Democrats Unveil Partial Convention Schedule: Campaign Update

Democrats have revealed a partial schedule for their Milwaukee convention. Potential vice presidential candidate Susan Rice addressed one of her weaknesses on “The View.” And President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden are tied in Georgia.

There are 97 days until the election.

Other Developments:

Democrats Unveil Partial Convention Schedule

Organizers of the Democratic National Convention unveiled a partial schedule for the four-day event in Milwaukee next month.

Due to the coronavirus, many of the small group meetings will be held virtually, while some speakers will be appearing from locations around the country.

“We have an exciting lineup of programming over the course of four nights as we seek a better future for all Americans,” said Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez.

The schedule includes meetings of groups for Black, Hispanic and Asian voters; young adults and seniors; disabled Americans and LGBTQ voters, among others.

Biden’s running mate will give her acceptance speech on Wednesday, Aug. 19, while Biden will accept the nomination the next day.

Susan Rice Shows Four-Part Rebuttal on Benghazi (1:52 p.m.)

Potential Biden running mate Susan Rice showed how she would rebut Republican criticism of the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, if she’s picked.

In an appearance on “The View” on Wednesday, the former national security adviser outlined a four-part defense of her statements in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attack, which she mistakenly initially described as a “spontaneous protest” over an internet video:

  • She did nothing wrong: “Eight congressional committees over the next four years investigated every aspect of Benghazi and not one of them found that I had done anything wrong.”
  • The GOP will attack other veep picks: “I don’t doubt that Republicans will use this and they’ll attack whoever is Joe Biden’s choice to be his vice president.”
  • Republicans haven’t investigated similar attacks: “Three American servicemembers were killed in a terrorist attack within the last year on American soil on a military base in Pensacola. ... This happened on Donald Trump’s watch. Not one investigation.”
  • It’s a distraction. “The main thing that they’re trying to distract from -- whether they’re attacking me or somebody else -- is the horrific reality that under Donald Trump’s watch, 150,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus, 30 million almost are out of work and our kids can’t safely go back to school.”

Trump, Biden Tied in Georgia Poll (11:39 a.m.)

Trump and Biden are tied in Georgia in a new poll.

In a Monmouth University Poll released Wednesday, 47% of registered voters said they back Trump, while 47% said they back Biden. Another 3% said they back Libertarian nominee Jo Jorgensen and 3% were undecided.

“There is a lot of parity between the two candidates,” said Monmouth director Patrick Murray. “Trump has a lock on his base but Biden is performing much better than Clinton did in key swing areas.”

The poll did have some good news for Republicans, as incumbent Senator David Perdue was backed by 49%, while Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff had just 43% support.

The survey of 402 registered voters in Georgia was conducted from July 23-27. It has a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.

Trump Teases Nomination Speech at White House (11:01 a.m.)

Trump is considering accepting the Republican presidential nomination in a speech from the White House, a violation of long-standing norms on campaigning.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday morning, the president said his campaign will be “picking a location fairly soon” for the speech.

Asked if it could be at the White House, he replied, “It might be, it’s something we’re thinking about.”

The Hatch Act, passed in 1939, limits campaigning by executive branch officials, especially in locations such as the White House, but it does not apply to the president and vice president.

Trump moved his acceptance speech from Charlotte, North Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida after sparring with Governor Roy Cooper over coronavirus-related restrictions. But last week he canceled the Jacksonville events amid a resurgence of cases there.

Republicans Registering at Faster Rate in Pennsylvania (10:23 a.m.)

Republicans have registered at five times the rate of Democrats in the key swing state of Pennsylvania, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

According to data compiled by the newspaper, the GOP has gained a net of about 165,000 registered voters in the Keystone State, while Democrats have netted only about 30,000.

The GOP’s gains have come in largely rural areas, while the Democrats have added voters in the suburbs in the Southeastern part of the state.

Democrats still have the edge overall, with about 800,000 more registered voters than Republicans.

Biden is ahead in Pennsylvania by 6.2 percentage points in the Real Clear Politics average of polls. Trump won the state by just over 44,000 votes in 2016.

Postal Service Says Ask for Ballot by Oct. 19 (6:55 a.m.)

The U.S. Postal Service is recommending voters request mail-in ballots no later than Oct. 19.

In a statement to a Fox affiliate, the Postal Service confirmed that it has been advising local elections officials to tell voters to ask for their ballots as soon as possible, but no later than 15 days before the Nov. 3 election.

Ballots are typically sent as first-class mail, which takes from two to five days.

But the Postal Service has had slower mail delivery times during the coronavirus pandemic due to staffing shortages and more package deliveries as people step up their online shopping.

With a historic surge in mail-in voting expected this November, experts warn that local elections offices may be overwhelmed by a flood of late requests.

Trump Risks Losing a Single Elector in Maine

Trump lost Maine in the 2016 presidential election, but he picked up a single elector thanks to a quirk in state law.

He may find it harder to repeat that in 2020, according to a new poll.

Of its four electors, the northeastern state awards two to the candidate who won the entire state and one each to the winners of its two districts for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Trump won the state’s overwhelmingly rural Second Congressional District by more than 10 percentage points, the first time the state had split its Electoral College vote since it switched to the system in 1972.

But a Colby College poll of registered voters taken July 18-24 found his lead over Biden is just three points in the Second district.

Biden Is OK With Supporters Who Are Mostly Against Trump

Two-thirds of Biden supporters said their vote is more against Trump, rather than for Biden, according to a recent Pew poll.

Asked about that Tuesday, Biden was OK with it.

“Look, I am running because Trump is the president, and I think our democracy is at stake,” he said. “And what seems to be the case is that many Americans -- those who don’t like me and those who do -- view me as the antithesis of Trump, and I believe that I am.”

That same Pew survey showed three-fourths of Trump supporters said they were voting for Trump, while only one-fourth were voting against Biden.

That’s a different dynamic than 2016, when a Quinnipiac University Poll showed two-thirds of Trump voters said they were voting more against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, while slightly more than half of Clinton voters said they were voting against Trump.

Coming Up:

Trump is traveling to Texas on Wednesday for a fundraiser and roundtable discussion with supporters.

Vice President Mike Pence will visit a private school in Apex, North Carolina, on Wednesday and take a bus tour in Pennsylvania on Thursday.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren will host a virtual fundraiser for Biden on Friday afternoon.

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