Biden, Trump respond to Supreme Court vacancy

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
September 21, 2020: Joe Biden and Donald Trump responded to the Supreme Court vacancy. Joe Biden and Donald Trump released cash-on-hand figures for September.


The Cook Political Report updated its race ratings on September 17, 2020:

  • Arizona moved from Toss Up to Leans Democratic.

Notable Quotes of the Day

“It’s easy to imagine a Supreme Court vacancy as the great interruptor, particularly to a group of journalists, analysts and politicos looking for a fall surprise. But it’s less clear exactly how it will move a significant number of voters in a different direction.

Trump is an incredibly polarizing figure. According to the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, 52 percent of national likely voters disapproved of his job performance, including 46 percent who strongly disapproved. Another 43 percent of likely voters approved of Trump’s job performance, including 33 percent who approved strongly. Opinion surrounding the president has hardened, and everything he touches becomes a partisan issue, including sports, beans and the color of baseball caps.

More qualitatively, people triggered by the Supreme Court were probably already planning to vote and had made up their minds about whom they would vote for before Ginsburg’s death. It’s unlikely there are many ‘soft’ Supreme Court voters.”

– Nathan L. GonzalesRoll Call

“While the political implications remained murky, the financial calculations are more clear.

The vacancy almost immediately amplified an already intense grab for campaign cash in the final weeks of the campaign. Supreme Court confirmation fights are often extremely lucrative fundraising opportunities for third-party super PACs and other groups that will use the money to run advertisements in battleground states.

ActBlue, which raises money for Democratic candidates, reported raising $57 million online through Saturday afternoon. The group raised $6.2 million in the first hour after the justice’s death become public, the New York Times reported, more than any other one-hour period since the group launched 16 years ago.”

– David Jackson, John Fritze, and Michael CollinsUSA Today

Election Updates

  • Joe Biden and related Democratic Party committees began September with $466 million in cash on hand. Donald Trump and his joint Republican Party committees started the month with $325 million in cash on hand.
  • On Monday, Biden is making his second Wisconsin campaign stop in two weeks in Manitowoc.
  • Biden will begin advertising on Iowa’s network television stations—as opposed to cable or digital channels—for the first time on Tuesday. The ads will focus on healthcare, COVID-19, and economic recovery.
  • Biden said Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement on the Supreme Court should not be nominated and confirmed until after the 2020 presidential election.
  • Trump said he would name a Supreme Court nominee by Saturday. He also said the nominee would be a woman and that he had narrowed the list down to five candidates.
  • Trump will make two campaign stops in Ohio on Monday: a stop in Vandalia focused on the American worker and a Great American Comeback event in Toledo.
  • Jo Jorgensen tweeted that she would not comment on the Supreme Court vacancy until Ginsburg’s family had the opportunity to mourn.

Flashback: September 21, 2016

Hillary Clinton discussed the treatment of people with disabilities during a speech in Orlando.blank

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About the author

Emily Aubert

Emily Aubert is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

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