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Inslee suspends presidential campaign


Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

August 22, 2019: Jay Inslee suspended his presidential campaign Wednesday night. Joe Walsh is considering entering the Republican primary this weekend.

Poll Highlights 

Daily Presidential News Briefing - Poll One (August 16-19, 2019)

Daily Presidential News Briefing - Poll Two (August 14-16, 2019)

Notable Quotes of the Day

“If our economic growth falters, the president will blame the Federal Reserve Board for its bungling of interest rates, and he’ll claim that he bravely jeopardized his reelection bid by taking on the Chinese – something that had to be done. He will be right on both counts and he will be forgiven by his supporters.”

– Liz Peek, Fox News

“A recession between now and the 2020 election would likely put a dagger in the heart of President Trump’s reelection chances. The president has argued that the currently low unemployment and high stock prices are the product of his economic policies. If unemployment rises and stock prices fall, as they would in a recession, it is hard to see how he won’t own these failures in the minds of voters.

Not that he won’t try to pin the economy’s problems on others, most notably the Federal Reserve and the conduct of monetary policy, but I doubt most voters will be duped.”

– Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics


  • ABC News announced the details of its upcoming presidential primary debate on September 12-13, 2019. George Stephonapolus, David Muir, Jorge Ramos, and Linsey Davis will moderate the debate. If more than 10 candidates qualify, a selection event will be held on Aug. 29 and the candidates will be randomly distributed across both nights. Texas Southern University will host the event.

  • Michael Bennet proposed spending $500 billion over a decade on apprenticeship and skills training programs for workers without college degrees.

  • Joe Biden posted a new digital ad about the Trump administration’s gun regulation policy, which ends with the written text, “Joe Biden has beat the NRA twice. And will do it again.” 

  • Cory Booker discussed trans issues and his nonbinary relative in an interview with the National Center for Transgender Equality Action Fund. He also traveled to Los Angeles Wednesday for a grassroots fundraising event. 

  • Steve Bullock attended the Jeremy Bullock Safe Schools Summit Tuesday and spoke about gun safety Wednesday on MSNBC.

  • Pete Buttigieg is campaigning Thursday in Portland, Maine.

  • Julián Castro proposed doubling investment in wind power, spending $10 billion annually in renewable technology export promotion, and creating a $200 billion fund to invest in climate infrastructure.

  • Kamala Harris will attend a fundraiser in Los Angeles Thursday. She also expanded her California staff, bringing on seven new hires.

  • Jay Inslee suspended his presidential campaign Wednesday night, making the announcement on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show.

  • Amy Klobuchar will be in the Twin Cities for the opening day of the Minnesota State Fair Thursday.

  • Beto O’Rourke toured the Veterans Community Project, a village of tiny houses for homeless veterans in Kansas City, Wednesday.

  • Bernie Sanders released a union policy proposal that would end “right to work” laws and ban the replacement of striking workers.

  • Elizabeth Warren held a town hall in Los Angeles Wednesday.

  • Marianne Williamson discussed her faith and previous statements about illness and disease and how spirituality informs the political climate on The Argument, a podcast from The New York Times.


  • In an interview on Hacks on Tap, Anthony Scaramucci said he was forming a super PAC to air ads targeting Donald Trump.

On the Cusp: Tracking Potential Candidates

  • Conservative radio show host and former Rep. Joe Walsh is considering entering the Republican primary and could make an announcement as early as this weekend.

Flashback: August 22, 2015

The Kentucky Republican Party approved holding a presidential caucus rather than primary, which would allow Rand Paul to simultaneously run for president and U.S. Senate.blank


Trump campaigns for Bevin in Kentucky gubernatorial race

Last night, President Donald Trump (R) headlined a fundraiser in Louisville for Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s (R) re-election campaign. He also spoke at the American Veterans convention earlier in the day, where he told an audience, “We’ll get [Bevin and Sen. Mitch McConnell] both back in.”
Bevin, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear (D), and John Hicks (L) are running in the the state’s gubernatorial general election on November 5. The race will decide the state’s trifecta status until at least the 2020 state legislative elections. If Bevin wins, Republicans will maintain their trifecta control of the state, while a Beshear or Hicks victory would result in neither party having trifecta control.
A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. As of August 2019, there were 22 Republican trifectas, 14 Democratic trifectas, and 14 divided governments where neither party holds trifecta control.

St. Petersburg City Council primary scheduled for August 27

The city of St. Petersburg, Florida, is holding nonpartisan primaries on August 27 for Districts 3, 5, and 7 on the city council. The general election is scheduled for November 5, 2019. The candidate filing deadline passed on June 21, 2019.
District 3 incumbent Ed Montanari faces challenges from Orlando A. Acosta and Zachary James Collins. District 7 incumbent Lisa Wheeler-Bowman is running for re-election against Eritha Brandis Cainion, Chico Cromartie, and Sarah Elizabeth Moore.
District 1 incumbent Charlie Gerdes and District 5 incumbent Steve Kornell are both unable to run for re-election due to term limits. The District 1 race will not appear on the primary ballot. The two candidates who filed, Robert Blackmon and John Hornbeck, will both advance directly to the general election on November 5. In District 5, six candidates are competing for the open seat in the August 27 primary.
The St. Petersburg City Council is made up of eight members, each of whom is elected by one of the city’s eight districts. Council members serve four-year terms. St. Petersburg is the fifth-largest city in Florida and the 77th-largest city in the U.S. by population.

Castro becomes 10th candidate to qualify for September and October presidential primary debates, Steyer and Gabbard on the bubble

Julián Castro became the 10th candidate to qualify for the September and October presidential primary debates Tuesday.
Unlike the first two debates this summer, candidates must reach both a grassroots fundraising threshold and a polling threshold. They need 130,000 unique contributors with 400 unique donors per state in at least 20 states. Candidates also need to receive 2 percent support or more in four national or early state polls—Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and/or Nevada—publicly released between June 28, 2019, and August 28, 2019.
In addition to Castro, the following nine candidates have reached both thresholds: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang.
Four candidates have crossed the fundraising bar only: Jay Inslee, Tulsi Gabbard, Tom Steyer, and Marianne Williamson. To make the stage, Steyer needs one more qualifying poll and Gabbard two. Neither Inslee nor Williamson has a single qualifying polling.
The next debate is scheduled on September 12-13, 2019, in Houston, Texas. Candidates have one more week to qualify.

Early voting begins in NC-09 special election

A special election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District will be held on September 10, 2019, and early voting began Wednesday. Voters will be able to cast early ballots until September 6.
The state board of elections called a new election following allegations of absentee ballot fraud in the 2018 race. Dan Bishop (R), Dan McCready (D), Jeff Scott (L), and Allen Smith (G) are running for the U.S. House seat. Unofficial returns from the 2018 election showed Mark Harris (R) leading McCready, who was also the Democratic candidate in 2018, by 905 votes.
Bishop describes himself as a pro-life, pro-gun, pro-wall conservative. He says McCready would fall in line with Democrats in Congress such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Ilhan Omar, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who Bishop calls radical socialists. McCready says he’d seek bipartisan legislation on healthcare, education, and taxes in the House. He emphasizes his plan to lower prescription drug prices while criticizing Bishop’s voting record on the issue.
The race has seen satellite spending from a number of groups, including the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). The NRCC has released three ads opposing McCready; the group had reserved $2.6 million in airtime as of July 31. The DCCC spent $626,000 on an ad opposing Bishop that began airing August 16. The group also announced spending more than $2 million on nonadvertising efforts, such as increasing voter turnout among African Americans and members of the Lumbee tribe in the district.
Other groups spending and advertising in the district include Club for Growth, Congressional Leadership Fund, Environmental Defense Fund, and House Majority Forward.

Early voting begins in NC-03 special election

The special election for North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District will be held on September 10, 2019. Early voting began on Wednesday, August 21, and will continue through September 6. The district’s former incumbent, Rep. Walter Jones (R), died earlier this year. Greg Murphy (R), Allen Thomas (D), Tim Harris (L), and Greg Holt (Constitution Party) are running for the seat.
Murphy, who defeated Joan Perry in the Republican primary runoff on July 9, has campaigned on his support of President Donald Trump (R) and has described himself as a consistent conservative. He has highlighted his work as a doctor and state legislator.
Thomas won the April 30 Democratic primary and has emphasized economic development, small-town revitalization, and improving access to healthcare.
The 2017 Cook Partisan Voter Index for this district was R+12, meaning that in the previous two presidential elections, this district’s results were 12 percentage points more Republican than the national average. This made North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District the 108th-most Republican nationally.

RNC outraises DNC by more than two-to-one for a fourth month, DSCC outraises NRSC for first time this year

The Republican National Committee (RNC) outraised its Democratic counterpart by more than two-to-one for the fourth consecutive month in July. At the same time, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) outraised its Republican counterpart for the first time this year, according to campaign finance reports filed with the FEC.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raised $4.8 million and spent $2.6 million, while the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) raised $4.3 million and spent $5.2 million. This is the first time the DSCC has outraised the NRSC during the 2020 cycle. So far in the 2020 cycle, the NRSC has raised 16.6% more than the DSCC ($38.9 million to $33.0 million). The NRSC’s fundraising advantage narrowed since the last campaign finance reports when it had raised 20.5% more.
On the House side, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raised $7.3 million and spent $4.0 million last month, while the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) raised $4.1 million and spent $5.4 million. So far in the 2020 cycle, the DCCC has raised 34.6% more than the NRCC ($69.0 million to $48.6 million). The DCCC’s fundraising advantage has widened since the last campaign finance reports, when it had raised 32.3% more.
At this point in the 2018 campaign cycle, Democrats led in both Senate and House fundraising, although they had a smaller advantage in House fundraising than this cycle. The DSCC had raised 7.2% more than the NRSC ($32.2 million to $30.0 million), while the DCCC had raised 3.6% more than the NRCC ($66.2 million to $63.9 million).
The Republican National Committee (RNC) raised $20.8 million last month and spent $17.7 million while the Democratic National Committee (DNC) raised $7.7 million and spent $7.9 million. The RNC’s fundraising figure is its largest this year. So far in the 2020 cycle, the RNC has raised 80.0% more than the DNC ($117.9 million to $50.5 million). The RNC’s fundraising advantage has widened relative to the last fundraising reports, when it had raised 77.5% more.
At this point in the 2016 campaign cycle (the most recent presidential election cycle) the RNC had a smaller 53.5% fundraising advantage over the DNC ($63.1 million to $36.5 million).
So far in the 2020 cycle, the RNC, NRSC, and NRCC have raised 29.6% more than the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC ($205.5 million to $152.5 million).

Ninth Circuit panel limits nationwide injunction of Trump administration immigration rule

On August 16, a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that a federal district court went too far when it granted a nationwide injunction against a new federal immigration rule.
What happened?
The Ninth Circuit upheld the injunction, which blocks enforcement of a rule, within the bounds of the Ninth Circuit (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) but held that the nationwide scope of the injunction was not supported by the record. The panel said that the district court did not explain why it believed a nationwide injunction was necessary in this case.
How did we get here?
On July 24, 2019, Judge Jon Tigar, on United States District Court for the Northern District of California, issued a nationwide injunction to block a Trump administration rule while court challenges to the rule move forward.
The interim final rule, issued by the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on July 16, aims to deny asylum to people who travel through another country and fail to file for asylum there before applying in the United States.
The agencies argued that immigration enforcement challenges on the southern border allowed them to issue the new asylum rule under the Administrative Procedure Act’s (APA) good cause exception to notice-and-comment procedures. The good cause exception allows agencies to issue rules without waiting for public comment if those procedures would be “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” The agencies also argued that they could skip notice-and-comment procedures because the rule involved a “foreign affairs function of the United States” and procedural delay could have negative international consequences.
Judge Tigar argued that the agencies did not show that a public comment period would have undesirable international consequences and that the rule fails the arbitrary-or-capricious test. Under that test, judges invalidate rules that are an abuse of discretion or not in accordance with law.
What happens next?
The Ninth Circuit panel asked the district court to reconsider the reasons supporting a nationwide injunction and scheduled future arguments in the case for December 2019.

Warren calls for repeal of 1994 crime law in new criminal justice proposal


Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

August 21, 2019: Elizabeth Warren released her criminal justice platform. Donald Trump is headlining a fundraiser for Matt Bevin’s gubernatorial reelection campaign in Kentucky.

 Facebook Ad Spending (August 12-18)

Notable Quote of the Day

“The majority of 2020 Democratic candidates are spending most of their time on traditional television and radio interviews. Candidates like former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) already have political clout and don’t have trouble getting interviews on The View or Meet the Press.

But for lesser-known candidates, fringe media can be a powerful boost. Andrew Yang’s first major interview came on Joe Rogan’s podcast last February. The Joe Rogan Experience’s channel has over 6 million subscribers, and Yang’s episode surpassed a million views only a few days after it was uploaded to YouTube. After that, Yang’s political profile skyrocketed. In a blog post after the show went up, Yang said the campaign received ‘thousands of new supporters’ and ‘tens of thousands in new donations’ in the wake of the appearance.

‘One friend of mine joked that there will be a ‘“BR (Before Rogan)” and “AR (After Rogan)” phase of the campaign,’ Yang wrote. ‘He’s likely right.’”

– Makena Kelly, The Verge




Flashback: August 21, 2015

Donald Trump held a rally in Mobile, Alabama, attended by an estimated 20,000 people.


Three Idaho school board members up for recall on August 27

In Idaho, a recall election that could remove Tim Winkle, Alicia McConkie, and Marianne Blackwell from their positions on the Middleton School District board of trustees is scheduled for August 27.
The recall effort against Winkle and McConkie began after they voted to accept the superintendent’s personnel recommendations at a board meeting on May 6, 2019. Recall supporters objected to the superintendent’s recommendation since it did not renew the contract of Middleton High School’s principal, Ben Merrill. Board member Kirk Adams was also targeted for recall at that time, but his petition was rejected by the county because he had not served in office long enough to be recalled.
The separate recall petition against Blackwell was certified for the ballot on June 14. The recall petition against her said she “set an unprofessional and unacceptable precedent for school board trustees” and violated the board’s code of ethics. Blackwell was the only board member to vote against not renewing Merrill’s contract.
Winkle said that because the decision to not renew Merrill’s contract was a personnel matter, the board was limited in what they could share with the public. McConkie said she has served the best she could for the last two years and felt she was being targeted for recall over a single decision. Blackwell did not respond to the recall effort against her.
In order for the board members to be removed from office in the recall election, a majority of voters must vote in favor of the recall. The number of voters who cast ballots in favor of the recall must also be higher than the total number of people who voted for the officeholders when they were last up for election.
In 2018, Ballotpedia covered a total of 206 recall efforts against 299 elected officials. Of the 123 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 77 were recalled for a rate of 62.6 percent. That was higher than the 56.9 percent rate and 56.3 percent rate for 2017 and 2016 recalls, respectively.