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GOP expects awful turnout at Trump’s RNC speech: ‘Everybody just assumes no one is going’

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On Monday, The New York Times reported that as key Republican lawmakers continue to bail on President Donald Trump’s nomination acceptance speech in Jacksonville, Florida, many GOP officials are bracing for low turnout.

“As new cases surge in Florida, including 15,300 reported on Sunday, more Republicans are taking a wait-and-see approach to the event, or deciding to skip it all together,” reported Reid Epstein, Nicholas Fandos and Patricia Mazzei. “The G.O.P., which moved the convention to Jacksonville from Charlotte, N.C., after balking at health precautions there, now finds itself locked into a state with a far bigger virus problem, and planning an event whose attendance is waning as the pandemic escalates.”

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So far, a number of GOP senators and representatives have said they will not be attending, with the two most recent names to pull out being Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Pat Roberts (R-KS). Even some lawmakers in Florida will not be attending, like Reps. Francis Rooney and Mario Diaz-Balart, and Sen. Marco Rubio hasn’t committed to going either.

“Everybody just assumes no one is going,” said Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL), who serves as one of the Trump campaign’s honorary state co-chairs.

Trump moved major portions of the convention, including the speech, to Jacksonville after balking at the public safety restrictions on large gatherings in the original host city of Charlotte, North Carolina. But even Jacksonville is now imposing mask requirements and other limitations as coronavirus explodes in Florida, leading the campaign to explore outdoor venue options and other changes that would still let Trump speak to a large crowd.


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2020 Election

Trump-loving media’s attacks on Joe Biden have all been epic flops so far: data

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Pro-Trump media websites have been trying to pull the same trick on Joe Biden that they pulled on Hillary Clinton in 2016 -- but so far, none of their attacks on the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee have gained traction.

Axios reports that data from right-wing news websites shows that reader engagement on three key anti-Biden stories -- his alleged mental decline, his son Hunter Biden's former job with Ukrainian energy company Burisma, and sexual assault allegations by Tara Reade -- have all fizzled.

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2020 Election

Trump aides frustrated by his ‘nonsensical’ Biden attacks in Ohio: AP reporter

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During a segment on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Associated Press White House correspondent Jonathan Lemire stated that aides close to President Donald Trump thought the president made some good points about the U.S. economy on Thursday -- only to have his message overlooked when he attacked former Vice President Joe Biden.

Speaking with co-host Willie Geist, Lemire said there were other problems with the Ohio visit -- including Republican Gov. Mike DeWine being unable to attend because he tested positive for COVID-19 -- but Trump stating Biden "hurts God" made the economic points the president made secondary in a state where he needs votes.

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2020 Election

Expert: Trump playing ‘whack-a-mole’ in attempt to salvage states he should be winning

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A top political analyst says President Donald Trump seems to be flying blind as he heads toward an electoral loss.

Dave Wasserman, the U.S. House editor for the Cook Report, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that demographic changes had turned formerly reliable red states into competitive congressional races, and that same dynamic had made Trump's re-election campaign even more challenging.

"Pennsylvania, Florida and North Carolina, if you talk to the Trump data people they'll hang their hat on the gap getting narrower in those states," Wasserman said. "What's happening is that a lot of the older voters who, for lack of a better term, are exiting the electorate. They are disproportionally registered Democrats who are conservative and voted for Trump in 2016. Yes, the registration gap is narrowing, fewer voters are registering to vote this year than did in 2016 because we're in a pandemic. That doesn't mean the states are getting more favorable to Trump."

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