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2020 General Election


A fake Joe Biden campaign website is being run by an operative on President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, according to a new report Saturday.

The New York Times tracked down the owner of a site with the URL, a “parody” campaign website featuring out-of-context quotes from the former vice president and leading 2020 Democratic candidate. The site also includes GIFs of him touching women in ways that others alleged made them uncomfortable.

Patrick Mauldin is a digital media specialist who worked on messaging for Trump’s 2016 campaign and, according to the Times , has been working on the president’s re-election campaign. Along with his brother, Mauldin runs Vici Media Group, a Republican consulting firm based in Austin, Texas. Mauldin acknowledged to the paper his role in creating the website, which he has used to spread disparaging and sometimes misleading content about Biden.


President Trump’s re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee on Tuesday said they had raised $105 million in the second quarter of this year, dwarfing what President Barack Obama raised in the equivalent period during his re-election campaign.

The campaign and the R.N.C. said they had a combined $100 million in cash on hand, and that they had raised more money online in the second quarter than in the first half of 2018. The staggering total figure can be plowed into television and digital advertising, get-out-the-vote efforts and other activities related to the 2020 election.

Mr. Trump and his committees raised $54 million, they said, and the R.N.C. raised $51 million. The campaign officials did not say how many individual donors had contributed, or how many gave money in increments of $200 or less. The official report, which will include spending, will be filed with the Federal Election Commission on July 15.


Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont raised $18 million in the past three months, his presidential campaign said on Tuesday. The total was another display of his strength with small donors, but it also showed that his fund-raising had slowed since he began his campaign.

Mr. Sanders’s fund-raising total for April through June was roughly equal to what he raised in the first six weeks of his presidential bid, in February and March. It was also significantly less than the $24.8 million that Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., collected in the past three months, an eye-popping sum that the Buttigieg campaign revealed on Monday.

Mr. Sanders and Mr. Buttigieg are the first two Democratic candidates to disclose their fund-raising for the second quarter of this year, which ended Sunday. Their totals are likely to be among the largest in the field.

I’m sure more totals will be coming soon, help me find the total for the whole Democratic field. That will give us a better comparison to Trump’s war chest.




This lists only Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg so far, but it looks like it will keep tabs on all Dem fundraising.


At least five key aides to John Hickenlooper have confirmed they’re leaving his campaign or intend to do so in the coming weeks.

Brad Komar, campaign manager; Dan Sorenson, national finance director; Lauren Hitt, communications director; John Schueler, digital director; and Nolan Varee, New Hampshire political director – all moving on, decisions all confirmed to ABC News, which was the first to report the departures of Schueler and Varee.


But there is this Senate seat to go after - Sen Cory Gardner (R-CO)

While Hickenlooper’s presidential campaign is facing steep hurdles, a Senate bid might not be much easier. A dozen Democrats have already announced challenges to Republican Sen. Cory Gardner. Two announced this week that they raised more than $1 million in the past quarter, more than Hickenlooper is thought to have raised for his presidential bid over the same period.

Hickenlooper, a brewpub owner-turned-politician, launched his White House campaign in March. The future of his candidacy is under scrutiny as his campaign undergoes a major shakeup .


The three top Republican fundraising networks seem to be struggling, can they pull it together for 2020 and beyond?

In recent weeks, the NRA has seen everything from a failed coup attempt to the departure of its longtime political architect to embarrassing tales of self-dealing by top leaders. The turmoil is fueling fears that the organization will be profoundly diminished heading into the election, leaving the Republican Party with a gaping hole in its political machinery.

With the Chamber of Commerce and Koch political network withdrawing from their once-dominant roles in electing conservatives, Republicans worry that three organizations that have long formed the core of their electoral infrastructure will be effectively on the sidelines.


Headline should have been about who made it to the next round. :woman_shrugging:t2:

With just four weeks to go until the second set of Democratic presidential primary debates, a handful of lower-tier candidates are in danger of missing them. A single percentage point of support in one poll could be the difference between getting invited to Detroit and being left off the debate stage.

A New York Times analysis of donor and polling data shows that as of Wednesday, seven candidates seeking the Democratic nomination are actively fighting for six slots in the coming debate, which again will be split over two nights, July 30 and 31.


The 14 candidates who have locked in a spot on the July debate stage by qualifying through both donors and polling, in alphabetical order, are: former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey; Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.; the former housing secretary Julián Castro; Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii; Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York; Senator Kamala Harris of California; Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington; Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas; Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont; Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; the self-help author Marianne Williamson; and the former tech executive Andrew Yang.


From May…WaPo and an excerpt from tonight’s PBS NewsHour discussing where in the Senate, Dems might hope to get a foothold on the Senate. It comes down to “Those are in Colorado, in Maine and in Arizona”

To retake the Senate, Democrats need to hold their existing seats (including in Alabama, which saw a split-ticket result in 2017′s special election) and win five additional seats from the Republicans. Cook Political Report has two states with Republican incumbents where the race is expected to be a toss-up, Arizona and Colorado, which backed Clinton in 2016.

In Maine, the seat held by incumbent Sen. Susan Collins ® is listed as “lean Republican” — slightly safer for her party, though her state also voted for Clinton. There are three seats that are “likely Republican,” including the one in Georgia, North Carolina and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s seat in Kentucky.

The bad news for Democrats? Since 1990, there have been seven elections in which one party won blue-state Maine’s Senate seat while the other party triumphed in the most recent presidential contest. In the other five states above, it’s only happened 11 times — and only three times since 2006, including once in Colorado. (In Montana, there have been eight split-ticket votes since 1990 and three in the past decade.) If Democrats pick up Maine and Colorado — beating incumbents — they still need three more red-state victories to retake the chamber.

The good news? The 2018 results suggest that 2014 and 2016 may have been exceptions, not markers of a new uniformity in Senate voting. What’s more, since 1990, presidential years in which an incumbent was on the ballot (1992, 1996, 2004, 2012), saw a quarter of Senate races involve split-ticket results. That’s closer to the off-year rate (29 percent) than the rate in presidential election years without an incumbent (2000, 2008, 2016): 18 percent.

Watched this tonight on PBS NewsHour

  • So how much of a challenge is it for Democrats, say, they win the White House, but if they don’t win control back of the Senate?

  • Philip Bump:

It’s a huge challenge.

All of the conversations that are being had right now in the Democratic primary about policy issues that the candidates would like to advance, all of that hinges, of course, on their being able to pass things in the Senate.

I mean, setting aside the issue of the filibuster, which demands a 60-vote majority, even getting to the 50-vote count, they’re right now down by four votes in the Senate, and they need to pick those seats up if they’re going to pass any legislation at all.

The first is that the Senate — only a third of the Senate is up in any given year. And so that makes it challenging. You can’t simply just overhaul the Senate all at once. The second challenge is that a lot of these seats that they could pick up, a lot of the incumbent senators who are up on the ballot, are in pretty red states.

And, obviously, the redder the state, the tougher it’s going to be for a Democrat. So we have, if you look at what — Cook Political Report, they do general assessments of the state of the race periodically.

If you look at what they say right now, there are three states where the Democrats could pick up seats. Those are in Colorado, in Maine and in Arizona. Now, none of those is necessarily a gimme, but two of those states at least voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Democrats are fighting for the presidency in 2020. But can they win the Senate? | PBS NewsHour


Rep. Eric Swalwell is expected to abandon his uphill run for president Monday and announce that he will instead seek a fifth term in the House.

Swalwell’s plans were confirmed by a Capitol Hill source with knowledge of his intentions.

As Swalwell prepared to exit the race, another Californian, Tom Steyer, who had earlier said he would not mount a 2020 presidential run, was planning to announce that he has changed his mind.

The San Francisco billionaire, a former hedge-fund chief, aims to announce this week that he will enter the race for the Democratic nomination, according to a source close to Steyer. The liberal activist had traveled to Iowa in January to announce he was not running.

CNN has the story too


And Politico has more on the Steyer story.


Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts raised $19.1 million in the past three months, her campaign said on Monday, a total that places her firmly in the top echelon of the Democratic money race and ahead of her main rival for the party’s progressive wing, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.


Ms. Warren’s total for the second quarter, which ran from April through June, is likely to place her third in fund-raising among Democrats over that period.


Next Debate July 30th and 31st, 8pm ET

CNN is airing the much-anticipated Democratic National Committee-sanctioned debates live from Detroit at 8 p.m. ET on July 30 and 31. Dana Bash, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper will serve together as the moderators for both debates.

While candidates will not officially learn if they make the Detroit stage until July 17, Tuesday’s call with the 20-plus Democratic campaigns was held to help them prepare for the debate should their respective candidates qualify, a CNN spokesperson said.

The window to determine debate eligibility closes on July 16, and candidates will be informed the next day if they will be invited to participate in Detroit. On July 18, CNN will air a live draw) to determine the specific candidate lineups for each debate night.

New Rules:

The campaign representatives also learned on Tuesday that candidates will be given 60 seconds to respond to a moderator-directed question, and 30 seconds for responses and rebuttals.

In addition, the campaign representatives were told:

  • Colored lights will be used to help the candidates manage their remaining response times: 15 seconds = yellow; 5 seconds = flashing red; no time remaining = solid red.
  • A candidate attacked by name by another candidate will be given 30 seconds to respond.
  • There will be no show of hands or one-word, down-the-line questions.
  • A candidate who consistently interrupts will have his or her time reduced.
  • Questions posed by the moderators will appear on the bottom of the screen for television viewers.

Yeah, the “show of hands” thing was too confusing.


Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have raised about $100 million in the past three months combined. Together, they share a large majority of public support.


The consolidation of Democratic money in the primary — and the now-flattened top tier — became evident this week, after Warren, a Massachusetts senator, announced Monday that she had raised $19.1 million in the second quarter of the year. Buttigieg raised $25 million, Biden raised $21.5 million, Sanders raised $18 million and Harris raised $12 million in the same time period.

For comparison


Just in case we forget…these Russian trolls are working, working, working…

Roaming the halls when she could — cameras were everywhere — Savchuk discovered the IRA was full of different “departments.” There was the “news division,” the “social media seeders”, and a group dedicated to producing visual memes known as " demotivators."

Each worker had a quota to fill every day and every night.

Despite the division of labor, the content was remarkably uniform. The US, the EU, Ukraine’s pro-European government, and Russia’s opposition were regular targets for scorn. And then there was Russian President Vladimir Putin — seemingly no Russian triumph under his rule was too small to warrant a celebratory tweet, meme or post.

“Each worker has a quota to fill every day and every night,” Savchuk says. “Because the factory works around the clock. It never stops. Not for a second.”


Buttigieg to Pence - using scripture to wake this wooden man up. WTF


Pennsylvania’s message was clear: The state was taking a big step to keep its elections from being hacked in 2020. Last April, its top election official told counties they had to update their systems. So far, nearly 60% have taken action, with $14.15 million of mostly federal funds helping counties buy brand-new electoral systems.

But there’s a problem: Many of these new systems still run on old software that will soon be outdated and more vulnerable to hackers.

An Associated Press analysis has found that like many counties in Pennsylvania, the vast majority of 10,000 election jurisdictions nationwide use Windows 7 or an older operating system to create ballots, program voting machines, tally votes and report counts.

Critics say the situation is an example of what happens when private companies ultimately determine the security level of election systems with a lack of federal requirements or oversight. Vendors say they have been making consistent improvements in election systems. And many state officials say they are wary of federal involvement in state and local elections.

“That’s a very serious concern,” said J. Alex Halderman, a University of Michigan professor and renowned election security expert. He said the country risks repeating “mistakes that we made over the last decade or decade-and-a-half when states bought voting machines but didn’t keep the software up-to-date and didn’t have any serious provisions” for doing so.

The AP surveyed all 50 states, the District of Columbia and territories, and found multiple battleground states affected by the end of Windows 7 support, including Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Arizona and North Carolina. Also affected are Michigan, which recently acquired a new system, and Georgia, which will announce its new system soon.

“Is this a bad joke?” said Marilyn Marks, executive director of the Coalition for Good Governance, an election integrity advocacy organization, upon learning about the Windows 7 issue. Her group sued Georgia to get it to ditch its paperless voting machines and adopt a more secure system. Georgia recently piloted a system running on Windows 7 that was praised by state officials.

U.S. officials determined that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election and have warned that Russia, China and other nations are trying to influence the 2020 elections.

When has Trump lifted a finger to protect our elections?


The field is set for CNN’s Democratic primarydebates later this month.

The Democratic National Committee announced Wednesday that the candidates who have made the debate stage are: Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, former Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, California Sen. Kamala Harris, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Washington Gov.Jay Inslee, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, author Marianne Williamson and businessman Andrew Yang.

The debate will be held over two nights in Detroit on July 30 and 31 at 8 p.m. ET.


Tuesday, July 30:

Wednesday, July 31:
De Blasio