July 17th 2020: Every Friday, Ballotpedia tracks the weekly news, events, and results of the 2020 presidential election.
Here’s the latest from the campaign trail.
Candidates by the Numbers
Sabato’s Crystal Ball updated its race ratings on July 14, 2020: Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina, and Utah moved from Safe Republican to Likely Republican.
Notable Quotes of the Day
“Like Texas, Georgia has become increasingly competitive. But Republican presidential nominees have won a majority of the statewide vote in each of the past five presidential contests, and Democrats must prove they can carry the state in a neutral presidential year, not just do well when an unpopular Republican president is in the White House.
The same goes for Texas. Are we seeing a fundamental shift in the state because of new voters and new allegiances? Or will Texas return to its Republican moorings if former Vice President Joe Biden wins the presidency, national Democrats move to the left, and more traditional Republicans once again define the party nationally and in the state? The burden is on the Democrats to prove Texas has become a swing state.
For now, all we can say is that Texas is competitive. We won’t know whether it has become a swing state until we look back on its subsequent electoral behavior. My guess is that it will take at least a few more years.”
– Stuart Rothenberg, Roll Call
“Of course, the polls could be even further off this time than four years ago. But there are also many reasons to think they could be better this time around.
Perhaps most important, many pollsters now weight their sample to properly represent voters without a college degree. The failure of many state pollsters to do so in 2016 is widely considered one of the major reasons the polls underestimated Mr. Trump’s support. Voters without a four-year college degree are far less likely to respond to telephone surveys — and far likelier to support Mr. Trump. By our estimates, weighting by education might move the typical poll by as much as four points in Mr. Trump’s direction.”
– Nate Cohn, The New York Times
Week in Review
Trump replaces Brad Parscale as campaign manager
Donald Trump replaced former campaign manager Brad Parscale with Bill Stepien on Wednesday. Stepien previously served as deputy campaign manager. He also worked as the national director for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.
Parscale will remain with the campaign as a senior advisor for digital and data operations.
Biden announces $2 trillion climate plan
Joe Biden announced his $2 trillion green infrastructure and jobs plan during an event in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday. His plan aims for carbon-free power generation by 2035. His proposal said he would rebuild infrastructure, including bridges, electricity grids, and universal broadband; create one million jobs in electric vehicle manufacturing; and subsidize replacement programs for electric cars.
Trump Victory expands field operation
Trump Victory, the joint effort between Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee (RNC), has hired 300 additional staffers for field operations in 20 target states, bringing the total number of field staffers to 1,500.
“In an election like this, where it’s going to come down to a few thousand votes in a couple of states, that’s when your ground game matters,” said RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel.
Hawkins wins the Green Party presidential nomination
Howie Hawkins won the Green Party presidential nomination at the virtual Green National Convention on July 11. Hawkins was the Green Party nominee for governor of New York in 2010, 2014, and 2018. His running mate is Angela Walker.
Facebook considers banning political ads
Facebook is considering banning political advertisements in the days before the November 3 general election, according to Bloomberg. “A halt on ads could defend against misleading election-related content spreading as people prepare to vote. Still, there are concerns that an ad blackout may hurt ‘get out the vote’ campaigns, or limit a candidate’s ability to respond widely to breaking news or new information,” Bloomberg reported.
Kanye West on the ballot in Oklahoma
Want more? Find the daily details here:
- Ballotpedia’s Daily Presidential News Briefing – July 16, 2020
- Ballotpedia’s Daily Presidential News Briefing – July 15, 2020
- Ballotpedia’s Daily Presidential News Briefing – July 14, 2020
- Ballotpedia’s Daily Presidential News Briefing – July 13, 2020
Campaign Ad Spotlight
What We’re Reading
- Brookings Institution: Are American elections pandemic-proof? A state-by-state scorecard
- McClatchy DC: Democrats have spent six times more on TV ads in key Midwest states compared to 2016
- New York Magazine: Can Trump Make the Supreme Court a Campaign Issue Again?
- USA Today: Polls show Trump is losing to Joe Biden. They said the same thing 4 years ago against Hillary Clinton
- The Washington Post: Biden’s vision comes into view, and it’s much more liberal than it was
Flashback: July 13-16, 2016
- July 13, 2016: House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post arguing that Hillary Clinton should be denied access to national security briefings.
- July 14, 2016: The Clinton campaign released an ad, “Role Models,” featuring children watching clips of Donald Trump making controversial statements.
- July 15, 2016: Hillary Clinton met with three potential running mates: Julián Castro, John Hickenlooper, and Elizabeth Warren.
- July 16, 2016: Donald Trump announced Mike Pence as his running mate during a press conference in Manhattan.