Trump Is Spending on Ads in D.C. Market, Again: Campaign Update

President Donald Trump’s campaign is taking out ads in the Washington, D.C., market. Democrats outpace Republicans on absentee-ballot requests in North Carolina. And Trump’s new ads seek to tar Democratic nominee Joe Biden as a leftist.

There are 92 days until the election.

Other Developments:

Trump Is Spending on Ads in D.C. Market, Again

Trump will be getting some positive reinforcement even during the commercial breaks on one of his favorite cable-television channels for the next two weeks.

The president’s campaign has booked $38,000 worth of ad time on Fox News Channel in the Washington, D.C., market starting Monday, according to the advertising firm Medium Buying.

Although Trump has little chance of capturing the District’s three electoral votes -- he got 4.1% of the vote in 2016 -- he’s spent more than $600,000 on ads there this year, according to Advertising Analytics.

That’s a drop in the bucket for a re-election effort that is closing in on $1 billion in donations, but unusual nonetheless. Campaigns try to maximize their advertising impact by targeting battleground states. Biden, who spent around $80,000 in Washington when he was still competing in the primaries, hasn’t run any ads in the market since becoming the Democratic nominee.

But that doesn’t mean the capital’s cable boxes have been free of ads attacking the president. The Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump group founded by a group of Republican operatives including George Conway, the husband of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, has spent $1.2 million on ads running on cable outlets in Washington, including spots on Fox News Channel. -- Bill Allison

North Carolina Democrats Outpace Republicans on Absentee Vote Requests (11:50 a.m.)

Three times as many Democrats as Republicans have requested to vote absentee in North Carolina so far this year.

With just 32 days until the state starts mailing out absentee ballots, 60,502 Democrats have requested one, compared to just 18,974 Republicans, according to the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

Another 41,843 requests came from unaffiliated voters, a fast-growing voting bloc in North Carolina which one analysis found tends to be younger and more likely to have moved from another state than members of either political party.

Historically, the state has not used vote-by-mail as heavily as in-person early voting. But Catawba College professor Michael Bitzer, who has been tracking the numbers, has found that the requests are coming in at about six times the rate as in 2016.

In June, Governor Roy Cooper signed bipartisan legislation making it easier to vote absentee during the pandemic by allowing voters to request one by email or fax and reducing the witness requirement from two to one person.

Trump’s New Ads Seek to Cast Doubt on Biden’s Policies (9:55 a.m.)

The Trump campaign reset its ad strategy Monday with two new ads seeking to cast doubt on Biden’s policy plans.

The first ad, “Takeover,” claims that Biden has “embraced the policies of the radical left.”

“Trillions in new taxes, crushing middle-class families,” the ad’s narrator says. A second ad, “Cards,” features a woman holding cue cards with her concerns, one of which reads, “Biden will raise taxes.”

The Biden campaign says it plans to raise taxes on households earning $400,000 or more. Some middle-income families could see tax increases because of the indirect effects of higher corporate taxes on the economy.

Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said the claims are a distraction from Trump’s problems with the coronavirus.

“That’s why the Trump campaign is locked in a sad and pathetic cycle of bimonthly, shambolic message ‘resets’ -- all of which are based on the same recycled lies that voters have seen through countless times before,” he said.

Kanye West Cameos in Trump Ad (7:50 a.m.)

Kanye West may be trying to run for president, but that’s not keeping him out of a Trump ad.

Forty-three seconds into a minute-long ad posted on the president’s Twitter account late Sunday, the hip hop star can be seen from behind while hugging Trump in a 2018 visit to the White House.

West announced his own quixotic presidential bid in July and has since said he’s not running, even as he’s still trying to get on the ballot in some states, according to reports.

The ad also features a brief shot of golfer Tiger Woods receiving a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2019.

Trump has been trying to attract Black voters and suggest that Biden would hurt African-American communities, despite Biden’s overwhelming support among Black voters..

Trump Hits Biden Over Social Security in New Ad (6:30 a.m.)

The Trump campaign is dipping into Biden’s long Senate career to attack him over Social Security.

A Facebook ad features a brief clip from Biden on the Senate floor discussing a proposal he put together with Republican Senator Chuck Grassley in 1984 to freeze government spending, including Social Security, for one year to help fight the budget deficit.

“I tried with Senator Grassley back in the ‘80s to freeze all government spending, including Social Security, including everything,” Biden says in the clip, which is from a C-SPAN video of him speaking about balancing the federal budget in November of 1995.

The ad claims that Biden would “destroy Social Security” and turn America “into a Big Government Socialist Nation,” and that Trump has “kept his promise to protect Social Security.”

In his presidential campaign, Biden proposes boosting Social Security benefits for retirees who have low lifetime earnings as well as for widows and widowers.

Trump, who said that he would not “cut Social Security like every other Republican” during the 2016 primary, has proposed cuts to two programs run by the Social Security Administration -- Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income -- but they were not enacted.

Nevada Moves Closer to All-Mail Election in November

Nevada may soon become the eighth state sending every voter a ballot for the November election.

On Sunday, Democratic state lawmakers passed a bill on a party-line vote that would automatically mail every active voter a ballot. It now goes to Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak, who is expected to sign it into law.

The state would join California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia in automatically mailing all voters a ballot this November.

The bill also expands who can collect and turn in ballots, a practice sometimes referred to as “ballot harvesting.”

Trump, who has criticized mail-in ballots in recent months, said in a Monday morning tweet that the bill’s passage was “outrageous” and threatened a lawsuit.

Trump later called the bill an “illegal late night coup” that would make it “impossible for Republicans to win the state.”

Boater Takes Trump Flag Right Past SpaceX Capsule

A private boat flying a Trump flag was among those that came close to a SpaceX capsule after it splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico.

After the Crew Dragon capsule with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley aboard had the first U.S. splashdown in decades, boaters swarmed the area.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told reporters that the Coast Guard successfully cleared a landing area for the capsule, but it will need to “do better” during the next splashdown to ensure private watercraft don’t get close.

Unauthorized boats near the splashdown site can complicate recovery efforts, especially if something goes wrong. The spacecraft also releases toxic chemicals during the splashdown which could hurt the boaters.

Coming Up:

Trump will meet with tech workers at 11:30 a.m. at the White House before signing an executive order.

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