With 36 days to Election Day 2020, here’s the news that you’ll want to know:
And on the campaign trail today:
President Trump will speak from the White House at 2pm Eastern. Joe Biden is, once again, out of the public eye, according to Fox. Tomorrow the two will meet at the first presidential debate at 9pm Eastern.
Nancy Pelosi tells House Democrats they could decide the 2020 presidential election.
“Pelosi, in a Sunday letter to House Democrats, urged them to consider whether the House might be pulled into deciding who is president when determining where to focus resources on winning seats in November. This could lead to more concerted efforts by Democrats to win in states such as Montana and Alaska — typically Republican turf but where Democrats have been competitive statewide.” (POLITICO)
- What’s happening: Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent out a letter to House Democrats to encourage them to focus on keeping their majority and expanding state delegations in November.
That’s the normal role of a party leader except for one key detail: Pelosi said the focus is because the House may decide the presidential election.
Here are some key facts to know:
(1) A House vote on president would only happen if neither President Trump nor Joe Biden reach 270 votes in the Electoral College.
Without the key 270 Electoral College votes for either candidate, the House would award one vote to each state delegation, i.e. all the U.S. Representatives elected from one state. This last happened in 1876.
(2) Right now, Republicans are the majority when counted by state delegations: 26 state delegations are majority GOP vs 22 state delegations with a majority Democratic.
So although Democrats are the majority in the House overall, Republicans are the majority when counted by state delegation … and could therefore be the majority in a House vote to determine the president.
(3) But a House vote for president would be cast by the next Congress, i.e. everyone elected in 2020.
Pelosi’s letter suggests that Democrats will focus on congressional races that will help them secure majorities in more state delegations.
- What’s at stake: It’s unlikely (but not impossible — it is 2020, the year of uncertain and unprecedented times after all) that the presidential election could be decided in Congress.
But the bigger takeaway from this story is how Democrats are signaling they expect a long, drawn-out, and tough fight to Election Day on November 3rd — and after.
Pelosi put it bluntly, according to POLITICO: “The Constitution says that a candidate must receive a majority of the state delegations to win. We must achieve that majority of delegations or keep the Republicans from doing so.”
It’s “keep the Republicans from doing so” that raised our eyebrows.
To us, that means:
— We may see recounts and legal challenges in the presidential race and also congressional races that could affect which party has the majority in a state delegation.
— We may see Democrats make their tired arguments about the popular vote versus the Electoral College process — which always end with arguing that any Republican in power means that it’s an “illegitimate” process or leader.
- What else to know: Check out this piece from The Federalist on Democrats’ attempts to create an “electoral crisis”: “While they conjure and propagate conspiracy theories, they and their friends are guilty of a vast array of efforts to subvert the will of the people and their elected representatives, create chaos and confusion on election day, and facilitate massive election irregularities in critical swing states all over the country. Never forget: nearly everything the left says about the right is projection.”
Tomorrow night’s presidential debate “will be watched by the country as though it’s tuning into the Super Bowl.”
“A big night for Trump or a bad night for Biden could alter the trajectory of a race that’s barely budged during months of nationwide upheaval. ‘This debate will be watched by the country as though it’s tuning into the Super Bowl,’ said Mari Will, a debate coach and longtime Republican political adviser.” (POLITICO)
- What’s happening: We’re less than 36 hours away from the first presidential debate at 9pm Eastern tomorrow, September 29. Here’s the key information you’ll want to know:
— The debate will be 90 minutes and run commercial free. It’ll be divided into six 15-minute segments, with a topic assigned to each segment.
— Joe Biden has effectively been off the campaign trail since last week, which his campaign has said was due to his intensive debate prep. If he under-performs tomorrow night, he’ll make President Trump’s case: that Biden is not up to the job of president.
— This debate comes as Biden has made headlines for outrageous claims in his few public events.
Biden said he attended Delaware State University, an historically Black university in Delaware; the school said that’s not true. He compared President Trump to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels; the Republican Jewish Coalition has since asked him to retract and apologize.
- What’s at stake: As experts interviewed in the POLITICO story noted, tomorrow night’s presidential debate is the one opportunity to potentially shake up the race.
It’s been a highly unusual year with limited public speeches and campaign events — especially for Biden, who is drawing criticism even from his own party for his low-profile campaign style. So this is one of the few opportunities Americans will have to tune in and see the candidates for themselves.
Even so, many Americans have already voted in the 2020 presidential election due to expanded early and absentee voting. And reports indicate that “more Americans have made up their mind by this point compared with years past.”
- What else to know: If you need a laugh, check out this satire from the Daily Wire: “News media declares that Biden’s debate performance tomorrow was great [satire].”
President Trump and Trump Organization attorney fire back at New York Times‘ attempted hit piece on taxes.
“An attorney for the Trump Organization, Alan Garten, backed up Trump’s claims to the NYT, noting that Trump ‘has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including paying millions in personal taxes since announcing his candidacy in 2015.'” (Daily Wire)
- What’s happening: Surely with visions of a forthcoming Pulitzer Prize dancing in their heads, New York Times reporters published a lengthy — but ultimately meandering and ineffective — story on President Trump’s personal taxes last night.
But both the President and a Trump Organization attorney have called the story fake news, with his attorney adding that President Trump has paid “millions” in personal taxes.
- What’s at stake: The left seems to think this will be the story of the 2020 presidential election. But we think they’ve misjudged the story for several reasons.
(1) When the American people hear President Trump and taxes in the same sentence, they likely immediately think of how President Trump lowered their taxes — and put more money in their paychecks — with historic tax reform.
(2) The tax documents undercut two critical Democratic claims, as they show President Trump “does not appear to have financial connections to Russia,” as the Daily Wire reported, and he is facing an audit, as he’s repeatedly told the American people when asked about his taxes.
(3) And if Biden wants to talk taxes, he’ll likely have to watch out for the millions that he and his wife did not pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on.
To be fair, it’s a completely legal tax move with how they structured it … but it’s impossible for Biden to claim the moral high ground on taxes and argue for a reported $3 trillion tax plan without contributing to the government programs he claims to support.