Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: June 20-26, 2020

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

      The Cook Political Report updated its race ratings on Jun. 19:

  • Michigan moved from Toss Up to Lean Democrat.
  • Iowa moved from Likely Republican to Lean Republican.
  • Ohio moved from Likely Republican to Lean Republican.

Notable Quotes of the Week

“Could a Black woman help boost turnout among Black voters, which dipped in 2016 compared to 2012? Maybe. Some political science research shows that Black people vote at higher rates when a Black candidate is on the ballot, although that finding is somewhat contested, and that research is about voting for a Black candidate, not a white candidate with a Black running mate.

That said, basically the only thing that Abrams, Bottoms, Demings, Rice and Harris have in common is that they are Black, women, and reportedly being considered as running mates by the Biden campaign. It’s really hard to claim that both Demings and Rice — the latter of whom has never even run for elected office — would obviously generate an electoral boost, and that those boosts would be of similar size. If the goal is to pick someone with skill in appealing to Black voters in particular, Abrams would seem to be head and shoulders above the rest of these Black women. She ran for governor and nearly won in a state with a huge Black population, in an election that saw a surge in Black voter turnout that was likely the result of her campaign.”

– Perry Bacon Jr.FiveThirtyEight

“This mythology that because Trump did it once he can do it again ignores the fact that Hillary Clinton is not going to be the Democratic nominee this year, and that is quite consequential. In the late June 2016 Quinnipiac poll, 37 percent had a favorable view of Clinton and 57 percent had an unfavorable view (for a net of minus-20). …

But what about this year? In the new Quinnipiac survey, 42 percent had a favorable view of Biden, 46 percent unfavorable (minus-4). In the five polls so far this year, Biden has averaged 44 percent favorable and the same unfavorable. …

While I believe this election will be almost exclusively a referendum on Trump, Biden’s favorables compared to Clinton’s at this time four years ago argue forcefully that what was going on in 2016 is hardly the case this year. Partisans on either side can continue to believe what they want, but this time is different.”

– Charlie CookThe Cook Political Report

Week in Review

Second presidential debate moves from Michigan to Miami due to coronavirus concerns

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced on Tuesday that the second presidential debate, scheduled for Oct. 15, is moving from the University of Michigan to the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami due to concerns with the coronavirus pandemic.

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel said, “Given the scale and complexity of the work we are undertaking to help assure a safe and healthy fall for our students, faculty and staff and limited visitors — and in consideration of the public health guidelines in our state as well as advice from our own experts — we feel it is not feasible for us to safely host the presidential debate as planned.”

DNC tells delegates not to attend the 2020 Democratic National Convention

The Democratic National Committee announced on Wednesday that delegates should not attend the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee due to concerns with the coronavirus pandemic.

Joe Biden is still expected to accept the Democratic presidential nomination in-person at the event.

Biden, Obama raise $11 million in first joint virtual fundraiser

Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama raised $11 million—$7.6 million during the public portion and $3.4 million during a private event—in their first joint virtual fundraiser on Tuesday night. It was the most money the Biden campaign has raised in a single event.

Trump returns to the campaign trail, visits two battleground states

Donald Trump discussed the coronavirus pandemic, policing, race relations, and Joe Biden at his first campaign rally in months on Jun. 20 in Tulsa. An estimated 6,200 people attended the event, according to Tulsa’s fire department. The venue had capacity for 19,000. Trump campaign adviser Mercedes Schlapp said 5.3 million people watched the event online.

On Tuesday, Trump spoke in Phoenix at an event organized by Students for Trump. He also toured the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona to mark the construction of more than 200 miles of the border wall. This was Trump’s third visit to Arizona in five months.

Trump visited Wisconsin on Thursday to tour the shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine and record a town hall with Fox News host Sean Hannity.

Trump, RNC raise $74 million

Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee (RNC) raised $74 million in May, marking the first time they underperformed Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee—who previously announced they had raised $81 million in May—in monthly fundraising. Trump and the RNC have $265 million in cash on hand.

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Campaign Ad Comparison

Poll Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Every week, we highlight a presidential candidate’s key campaign staffer.

Stephanie Alexander is a Republican staffer with experience in political organizing and finance.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign
    • Battleground states director
    • Midwest regional political director
    • Oklahoma and Arkansas state director
  • 2008-2014 Mike Sanders Oklahoma House of Representatives campaigns, campaign treasurer
  • 2012 Markwayne Mullin congressional campaign, finance director

Other experience:

  • 26/7 Lifestyle Management, founding partner
  • HERA Consulting, president
  • Maverick PAC, administrative director
  • Alexander Companies, vice president
  • Capitol Insight, vice president of government relations
  • Oklahoma Federation of Young Republicans, state chairman
  • Independent contractor for political finance reporting, budgeting, and bookkeeping
  • The One Oklahoma Coalition, finance director
  • Oklahoma House of Representatives, legislative assistant
  • Oklahoma Employees Credit Union, loan officer

What We’re Reading

Flashback: June 22-26, 2016

  • June 22, 2016: Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson and his running mate, Bill Weld, participated in a televised town hall on CNN.
  • June 23, 2016: Bernie Sanders delivered a speech, titled “Where We Go From Here,” to his supporters about the future of his movement.
  • June 24, 2016: Bernie Sanders said he would vote for Hillary Clinton.
  • June 25, 2016: The Democratic Platform Drafting Committee approved a final draft of the party’s platform that included calls to raise the minimum wage to $15, abolish the death penalty, more strictly regulate Wall Street, establish a multi-millionaire surtax, and review existing trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  • June 26, 2016: Donald Trump said that former presidential rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich would not be permitted to speak at the Republican National Convention if they did not support him, The New York Times reported.  “If there’s no endorsement, then I would not invite them to speak,” he said.

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