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Wake Up To Politics - September 3, 2020

It’s Thursday, September 3, 2020. Election Day is 61 days away. The first presidential debate is 26 days away. Have questions, comments, or tips? Email me.

Biden vs. Trump: Where the race stands

Election Day is exactly two months away. Here’s where the presidential race stands...

The polls: A spate of high-quality polls were released from major outfits on Wednesday, providing the most detailed look at how President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are faring after their party conventions last month.

Most of the polls showed a largely unchanged race from before the conventions: Biden remains in the lead nationally by about 7 to 10 percentage points (a slight gain for Trump), while he holds a slimmer advantage in most battleground states.

Each of the following polls released on Wednesday was conducted by live interviewers, which is generally seen as a sign of higher quality in the polling industry. They were the first live-caller polls to come out since Trump and Biden were formally nominated at the conventions.

New national polls

The money: Biden announced his fundraising haul for the month of August on Wednesday, and it was a record-breaker. Combined with the Democratic National Committee and its joint fundraising committees, the Biden campaign raked in $364.5 million in August, more than any presidential bid has ever raised in a single month.

The flood of cash came in the same month Biden unveiled California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate and officially accepted the Democratic nomination at the party’s all-virtual convention.  

According to the campaign, 95% of all donations came from “grassroots supporters” and about $205 million, or 57%, came from online donations. “Working people are powering our campaign — and I’m grateful,” Biden tweeted when announcing the news.

The Trump campaign has yet to announce its August fundraising numbers; Trump bested Biden in July, $165 million to $140 million.

Top monthly fundraising totals for general election presidential candidates

  1. Joe Biden, August 2020, $365 million
  2. Barack Obama, September 2008, $202 million
  3. Barack Obama, September 2012, $182 million
  4. Mitt Romney, September 2012, $171 million
  5. Donald Trump, July 2020, $165 millionTotals provided to Wake Up To Politics by the Campaign Finance Institute. Amounts include combined totals between a candidate’s campaign committee, party committee, and joint fundraising committees.

The trail: The days of coronavirus keeping both presidential candidates homebound seem to be over. Trump and Biden have both returned to the campaign trail this week, holding dueling events in top battleground states.

Today, Biden will follow Trump to Kenosha, Wisconsin, two days after the president’s visit. Biden told reporters that he hopes to bring unity to the tumultuous city: “We’ve got to heal,” he said. “We’ve got to put things together and bring people together.” Biden is expected to meet with the family of Jacob Blake, a Black man shot by the Kenosha police last month.

Trump did not meet with the Blake family during his visit. In his remarks on Tuesday, the president praised law enforcement while blasting violent demonstrations as acts of “domestic terror.” Some local leaders, including the Kenosha NAACP president, urged both presidential nominees to refrain from visiting, a message that wasn’t heeded by either candidate.

Candidate schedules

  • August 31: Biden in Pennsylvania.
  • September 1: Trump in Wisconsin.
  • September 2: Trump in North Carolina, Biden in Delaware.
  • September 3: Biden in Wisconsin.
  • September 8: Trump in North Carolina
  • September 11: Biden in Pennsylvania.

The debates: The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced the moderators for the fall match-ups between President Trump and former Vice President Biden.

The Trump campaign quickly responded by expressing their disapproval, claiming that some of the moderators “can be identified as clear opponents of President Trump.” Neither campaign was allowed to offer input in the moderators selections; both have agreed to participate in all four CPD debates this year.

Debate schedule

  • September 29: Presidential debate at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace.
  • October 7: Vice presidential debate at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. Moderated by USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page.
  • October 15: Town hall-style presidential debate at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami, Florida. Moderated by C-SPAN political editor Steve Scully.
  • October 22: Presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Moderated by NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker.

The Rundown

“Trump encourages North Carolina residents to vote twice to test mail-in system” NBC News

“CDC tells states to prepare for COVID-19 vaccinations by November 1” CBS News

“Trump Moves to Cut Federal Funding From Democratic Cities” New York Times

“U.S. Debt Is Set to Exceed Size of the Economy Next Year, a First Since World War II” Wall Street Journal

“Facebook will ban new political ads a week before Election Day” Axios


All times Eastern.

President Donald Trump will receive his intelligence briefing at 11:30 a.m., have lunch with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at 12:30 p.m., and deliver remarks at a campaign event in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, at 7 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Raleigh, North Carolina. He will tour Gateway Women’s Care and participate in a roundtable discussion, participate in a “fireside chat” at Christ Baptist Church, and accept an endorsement for the Trump campaign from the Southern States Police Benevolent Association.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany will hold a press briefing at 1 p.m.

The House and Senate are on recess.

The Supreme Court is on summer recess.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin, as tensions begin to calm in the city after 10 days of protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Biden will hold a “community meeting” and make a “local stop” with his wife, Dr. Jill Biden.  

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris will attend virtual fundraisers.

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