Tag2020 presidential coverage

Nine presidential candidates are each on more than 10 state ballots

Thirty-six presidential candidates are appearing on at least one ballot across the 50 states and Washington, D.C., on November 3, 2020. This is more than the 31 presidential candidates who also appeared on at least one ballot in 2016.

Three candidates are appearing on the ballot in all 51 jurisdictions:
• Former Vice President Joe Biden (D)
• Jo Jorgensen (L)
• President Donald Trump (R)

Green Party presidential nominee Howie Hawkins is on the ballot in 30 states.

Five other candidates are on the ballot in more than 10 states:
• Don Blankenship (Constitution), 18 ballots
• Brock Pierce (Independent), 16 ballots
• Gloria La Riva (Party for Socialism and Liberation), 15 ballots
• Roque De La Fuente (Alliance), 15 ballots
• Kanye West (Independent), 12 ballots

There are 21 candidates on the ballot each in Vermont and Colorado. The next largest presidential ballots are Arkansas and Louisiana with 13 candidates each. Twelve states have only three candidates on the ballot.

In 2016, Colorado had the most candidates on the ballot: 22. Louisiana followed with 13 candidates.

Excluding unaffiliated, independent, and nonpartisan candidates, there were 37 parties represented on the ballot in 2016 and 36 represented in 2020.

Weekly Presidential News Briefing: October 9th, 2020

Friday, October 9th, 2020:  Every weekday, Ballotpedia tracks the news, events, and results of the 2020 presidential election.

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Presidential Race Ratings

Sabato’s Crystal Ball updated its race ratings on October 8, 2020:

  • Arizona moved from Toss Up to Leans Democratic.
  • Georgia moved from Leans Republican to Toss Up.
  • New Hampshire moved from Leans Democratic to Likely Democratic.

Notable Quotes of the Day“The sharpest and perhaps most important contrast from Wednesday evening: the two parties’ views on the economy and on taxes. On that, Vice President Pence had the upper hand, and it showed. If the race ultimately boils down to pocketbook issues—as it so often does—then Democrats should be careful preemptively popping the champagne corks.”

– David Polyansky, Republican strategist


“Democrats worried about whether Senator Kamala Harris would play prevent defense had their fears alleviated within the first 30 seconds of the debate. Harris showed exactly why Vice President Joe Biden selected her to be his running mate. When pressed on foreign policy, a topic that has tripped up many a nominee, Harris didn’t just appear in command of the issue, she articulated a clear and cogent doctrine that Americans all over the country could understand. She was presidential.

Harris chopped away at the Trump administration with the precision of a surgeon and the bite of a seasoned attorney—all while smiling. The women in my life felt seen on a stage in Salt Lake City. It meant something to them. The Democratic nominee for vice president came for Mike Pence and didn’t miss.

– Michael Starr Hopkins, Democratic strategist

Week in Review

Biden on the campaign trail

  • On Monday, Biden campaigned in Miami and participated in an NBC News town hall.
  • On Tuesday, Biden gave a speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
  • On Thursday, Biden met with American Indian tribal leaders and small business owners in Phoenix.
  • On Friday, Biden campaigned in Las Vegas.
Trump on the campaign trail 

  • Trump was off the campaign trail this week following his COVID-19 diagnosis on Oct. 1. He was discharged from Walter Reed Medical Center and returned to the White House on Monday.

Trump discharged from Walter Reed Medical Center, could return to campaign trail on Saturday

Donald Trump was discharged from the Walter Reed Medical Center and returned to the White House on Monday evening after receiving treatment for COVID-19. In a video posted to Twitter, Trump said of the coronavirus, “Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it. You’re going to beat it. We have the best medical equipment. We have the best medicines, all developed recently.”

Trump’s physician, Sean Conley, said in a statement on Thursday, “Saturday will be day 10 since [last] Thursday’s diagnosis, and based on the trajectory of advanced diagnostics the team has been conducting, I fully anticipate the President’s safe return to public engagement at that time.”

Trump said he wanted to hold a campaign rally in Florida on Saturday if his campaign could organize it in time. He also said he wanted to make a stop in Pennsylvania on Sunday.

Presidential debate schedule in flux as campaigns disagree over timeline, format

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced on Thursday morning that the second presidential debate would take place virtually “in order to protect the health and safety of all involved.” Moderator Steve Scully would conduct the town hall-style event with attendees asking questions in Miami, while the candidates participated remotely.

The Joe Biden campaign agreed to the virtual format. Donald Trump said in an interview on Fox Business that he would not participate in a virtual debate.

Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said, “We’ll pass on this sad excuse to bail out Joe Biden and do a rally instead,” In a second statement, Stepien said the second debate should be moved to Oct. 22 and the third moved to Oct. 29.

The Biden campaign rejected the proposal to move the third debate, saying in a statement, “We look forward to participating in the final debate, scheduled for October 22, which already is tied for the latest debate date in 40 years. Donald Trump can show up, or he can decline again. That’s his choice.” ABC News also announced it would hold a town hall with Biden Oct. 15.

The Trump campaign issued another statement on Thursday evening, calling for the second debate to go forward in-person as originally planned. The commission said that it would not reconsider its decision to make the second debate virtual.

Harris, Pence debate coronavirus response, SCOTUS, and economy

Kamala Harris and Mike Pence debated in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Wednesday night. The candidates discussed the coronavirus pandemic, economy, climate change, China, foreign policy, abortion, healthcare, race, and the election.

Pence spoke for 36.5 minutes, while Harris spoke for 36.4 minutes. Here are highlights for each vice presidential candidate with a focus on policy. The following paraphrased statements were compiled from the transcript of the debate.

  • Harris called Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic the greatest failure of any administration. She said Trump and Pence knew the virus was airborne and deadly in January 2020 and did not provide Americans with the information they needed. She said Biden’s coronavirus plan focused on contact tracing and testing. She said she would take a vaccine if public health officials recommended it.
  • Harris discussed her career as a state attorney general and senator. She said voters had a right to know about the president’s health and tax records. She said Trump was $400 million in debt. Harris said Biden would repeal Trump’s tax bill and not raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year. She said Trump rode the coattails of the economic recovery Biden created. She said Biden did not want to end fracking. She said Trump was trying to end the Affordable Care Act and that this would eliminate protections for people with preexisting conditions.
  • Harris said the Trump administration does not believe in science. She said Biden would invest in renewable energy and reach net zero emissions by 2050. She said Trump lost the trade war with China and 300,000 manufacturing jobs. She said Biden saved the auto industry. Harris said Trump disbanded the office responsible for monitoring pandemics. She said Trump made America unsafe through a unilateral and isolationist foreign policy. She said Trump insulted and did not care about service members.
  • Harris said President Lincoln waited until after his re-election to fill a Supreme Court vacancy that occurred 27 days before the presidential election. She said Trump should also wait. She said Trump had not appointed a Black judge to a lifetime appointment on the courts of appeal. Harris said justice was not done in Breonna Taylor’s case and called for criminal justice reform. She said implicit bias existed in law enforcement. Harris said Trump has openly attempted to suppress the vote.
  • Pence said Trump suspended all travel from China in response to the coronavirus pandemic and saved hundreds of thousands of lives. He said he believed the U.S. would have a vaccine before the end of the year. Pence said Trump surged resources to states with high fatality rates. He said the Rose Garden event announcing Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination followed scientific advice. He said Trump trusted Americans to make decisions about their own health.
  • Pence said Harris was undermining public confidence in a vaccine. He said the Obama administration failed during the swine flu pandemic and were lucky that it was less lethal than COVID-19. Pence said Trump paid millions of dollars in property and payroll taxes. He said Trump had added back 11.6 million jobs since the pandemic began.
  • Pence said Biden wanted to ban fracking. He said the United States reduced CO2 emissions through innovation rather than mandates.
  • Pence said the United States lost 200,000 manufacturing jobs when Biden was vice president. He said Harris put her environmental agenda ahead of American workers by opposing the United States–Mexico–Canada trade agreement. Pence said Trump strengthened alliances in the Asia Pacific and destroyed the ISIS caliphate. He said Biden failed to save ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller.
  • Pence questioned whether Harris would give Amy Coney Barrett a fair hearing because of Barrett’s Christian faith. He said he was pro-life. He said the Trump administration stood behind the separation of powers and a nine-seat Supreme Court. Pence said he trusted the justice system in Breonna Taylor’s case. He said there was no excuse for the rioting and looting that followed George Floyd’s death. He said Harris did nothing for criminal justice reform in California. He said Democrats had spent the past three years trying to overturn the results of the 2016 election.
  • Pence said universal mail-in voting created the opportunity for fraud.

Green Party vice presidential nominee Angela Walker responded to the debate on Wednesday. Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee Spike Cohen also responded to the vice in a livestream on Wednesday.

Neither candidate qualified for the debate, which required candidates to meet certain constitutional, ballot access, and polling requirements.

Candidates shift ad spending in final weeks race of race

Joe Biden reserved $6.2 million in ads in Texas, marking the largest investment from a Democratic nominee in the state in 25 years, according to Texas Democratic Party spokesperson Abhi Rahman.

Donald Trump canceled planned ad buys in Ohio ($2.5 million), Iowa ($820,000), Michigan ($2 million), and Wisconsin ($5 million). He is redirecting ad spending to Florida, Georgia, Nevada, and Arizona.

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What we’re reading this week

Candidates on the Issues: Climate Change:


Flashback: October 5-9, 2016

  • October 5, 2016: Bernie Sanders campaigned in Wisconsin for Hillary Clinton.
  • October 6, 2016: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump paused their campaigns in Florida as Hurricane Matthew approached.
  • October 7, 2016: The Washington Post shared a 2005 video of Donald Trump discussing groping women on Access Hollywood.
  • October 8, 2016: Outlets reported on the WikiLeaks release of thousands of emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
  • October 9, 2016: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met in the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Weekly Presidential News Briefing: October 2nd, 2020

October 2nd, 2020: Every weekday, Ballotpedia tracks the news, events, and results of the 2020 presidential election.

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Presidential Race Ratings

The Cook Political Report updated its race ratings on September 29, 2020:

  • Iowa and Ohio moved from Leans Republican to Toss Up.

Sabato’s Crystal Ball updated its race ratings on October 1, 2020:

  • Iowa and Ohio moved from Leans Republican to Toss Up.
  • Wisconsin moved from Toss Up to Leans Democratic.
  • Minnesota moved from Leans Democratic to Likely Democratic.

Notable Quotes of the Week“This was not a debate. It was a sustained attack on the American system of government by the President of the United States. There is nothing to comment on regarding policy; Donald Trump made substantive discussion of anything all but impossible. But Trump did make a few things clear: He takes no responsibility for the pandemic deaths that occurred on his watch, he refuses to condemn white supremacists, he wants his followers to engage in voter intimidation, and he intends to challenge any election result he doesn’t like. Any sense of decorum, any possibility that an election is a contest between Americans who want the best for the nation, went out the window as Trump railed—and lied, repeatedly—in desperation. Any reasonable viewing of this debate can only lead to two conclusions: One is that something is deeply wrong with Donald Trump, mentally and emotionally. The other is that the president will attack anyone and anything, that he will sacrifice any principle, ignore any norm, and even that he will violate any law that he thinks stands in the way of staying in office. Trump has brought a new disgrace upon his own country, and we should be horrified that our fellow citizens, our children, our allies—and especially our enemies—have now seen the United States brought low in a way few of us could have imagined possible even five years ago.”

– Tom Nichols, professor at the U.S. Naval War College

“Indeed, while the debate was contentious, and at times became personal, it lacked any real substance that could change attitudes in any meaningful way.

Given the level of back-and-forth between the candidates, the substance of the candidates’ answers was often lost and took a back seat to their style of argumentation and command of the room.

Though, in terms of style, in my view, President Trump was the clear winner—Trump was in command of the conversation, in control of the discussion, and if not presidential, certainly more in command.

Biden, on the other hand, became exasperated at times in the face of Trump’s stop-at-nothing strategy—as the president spoke over both Biden and the moderator—and Biden even leveled personal attacks on Trump, calling him a ‘liar,’ and a ‘clown.’”

– Doug Schoen, Fox News

Week in Review

Biden on the campaign trail

  • On Sunday, Biden held a campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware.
  • On Tuesday, Biden attended the first presidential debate in Cleveland.
  • On Wednesday, Biden completed a train tour across Ohio and Pennsylvania.
  • On Friday, Biden was scheduled to campaign in Michigan.
Trump on the campaign trail

  • On Saturday, Trump campaigned in Pennsylvania.
  • On Tuesday, Trump attended the first presidential debate in Cleveland.
  • On Wednesday, Trump campaigned in Minneapolis and Duluth.
  • On Thursday, Trump held a fundraiser at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
  • Trump canceled his Friday rally in Florida after testing positive for COVID-19.

Trump tests positive for COVID-19

Donald Trump announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 on early Friday morning, along with First Lady Melania Trump.

He earlier confirmed reports Thursday that White House adviser Hope Hicks, who traveled with Trump to the debate and a rally in Minnesota this week, had tested positive.

Trump’s scheduled Friday rally in Florida has been canceled. Trump is quarantining at home in the White House. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Friday that Trump was experiencing mild symptoms.

Mike Pence and Joe Biden tested negative for COVID-19 on Friday.

Biden, Trump spar over COVID-19, economy, and race in first debate

Joe Biden and Donald Trump debated in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday night. The candidates discussed the Supreme Court vacancy, coronavirus pandemic, economy, race and violence, climate change, election integrity, and their political records.

Trump spoke for 39.1 minutes, while Biden spoke for 37.9 minutes. Here are highlights for each presidential candidate with a focus on policy. The following paraphrased statements were compiled from the transcript of the debate.

  • Biden said the Supreme Court vacancy should be filled after the election to give voters a say. He said the Affordable Care Act and women’s rights were at stake with Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination. On healthcare, Biden said only people who qualified for Medicaid would be automatically enrolled in a public health option. He said Trump had no healthcare plan. Biden said Trump knew how deadly the COVID-19 pandemic was and did not have a plan to address it. He said Trump was irresponsible with his handling of masks. He said schools and businesses were not supported to reopen safely. Biden said billionaires benefited from COVID-19 because Trump focused on the stock market.
Biden said Trump would be the first president to leave office with fewer jobs than when he came in. Biden said his economic plan would create 7 million more jobs than Trump had and $1 trillion in economic growth. He said he would raise the corporate tax rate to 28%. He said the Obama administration inherited the worst economy and fixed it, while Trump blew a booming economy. He said Trump’s statements about Biden’s son’s business dealings had been discredited.
Biden criticized Trump’s response to protests in Charlottesville in 2017 and George Floyd’s death. Biden said there was systemic injustice and called for increased funding for community policing. He said violent crime has increased under the Trump administration. Biden discussed the military service of his son, Beau, and the drug addiction recovery of his other son, Hunter. Biden said his plan would create thousands of green jobs and lead to net-zero carbon emissions by 2035. He said the plan was not the Green New Deal. Biden said Trump was afraid of mail-in voting.
  • Trump praised his Supreme Court pick, Amy Coney Barrett. He said Republicans had the right to nominate her because they won the last election. He said Biden supported socialist medicine. Trump said he signed an executive order that would reduce prescription drug prices. Trump said millions would have died from COVID-19 if Biden were president. He said a vaccine could be available sooner but politics was delaying it. He criticized strict shutdowns in Democratic-run states and said Biden would shut down the country.

Trump said he paid millions in federal income tax in 2016 and 2017. As a businessman, Trump said he did not want to pay taxes and used tax credits and depreciation. Trump said the Obama administration had the slowest economic recovery since 1929, while he brought back manufacturing and 700,000 jobs. Trump said Biden’s son, Hunter, received $3.5 million from a Russian billionaire.

Trump criticized the effect of Biden’s 1994 crime bill on Black Americans. He said he had support from military leaders and law enforcement groups across the country. Trump said he ended racial sensitivity training because it was racist. Trump said increases in crime across the country were a party issue. When asked if he would condemn white supremacist and militia groups, Trump said sure. He said the Proud Boys should stand back and stand by and that someone should do something about Antifa.

Trump said he created the greatest economy and lowest unemployment numbers in history prior to COVID-19. He said that he will have appointed 300 federal judges. Trump attributed West Coast wildfires to poor forest management. He said he rolled back the Obama Clean Power Plan because it drove up energy prices. He said there was no free transition in 2016 because Democrats sought a coup on his campaign. He said unsolicited mail-in ballots would lead to fraud.

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced on Wednesday it would change the format of the remaining debates. “The Commission on Presidential Debates sponsors televised debates for the benefit of the American electorate. Last night’s debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues,” the commission said in a statement.

The next presidential debate will take place on October 15, 2020, in Miami, Florida. Mike Pence and Kamala Harris will debate on October 7, 2020, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Trump nominates Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

Donald Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to fill the Supreme Court vacancy on Saturday. He said, “Rulings that the Supreme Court will issue in the coming years will decide the survival of our Second Amendment, our religious liberty, our public safety and so much more. To maintain security, liberty and prosperity, we must preserve our priceless heritage of a nation of laws. And there’s no one better to do that than Amy Coney Barrett.”

Joe Biden discussed the nomination during remarks in Wilmington, Delaware, on Sunday. He called discussion of expanding the court a distraction from the effect Barrett could have on the Affordable Care Act.

New York Times reports Trump did not pay income taxes in 10 of previous 15 years

The New York Times reported on Donald Trump’s federal tax returns from 2000 to 2017. The report said that Trump “paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.” Trump lawyer Alan Garter disputed the report, saying that “most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate.”

Joe Biden released a digital campaign ad on Sunday showing the average federal income tax paid by teachers, firefighters, and nurses, compared to the $750 that Trump reportedly paid in his first year in office.

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What We’re Reading

Flashback: September 28-October 2, 2016

  • September 28, 2016: Politico reported that Chicago Cubs owner Todd Ricketts raised $30 million for two pro-Trump groups and had an overall goal to raise $70 million.
  • September 29, 2016: The editorial board of USA Today made its first presidential voting recommendation ever to oppose Donald Trump. It did not endorse Hillary Clinton.
  • September 30, 2016: The Chicago Tribune endorsed Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson for president.
  • October 1, 2016: Donald Trump told supporters at a rally in Pennsylvania to monitor polling places
  • October 2, 2016: Hillary Clinton spoke about systemic racism at a Black church service in Charlotte.

When do election winners take office?

With the 2020 election cycle coming to a close, voters may be wondering how quickly those they elected will take office. At the federal level, members of Congress will be sworn in on January 3, 2021, and the president will be sworn in on January 20, 2021.

Wondering about state-level offices? Check out Ballotpedia’s page, “Swearing-in dates of state legislators elected on November 3, 2020.” We also have information for state executives on their office overviews.

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Weekly Presidential News Briefing: September 25th, 2020

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

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Candidates by the Numbers

Notable Quotes of the Day“But it looks increasingly unlikely that we’ll be able to declare an election-night winner in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. In addition to possibly having thousands of ballots still in transit on election night, these states will probably be slow to count even the mail ballots that have already arrived, since all three prohibit processing mail ballots before Election Day. (By contrast, North Carolina is allowed to process mail ballots well in advance, so we should learn the results of mail ballots that arrive by Nov. 2 shortly after polls close — but then have to wait days for the remainder.)

If Biden is leading in those states in the wee hours of Nov. 4, that may be the ballgame: Because mail ballots are expected to lean heavily Democratic, his margin will probably only increase as more mail ballots are counted. But if Trump is leading in these states, we could be in for days of waiting on the edge of our seat for every ballot dump. Since this is a distinct possibility, we must continue to prepare ourselves for a world in which we won’t know the identity of the next president until mid-November.”

Nathaniel Rakich, FiveThirtyEight

“Joe Biden knows that if he gets a majority of the Catholic vote he’s going to be elected president, so there’s been a very aggressive effort by his campaign to underscore his faith. But if the president’s choice for the Supreme Court is a Catholic mother who, because she believes deeply in her faith, is considered disqualified for the job by Democrats, that puts Biden in a pickle.”

Matt Schlapp, Republican lobbyist

Week in Review

Biden on the campaign trail

  • On Monday, Biden visited Wisconsin for the second time in two weeks.
  • On Wednesday, Biden visited North Carolina for the first time since the Democratic primary season.
  • Biden halted public appearances on Thursday in the morning in order to prepare for the presidential debate.
  • On Friday, Biden traveled to Washington, D.C., to pay his respects to Ruth Bader Ginsburg who lies in state at the Capitol Building.
Trump on the campaign trail

  • On Monday, Trump made two campaign stops in Ohio, including a rally in Toledo.
  • On Tuesday, Trump held a campaign rally at Pittsburgh International Airport, marking his fourth appearance in Pennsylvania this month.
  • On Wednesday, Trump spoke at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast. The event took place virtually.
  • On Thursday, Trump held a rally in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • On Friday, Trump traveled to South Florida, Georgia, and Virginia.

Biden, Trump will debate SCOTUS, coronavirus, race

Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic are hosting the first presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump on Tuesday, September 29. The debate will be 90 minutes long without commercial breaks.

It will be divided into 15-minute segments on the following six topics selected by moderator and Fox News anchor Chris Wallace:

  • The Trump and Biden records
  • The Supreme Court
  • COVID-19
  • The economy
  • Race and violence in our cities
  • The integrity of the election

Two more presidential debates are scheduled for October 15 in Miami and October 22 in Nashville. The first and only vice presidential debate between Sen. Kamala Harris (D) and Vice President Mike Pence (R) will be held in Salt Lake City on October 7.

Trump set to announce SCOTUS pick on Saturday

Donald Trump said he would announce his pick for the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET. Earlier in the week, Trump said the nominee would be a woman and that he had narrowed the list down to five candidates.

“We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices. We have this obligation, without delay!” Trump tweeted.

Joe Biden said Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement should not be nominated and confirmed until after the 2020 presidential election

“This appointment isn’t about the past. It’s about the future, and the people of this nation. And the people of this nation are choosing their future right now, as they vote. To jam this nomination through the Senate is just an exercise in raw political power,” Biden said.

Jo Jorgensen issued a list of 18 attorneys and judges she would consider for the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We need justices who, unlike the majority of those appointed to our highest court over the past 100 years, will strictly uphold our Constitution,” Jorgensen said. “We must restore the limits that our Founders imposed on federal authority and rigorously defend both individual liberty and property rights.”

Biden, Democrats post $141 million cash advantage over Trump and Republicans

Joe Biden and related Democratic Party committees began September with $466 million in cash on handDonald Trump and joint Republican Party committees started the month with $325 million in cash on hand.

Maine will use RCV in presidential election

The Maine Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that a veto referendum on ranked-choice voting (RCV) did not reach the signature threshold required to appear on the ballot. RCV will now be used for the first time in a presidential election.

Trump comments on peaceful transition of power

When asked on Wednesday if he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power after the election,  Donald Trump responded, “We’re going to have to see what happens. You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster. Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful—there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation. The ballots are out of control.”

Jorgensen completes Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Survey

Jo Jorgensen completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. Click here to read her responses.

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Flashback: September 21-25, 2016

  • September 21, 2016: Hillary Clinton discussed the treatment of people with disabilities during a speech in Orlando.
  • September 22, 2016: Donald Trump said Chicago should institute a stop-and-frisk policy to address violence in the city.
  • September 23, 2016: NBC News reported on Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s debate prep.
  • September 24, 2016: The editorial board of The New York Times endorsed Hillary Clinton.
  • September 25, 2016: Fortune reported on Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s debate prep on the eve of the first 2016 presidential debate.

Biden gains cash advantage over Trump for first time in 2020 presidential election cycle

Joe Biden outraised Donald Trump by $150 million according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission on September 20.

The Biden campaign raised $212 million in August, a percentage difference of 109% from the Trump campaign’s $62 million. Biden’s campaign spent $130 million to Trump’s $61 million. As of August 31, the Biden campaign had $60 million more in cash on hand than the Trump campaign ($181 million to $121 million), marking the first time his campaign has held a cash advantage over Trump. Biden also leads Trump in overall fundraising for the first time, cumulatively raising $541 million to Trump’s $476 million.

Biden’s campaign more than quadrupled its receipts from July in August ($50 million to $212 million), while Trump’s receipts declined by $10 million ($72 million to $62 million).

Biden’s $541 million in overall fundraising is the second-highest figure for any presidential candidate at this point in the past four cycles. The only candidate to have outraised him was Barack Obama (D), who had raised $598 million in inflation-adjusted funds at this point in 2008. Biden’s cash-on-hand total of $181 million is the highest of any candidate’s at this point in the election cycle, topping Trump’s $121 million this year and Obama’s $102 million in inflation-adjusted cash on hand in September 2012.

Biden and Trump’s combined $1 billion in fundraising is the highest across the four most recent election cycles. At this point in the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama and John McCain (R) had raised a combined inflation-adjusted $908 million.

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Weekly Presidential News Briefing: September 18, 2020

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

Here’s the latest from the campaign trail.

Candidates by the Numbers

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“While debates are often seen as gamechangers, it’s often the period after the conventions are in the rearview mirror and before the debates when the political environment becomes clear.

Take a look at all the election cycles since 1972. Specifically, look at where the national polling averages stood 35 days before the election (i.e. the day of the first 2020 general debate). The polls have been surprisingly predictive.

There has just been about a 3 point difference between where the polling average stood 35 days before the election and the eventual result. To put that into context, there has been about a 2 point difference between the polling averages and the results on the final day of the election.”

Harry Enten, CNN

“[Trump’s approval rating] is rising, and at a fairly steady clip. He isn’t at the 46% threshold yet, and it’s likely he’ll level off in the next few weeks, but that isn’t a given.

This is, frankly, a much better position for Trump to be in than the two most recent presidents who lost their reelection bids. President George H.W. Bush’s job approval was consistently in the mid-to-high 30s post-Labor Day, while Jimmy Carter’s job approval was in the low 30s. Trump’s job approval isn’t good, but it is closer to that of recent presidents who have won than to recent presidents who have lost.

Finally, in this vein, one of the more perplexing features of 2020 is that Trump’s job approval has outpaced his vote share in head-to-head polls. Who are these people who approve of the job he is doing but don’t plan on voting for him? My guess is they are eventual Trump voters, who either won’t admit to themselves or to the pollster that they are going to vote for him. Perhaps Trump will lose a substantial number of people who approve of the job he is doing, but I’m not sure I’d bet on it.

Sean Trende, senior elections analyst for RealClearPolitics

Week in Review

Biden on the campaign trail

  • On Monday, Joe Biden discussed climate change and the economy during an event in Delaware.
  • On Tuesday, Biden met with veterans in Tampa and attended a Hispanic Heritage Month event in Kissimmee.
  • On Wednesday, Biden delivered remarks about the coronavirus pandemic in Delaware.
  • On Thursday, Biden participated in a town hall in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
  • On Friday, Biden campaigned in northern Minnesota.
Trump on the campaign trail

  • On Sunday, Donald Trump held his first indoor rally in three months in Nevada.
  • On Monday, Trump traveled to California to speak with local and federal officials about the wildfires across the state.
  • On Tuesday, Trump traveled to Philadelphia to participate in an ABC News town hall.
  • On Wednesday, Trump remained in Washington, D.C.
  • On Thursday, Trump held a campaign rally in Mosinee, Wisconsin.
  • On Friday, Trump campaigned in northern Minnesota.

Adelson, Bloomberg plan to boost presidential candidates

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg committed at least $100 million to help Joe Biden’s campaign. The spending will primarily be focused on television and digital advertising.

On Thursday, the Democratic-aligned Priorities USA announced that it was using $5.4 million from Bloomberg to air ads focused on the coronavirus pandemic in 10 media markets in Florida.

CNBC reported that casino executive Sheldon Adelson is expected to contribute $20 million to $50 million to Preserve America, the Republican National Committee, and other Republican groups to support Donald Trump’s campaign.

Battleground ads focus on pandemic, healthcare, Black voters, and economy

The Joe Biden campaign began airing new ads in battleground states on Wednesday focused on healthcare and the Affordable Care Act. The campaign is spending $65 million on television, radio, and print advertising this week.

Other pro-Biden and anti-Trump ads released this week include:

  • Spanish-language ads in Florida about the economy, coronavirus pandemic, and the Trump administration’s response to Hurricane Maria
  • Two new ads focused on manufacturing and union jobs in Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania
  • A series of digital and television ads aimed at Black voters in Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin

Donald Trump launched an ad buy of more than $10 million focused on the economy. The ads will run nationwide and in Arizona, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Other pro-Trump and anti-Biden ads released this week include:

  • An ad that highlights the Israel-United Arab Emirates normalization agreement signed this week set to air nationwide and in Florida and Philadelphia
  • A new $9.7 million ad campaign from CatholicVote attacking Biden for his position on abortion in Michigan and Pennsylvania

Jorgensen qualifies for the ballot in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

The Jo Jorgensen campaign announced on Monday that it had met ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Jorgensen is the fifth Libertarian candidate to reach this milestone following candidates in 1980, 1992, 1996, and 2016.

Hawkins, West battle for ballot access in the courts

An Idaho court ruled on Wednesday that Kanye West could remain on the ballot as an independent presidential candidate despite being registered to vote in Wyoming as a Republican.

A Wisconsin judge upheld a decision by the state elections commission to block West from the ballot because an aide submitted the paperwork after the 5 p.m. filing deadline.

Wisconsin and Pennsylvania judges ruled that Howie Hawkins would not appear on those state’s ballots.

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Flashback: September 14-18, 2016

  • September 14, 2016: Gary Johnson qualified for the ballot in all 50 states.
  • September 15, 2016: Donald Trump shared the results of a medical physical written by Dr. Harold Bernsein.
  • September 16, 2016: The country’s largest law enforcement union, the National Fraternal Order of Police, endorsed Donald Trump.
  • September 17, 2016: Bernie Sanders campaigned at Kent State University in Ohio on behalf of Hillary Clinton.
  • September 18, 2016: The Morning Call profiled Donald Trump’s campaign in Pennsylvania coal country.

Weekly Presidential News Briefing: September 11, 2020

Candidates by the Numbers

The Cook Political Report updated its race ratings on September 10, 2020:

  • Florida moved from Leans Democratic to Toss Up.
  • Nevada moved from Likely Democratic to Leans Democratic.

Sabato’s Crystal Ball also updated its race ratings on September 10, 2020:

  • Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District moved from Toss Up to Leans Democratic. Nebraska and Maine are the only states to appoint individual electors based on the popular vote statewide and in each congressional district.

Notable Quotes of the Day “One of the reasons Mr. Biden was able to wipe away Mr. Trump’s early cash edge was that he sharply contained costs with a minimalistic campaign during the pandemic’s worst months. Trump officials derisively dismissed it as his ‘basement’ strategy, but from that basement Mr. Biden fully embraced Zoom fund-raisers, with top donors asked to give as much as $720,000.

These virtual events typically took less than 90 minutes of the candidate’s time, could raise millions of dollars and cost almost nothing. Mr. Trump has almost entirely refused to hold such fund-raisers. Aides say he doesn’t like them.”

– Shane Goldmacher and Maggie HabermanThe New York Times

“I would say this about an October surprise. I mean, given this year, it’d be unlikely that there wouldn’t be a major turn of events between now and the election. But there will be no surprise that has to do with Trump. It’s just not possible. Everything that anybody could possibly think about him, good or bad, they already think. Like, when you think about a bell curve, he’s already at the tails. So, any surprise that happens will be a surprise around Biden-Harris.”

– Beth Hansen, former campaign manager for John Kasich

Week in Review

Biden, Trump respond to Woodward interview on coronavirus

In a recorded interview with journalist Bob Woodward from February 2020 released on Wednesday, Donald Trump discussed the dangers of the coronavirus. He said it was deadlier than the flu and a delicate issue because it was airborne. In another interview about the coronavirus from March 2020, Trump said, “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic.”

Joe Biden addressed Trump’s comments during an event in Michigan, saying, “He had the information. He knew how dangerous it was. And while this deadly disease ripped through our nation, he failed to do his job on purpose. It was a life-and-death betrayal of the American people.”

Trump defended his comments in a Fox News interview on Wednesday. He said, “I’m the leader of the country, I can’t be jumping up and down and scaring people. I don’t want to scare people. I want people not to panic, and that’s exactly what I did.”

Trump, RNC raise $210 million in August, trail Biden and DNC’s fundraising total

Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee raised $210 million in August, setting a record for the campaign. They trailed Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee’s fundraising total for the month by $154 million.

Biden and the DNC raised $365 million in August, bypassing Barack Obama’s record $193 million monthly total from September 2008.

Maine ballots will use ranked-choice voting for presidential election

On Tuesday, the Maine Supreme Court stayed a lower court’s decision regarding a veto referendum on ranked choice voting in the state, effectively putting its inclusion on the ballot on hold. As a result, Maine Secretary of State Matthw Dunlap said he would proceed with printing ballots that included ranked choice voting for the presidential race.

Trump releases list of potential Supreme Court nominees

Donald Trump released a list of 20 potential Supreme Court nominees on Wednesday. The list includes Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.), Ted Cruz (Texas), and Josh Hawley (Mo.), and five current or former members of his administration.

Satellite groups release ads focused on military families, protests

The Democratic-aligned group American Bridge launched a $4 million television and radio ad campaign focused on military families and rural voters in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. The ad highlights negative comments Donald Trump allegedly made about dead U.S. soldiers.

The pro-Trump America First Action announced a $22 million ad buy in Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Ohio that will run until Election Day. The series of ads will focus on protests in Wisconsin and other states, Biden’s mental acuity, and calls to defund the police.

Where the candidates were this week

Joe Biden spoke at a virtual town hall inside the Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and Congress Industrial Organizations headquarters in Harrisburg on Monday.

He discussed American manufacturing in Warren, Michigan, on Wednesday. Biden last visited the state in March.

On Friday, Biden commemorated September 11 at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. He also attended a ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City.

Donald Trump campaigned in Jupiter, Florida, on Tuesday, where he discussed conservation and environmental protection in the Everglades. He also held a rally in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on the same day.

On Thursday, Trump spoke at the MBS International Airport in Saginaw County, Michigan. He also traveled to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to commemorate September 11 at the Flight 93 National Memorial on Friday.

Trump is expected to campaign in Nevada over the weekend. He originally planned to hold rallies at airport hangars in Reno and Las Vegas, but the events were canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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Flashback: September 8-11, 2016

  • September 8, 2016: Donald Trump unveiled his education proposal, including designating $20 billion for federal school choice grants.
  • September 9, 2016: Mike Pence released a decade of his tax filings. In 2015, Pence and his wife had a reported adjusted gross income of $113,026.
  • September 10, 2016: TIME reported that Hillary Clinton said at a fundraiser, “You could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.”
  • September 11, 2016: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both visited Ground Zero in New York City to commemorate September 11.

Weekly Presidential News Briefing: August 28th, 2020

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

Here’s the latest from the campaign trail.

Candidates by the Numbers

Notable Quotes of the Day

“Biden is not the first politician, upon entering the general election phase of the campaign, to pivot towards the center and try to build a broad coalition. And Trump is not the first politician to wield social issues designed to drive wedges through the electorate and complicate attempts by opponents to build a broad coalition.

What’s unusual is seeing these two strategies deployed with such force at the same time. Trump has done so little over the course of his 3½ years as president to broaden his appeal that he has little choice but to believe his base can once again thread the Electoral College needle. Biden defied conventional wisdom by talking as much as he did about bipartisanship while winning a partisan primary, so he has every reason to lean in even harder now. The result is a general election where both candidates are fighting over Republican and right-leaning independent voters.

– Bill ScherRealClearPolitics

“Political conventions are usually as much about a party’s next nominee as they are about its current flag-bearer. The Republican convention on Monday night featured a glimpse of the coming fight to define the post-Trump world: Will it look and sound more like Donald Trump Jr. or Nikki Haley? …

With these speeches from Haley and Don Jr. Monday we are starting to see the GOP divide into two halves: one that tries to straddle the pre- and post-Trump GOP, and another that fully embraces undiluted Trumpism. The quality of the messenger matters a great deal. Maybe it’s only Donald Trump himself who can pull off this act again. But over the last five years the straddlers in the GOP have not fared well against those who wholeheartedly embrace what Trump has wrought.”

– Ryan LizzaPolitico

Week in Review

Republican National Convention concludes with Trump acceptance speech

The Republican National Convention (RNC) concluded on Thursday after four days of virtual speeches and limited in-person events in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Each night of the convention had a different theme: Land of Heroes, Land of Promise, Land of Opportunity, and Land of Greatness. Featured speakers included former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.), First Lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Ivanka Trump.

Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican presidential nomination from the White House grounds on Thursday. He highlighted his first-term accomplishments and discussed the economy, coronavirus pandemic, protests, and public safety. Trump also attacked Biden, calling him “a Trojan horse for socialism.”

The RNC also voted on August 22 to extend the party’s 2016 platform to 2024 because “it did not want a small contingent of delegates formulating a new platform without the breadth of perspectives within the ever-growing Republican movement.” The committee’s resolution also said that the Republican Party would continue to support Trump’s America First agenda.

Biden and allies counter Republican convention with ads

The Joe Biden campaign launched several ads this week in national and battleground state markets, including a two-minute ad during the final night of the Republican National Convention. The ad, which discusses Biden’s vision for the country and does not mention Donald Trump, will continue to run in battleground states over the weekend.

The campaign also released an ad in Ohio and North Carolina focused on Trump’s call to boycott Goodyear tires because one of the company’s factories banned MAGA hats. Three Spanish-language and bilingual ads about the coronavirus pandemic and healthcare are also airing in Arizona and Florida.

The Lincoln Project launched a $4 million ad campaign in Arizona, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The campaign focuses on the death toll from the coronavirus pandemic. The Democratic-aligned group, American Bridge, released a digital ad featuring Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, saying Trump could not be trusted.

Ranked-choice voting will not be used in Maine for presidential election

On Monday, a Maine Superior Court judge ruled that a veto referendum on ranked-choice voting (RCV) for presidential primaries and general elections would appear on the November ballot. Maine was set to use RCV for the presidential election in November. Since the veto referendum has qualified for the ballot, however, the law is now suspended until voters decide to either uphold or repeal it. Therefore, RCV will not be used to elect the president in Maine this year.

West files a lawsuit for ballot access in Ohio

Kanye West filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) seeking to be placed on Ohio’s ballot after LaRose’s office disqualified his petition, saying there were mismatched signatures in his paperwork.

Republican staffers and officials endorse Biden

Twenty-seven Republican former members of Congress, including former Sens. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Gordon Humphrey (N.H.), and John Warner (Va.), announced their support for Joe Biden on Monday.

Thirty-four former 2012 Romney presidential campaign staffers, calling themselves Romney Alumni for Biden, also signed an open letter backing Biden’s campaign. Another group, 43 Alumni for Biden shared a list of nearly 300 former Bush administration and campaign officials who have endorsed Biden.

More than 100 former John McCain congressional and campaign staffers also endorsed Biden on Thursday.

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Flashback: August 24th – 28th, 2016

  • August 24, 2016: Purple PAC, a group supporting Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, launched a $1 million national ad buy.
  • August 25, 2016: Jill Stein discussed NATO, Russia, Syria, and climate change in an interview with the editorial board of The Washington Post.
  • August 26, 2016: The Trump campaign hired Bill Stepien as national field director.
  • August 27, 2016: The Clinton campaign launched an ad focused on Donald Trump’s statements about and to Black voters.
  • August 28, 2016: Jake Tapper interviewed Mike Pence about immigration on CNN’s State of the Union.

Upcoming filing deadlines for independent presidential candidates from August 24 to August 30

Although there is no formal, national deadline to file to run for president of the United States, independent presidential candidates must keep a close eye on the election calendar as each state has its own filing requirements and deadline to qualify to appear on the general election ballot.

These requirements may include submitting a petition with a certain number of signatures or paying a filing fee.

Filing deadlines for independent presidential candidates have already passed in 39 states.

In the week of August 24, there are four filing deadlines the following week:
• Idaho (August 24)
• Massachusetts (August 25)
• Oregon (August 25)

• Wyoming (August 25)

The final seven filing deadlines will pass in the week of August 31.

The following chart shows how many days are left until each remaining state’s filing deadline passes: