splitting the national convention between Florida and its original location in Charlotte, North Carolina. The first day of the convention will take place in Charlotte, while the following three days will be moved to Jacksonville. Trump’s acceptance speech will take place at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, which has a 15,000-person capacity.

The RNC also voted to reduce the number of in-person delegates in Charlotte from 2,500 to 336. The Hill reported that the party’s 2016 platform will be adopted again since the Platform Committee is not meeting.

Biden, Trump oppose defunding police

In response to the movement to defund the police, Joe Biden said in an interview on CBS on Monday, “No, I don‘t support defunding the police. … I support conditioning federal aid to police based on whether or not they meet certain basic standards of decency and honorableness and, in fact, are able to demonstrate they can protect the community and everybody in the community.”

Biden again discussed law enforcement funding in an op-ed in USA Today on Wednesday. He proposed increasing funding by $300 million to improve community policing programs, adopt a national use of force standard, purchase body cameras, and recruit a more diverse force.

During a roundtable discussion with law enforcement representatives on Monday. Donald Trump said, “There won’t be defunding, there won’t be dismantling of our police and there is not going to be any disbanding of our police. … There’s a reason for less crime, it’s because we have great law enforcement. I’m very proud of them.”

Trump will resume rallies next week

Donald Trump announced that he will hold his first rally since the coronavirus pandemic began in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Jun. 19. He said additional events were planned in Florida, Texas, and Arizona. Attendees will be required to sign a waiver that says they cannot hold the Trump campaign or venue liable if they contract COVID-19.

Biden crosses delegate threshold

The Associated Press reported on June 5 that Joe Biden had crossed the delegate threshold—1,991 delegates—necessary to win the Democratic presidential nomination following the June 2 primaries. Biden wrote, “It was an honor to compete alongside one of the most talented groups of candidates the Democratic party has ever fielded — and I am proud to say that we are going into this general election a united party.”

Colin Powell endorses Biden

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell (R), who served in George W. Bush’s (R) administration, endorsed Joe Biden on Sunday. He also supported Democratic candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2008, 2012, and 2016.

Donald Trump responded, “Colin Powell, a real stiff who was very responsible for getting us into the disastrous Middle East Wars, just announced he will be voting for another stiff, Sleepy Joe Biden. Didn’t Powell say that Iraq had ‘weapons of mass destruction?’ They didn’t, but off we went to WAR!”

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Poll Spotlight

Daily Presidential News Briefing campaign ad comparison feature, 2020

Staff Spotlight

Jason Miller is a Republican staffer with experience in communications. Miller graduated from The George Washington University with a B.A. in political science.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign, senior communications advisor
  • 2016 Ted Cruz presidential campaign, senior communications advisor and digital consultant
  • 2015 Matt Bevin gubernatorial campaign, consultant
  • 2014 Darrell Issa congressional campaign, consultant
  • 2013 Mark Sanford congressional campaign, consultant
  • 2012 Richard Mourdock senatorial campaign, consultant
  • 2008 Rudy Giuliani presidential campaign, national deputy communications director
  • 2006 Mark Sanford gubernatorial campaign, campaign manager

Other experience:

  • SHW Partners LLC, principal
  • CNN, commentator
  • Teneo Strategy, managing director
  • Trump transition team, communications director
  • Jamestown Associates, partner and executive vice president
  • Dezenhall Resources, executive

What he says about Trump: “Every president who has faced a global crisis — whether it be a kinetic war or a viral war or even an economic war — has become the face of that crisis, whether they like it or not, and I think it’s smart for President Trump to realize that his presidency will ultimately be defined by the successful recovery from coronavirus.”

What We’re Reading

Flashback: June 8-12, 2016

  • June 8, 2016: Following primaries in California and five other states, the Associated Press reported Hillary Clinton had won a majority of pledged delegates.
  • June 9, 2016: President Barack Obama endorsed Hillary Clinton.
  • June 10, 2016: Trump spoke at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference in Washington, D.C. He said, “Here is some of what we can accomplish together: appoint judges, so important, so important…who will uphold our laws, protect our Constitution and protect the rights of all Americans.”
  • June 11, 2016: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) called on Democrats to sign a petition to end the party’s use of superdelegates.
  • June 12, 2016: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton responded to the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. It was then the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

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