Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.
We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail.
LEADING THE DAY:
The bad polling data is piling up for President TrumpDonald John Trump Trump responds to calls to tear down monuments with creation of ‘National Garden’ of statues Trump: Children are taught in school to ‘hate their own country’ Trump accuses those tearing down statues of wanting to ‘overthrow the American Revolution’ MORE amid the civil unrest sweeping the nation and uncertainty around the coronavirus.
A Gallup survey released Wednesday found Trump’s job approval rating plunging 10 points to 39 percent, a steep drop from the president’s personal high of 49 percent last month.
That represents a drop of 7 points for Trump among Republicans, bringing him to 85 percent, the lowest point he’s seen within his own party in almost two years.
Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Jimmy CarterJimmy CarterThe Memo: Trump grows weak as clock ticks down Jimmy Carter says Israeli annexation would be ‘illegal’ land grab Trump’s mark on federal courts could last decades MORE are the only other incumbents on record to have approval ratings in the 30 percent range in June of an election year. Both lost their reelection bids.
And new data from the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA finds presumptive Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenCan Republicans handle the aftermath of Donald Trump? Biden seeks to supplant Trump in Georgia Trump’s Mount Rushmore stunt will backfire MORE leading Trump in five of the six core battleground states that will determine the outcome of the 2020 election.
The survey from Priorities USA projects Biden as the winner in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Arizona, with Florida remaining too close to call, if the election were held today.
That projection would give 305 Electoral College votes to Biden, more than the 270 needed to win the White House. Trump would receive 204 in that scenario, leaving Florida’s 29 hanging in the balance.
Priorities USA Chairman Guy Cecil stressed that the projection is based only on the state of the race today, when Trump is near the low point of his presidency.
And the analysis is not a prediction of what will happen in November.
Cecil noted that if white working-class voters and people of color turn out by 3 points less for Democrats than Priorities USA has forecast, Biden would lose Florida and North Carolina, with Pennsylvania and Arizona falling into toss-up territory.
That would put Biden at 259 Electoral College votes and Trump at 248, with 31 up for grabs.
But the data still underscores Trump’s shrinking path to stay in the White House and the expanded map for Democrats with less than five months to go before the election.
The nation has been consumed by protests since George Floyd died in the custody of Minneapolis police last month.
Trump has called Floyd’s death a “grave tragedy,” but he’s also threatened to send the U.S. military into American cities to quell the protests.
The Trump administration has also been under fire after military personnel clashed with largely peaceful protesters demonstrating in front of the White House. On Tuesday, Trump sparked outrage for sharing a conspiracy theory about an elderly protester who was knocked to the ground by police in Buffalo, N.Y.
The protests come amid ongoing uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic, which has shuttered the U.S. economy and resulted in tens of millions of lost jobs. There was some positive news on the economic front last week, with a much stronger-than-expected May jobs report.
The Gallup poll found that 47 percent of voters approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, down from 63 percent in January. Only 42 percent of voters approve of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, down from 50 percent in April.
–– Jonathan Easley
Trump job approval rating plunges 10 points in a month: Gallup, By Jonathan Easley.
Democratic group’s poll finds Biden leading in five of six key battleground states, By Jonathan.
FROM THE TRAIL:
The Republican National Committee has tentatively decided on Jacksonville, Fla., as the site to host the Republican National Convention’s main festivities, two sources familiar with the discussions have told The Hill. Marty Johnson and Max Greenwood report.
Trump is testing James Carville’s old maxim that voters care most about the economy and their pocketbooks in the midst of twin crises that have put the president well behind his Democratic rival less than five months before Election Day. Reid Wilson reports.
Biden on Wednesday highlighted his proposal for an additional $300 million in community policing funds, after earlier making clear that he does not agree with some liberal activists’ calls to defund police departments. Zach Budryk reports.
Steve IsraelSteven (Steve) J. IsraelThe Hill’s Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – As virus concerns grow, can it get worse for Trump? The Hill’s Campaign Report: Democrats zero in on health care as Obamacare lawsuit nears key deadline MORE: Democrats have to get better than ever as Joe Biden leads in the polls.
Matt Schlapp: Five ways America would take a hard left under Joe Biden.
Liz Peek: Trump faces sinking polls but has enthusiasm and the economy on his side.
CONGRESS & STATES:
WHAT HAPPENED IN GEORGIA: Georgia’s primaries broke down into chaos on Tuesday as widespread problems with the state’s new voting system resulted in confusion and long wait times at polling places.
Poll workers at many precincts saw new voting machines malfunction. In some cases, the machines were reported missing altogether. At the same time, some parts of the state found themselves short on poll workers, many of whom had been scared away by the public health risks posed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Even before Tuesday, there were signs of trouble. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger had encouraged voters to request and cast mail-in ballots to avoid the potential for crowding at polling sites. But many voters did not receive their ballots in time, forcing them to show up in person. Raffensperger and other election officials in Georgia are now facing scrutiny for their handling of the primaries, with some critics calling on the secretary of state to resign. There are also concerns about what the botched primaries could mean for November, when turnout is expected to be even higher.
“Yesterday was completely avoidable and I now have to wonder if we are all witnesses to a direct attack on our democracy and a trial run of what we expect to see,” said Nse Ufot, the executive director of the New Georgia Project, a group that works on voter registration and engagement among people of color and young people.
All that said, we do have the results from some contests.
In Georgia’s 6th District, former Rep. Karen HandelKaren Christine HandelPPP poll finds Biden leading in Georgia Jon Ossoff to challenge David Perdue after winning Georgia Democratic primary The Hill’s Campaign Report: Bad polling data is piling up for Trump MORE won the Republican primary, giving her a chance at reclaiming the House seat she lost to Rep. Lucy McBathLucia (Lucy) Kay McBathPPP poll finds Biden leading in Georgia If Georgia primary was an attempt at voter suppression, it failed badly Floyd’s brother urges Congress to take action MORE (D) in November. And in Georgia’s 7th District, Democrats Carolyn Bourdeaux and Brenda Romero are headed for a runoff in August to decide the nominee for retiring Rep. Rob WoodallWilliam (Rob) Robert WoodallDemocrat Carolyn Bourdeaux wins Georgia House primary, avoids runoff after final count The Hill’s Campaign Report: Bad polling data is piling up for Trump Democrats head to runoff in top Georgia House race MORE’s (R) seat.
But the closest-watched contest on Tuesday, the Democratic primary to determine who will challenge Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) in November, is still undecided. Investigative journalist Jon Ossoff, who unsuccessfully ran against Handel in a special election in Georgia’s 7th District in 2017, is within reach of an outright win in the Democratic Senate primary and is well ahead of his two closest opponents, former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and Sarah Riggs Amico. But even with nearly 49 percent of the vote, he hasn’t yet hit the 50 percent threshold he needs to clinch the nomination. There are still tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of votes that have yet to be counted, but if he doesn’t reach a majority, he’ll have to face off against the second-place finisher in an August runoff election.
Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelNY Working Families Party director on the state’s primary House postpones testimony from key Pompeo aide about IG firing Yvette Clarke wins NY House primary MORE (D-N.Y.) is scrambling to fend off his most serious primary challenge in years, as progressives set their sights on taking out a congressman that has represented parts of New York City and its suburbs for more than three decades. Max and Julia report. The progressive group Working Hero is the latest liberal group to back Jamaal Bowman over Engel.
Democrats are heading to a runoff in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District, home of one of the nation’s most closely watched House races. Tal Axelrod reports. Republicans are heading to a runoff in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District in the race to replace retiring Rep. Tom GravesJohn (Tom) Thomas GravesHillicon Valley: Zuckerberg expresses ‘disgust,’ keeps policies | New doomsday cyber bills | QAnon follower favored for congressional seat QAnon believer advances to Georgia House runoff race The Hill’s Campaign Report: Bad polling data is piling up for Trump MORE (R). There’s another runoff to replace Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsWarnock raises almost M in Georgia Senate race in second quarter Comer tapped to serve as top Republican on House Oversight Doug Collins leads Kelly Loeffler by 2 points in Georgia Senate race MORE (R), who is running for Senate.
South Carolina Democratic Senate nominee Jaime Harrison challenged incumbent Republican Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHillicon Valley: Senate panel advances bill targeting online child sexual abuse | Trump administration awards tech group contract to build ‘virtual’ wall | Advocacy groups urge Congress to ban facial recognition technologies Senate panel advances bill targeting online child sexual abuse The Hill’s Campaign Report: The political heavyweights in Tuesday’s primary fights MORE to a series of four debates on Wednesday after the two won their respective primaries in the Palmetto State. Tal Axelrod reports.
Cindy McCain said Tuesday that she was “disappointed” that Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Amy McGrath used her late husband Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainJuan Williams: Time for boldness from Biden Democrats lead in three battleground Senate races: poll Republican Scott Taylor wins Virginia primary, to face Elaine Luria in rematch MORE’s image in a campaign clip. Justine Coleman reports.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
(Keep in mind these dates could change because of the outbreak.)
New York primaries
New Jersey primaries
Alabama Republican Senate primary runoff
Democratic National Convention
Republican National Convention
New Hampshire primaries
Rhode Island primaries
First presidential debate
Vice presidential debate
Second presidential debate
Third presidential debate
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- The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden offers to talk coronavirus response with Trump
- The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden looks for end to Democratic primary
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