Weekly Presidential News Briefing – July 2, 2020


Ballotpedia's Weekly Presidential News Briefing

Every weekday, Ballotpedia tracks the news, events, and results of the 2020 presidential election.

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Race ratings

Sabato’s Crystal Ball updated its race ratings on Jun. 25:

  • Florida moved from Leans Republican to Toss Up.

  • Pennsylvania moved from Toss Up to Leans Democrat.

Notable Quotes of the Week

“Biden shouldn’t worry about the campaign narrative. Or about unproven and unlikely effects on voter turnout. Or about how his pick contrasts with Donald Trump or Mike Pence. And certainly not about which potential running mate would annoy Trump the most. None of that is likely to matter during the campaign because running mates usually don’t matter. Mainly, Biden should just try to avoid disaster or harming the party.

And remember: If Biden does well, two weeks after the convention we’ll rarely think about his running mate for the rest of the campaign. No matter how strong a selection she is.”

Jonathan Bernstein, Bloomberg

“The vice presidency in 2020 is more consequential than it has ever been before. We are in a moment when the Black Lives Matter movement and demands for racial equality are at the forefront of the public discourse. Biden would be wise to seize on that and choose a woman of color for balance. He is an older white man who seems well aware of the opportunity to name a woman like Sen. Harris or Rep. Demings and give them a real shot at succeeding him as president one day.

That is the single most important role of any vice president, the ability to step into the president’s shoes.

Kate Andersen Brower, author of First in Line: Presidents, Vice Presidents, and the Pursuit of Power

Week in Review

Biden, DNC outraise Trump and RNC in June

The Joe Biden campaign and Democratic National Committee raised $141 million in June. Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee brought in $131 million over the same time period. Both campaigns had record months. This is the second consecutive month that Biden outraised Trump.

Biden veep announcement coming in early August, progressive groups call for Warren

While speaking at a campaign event in Wilmington on Tuesday, Joe Biden said he planned to announce his running mate in early August and that he could not guarantee a previously stated target date of Aug. 1.

“There are a number of women of color. There are Latino women. There are Asian. There are — across the board. And we’re just underway now in the hard vet of going into the deep background checks that take anywhere from six to eight weeks to be done,” Biden said.

Progressive Democrats of America and RootsAction.org—which together represent 1.2 million activists—published an open letter to Biden calling for him to select Sen. Elizabeth Warren as his running mate.

“Biden-Warren would represent a unity ticket, one capable of generating enthusiasm from across the Democratic Party and beyond – and defeating Donald Trump in November,” they wrote.

Trump, RNC adjust plans in response to coronavirus pandemic

The Donald Trump campaign postponed several events with Mike Pence in Texas, Arizona, and Florida this week due to concerns with the coronavirus pandemic. Pence spoke at the First Baptist Church in Dallas on Sunday.

The campaign also canceled a rally planned for next week in Alabama to support Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville.

Jacksonville, where most of the Republican National Convention is taking place, adopted a face mask requirement on Monday for public and indoor locations. Republican press secretary Mandi Merritt said, “The event is still two months away, and we are planning to offer health precautions including but not limited to temperature checks, available PPE, aggressive sanitizing protocols, and available Covid-19 testing.”

General election ad buys this week

The Donald Trump campaign made a $95 million ad buy across several battleground states—Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—starting in September for the two months leading up to the general election.

The pro-Joe Biden Priorities USA is increasing its July ad buy in Arizona by $831,000, bringing the total to over $1 million. The group said in a press release, “In recent tracking, Arizona has shown more movement than any other battleground state.”

Biden, Trump release diversity data

The Joe Biden campaign released diversity data on Saturday showing 36% of senior staff are people of color and 58% are women. The Donald Trump campaign also reported on its diversity with 25% of senior staff being people of color and 56% women.

Want more? Find the daily details here:

Campaign Ad Spotlight

The Lincoln Project

America First


Poll Spotlight

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What We’re Reading

Flashback: 2016

June 29, 2016: The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund released its first ad in the 2016 presidential race supporting Donald Trump.

June 30, 2016: The Washington Post reported that Chris Christie, Bob Corker, Newt Gingrich, Mike Pence, and Jeff Sessions were on Donald Trump’s shortlist for vice president.

July 1, 2016: In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein described her campaign as a landing spot for disaffected Bernie Sanders supporters.

July 2, 2016: Hillary Clinton participated in a voluntary interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding the private email server she used while secretary of state.