AS REPUBLICANS UNDERCUT POSTAL SERVICE, USPS WARNS MAIL DELAYS COULD DISENFRANCHISE VOTERS. As Republicans manufacture a nationwide crisis, the Postal Service issued a dire warning late last week that mail delays could disenfranchise voters in 46 states across the country. The news came after President Trump’s admission that he will keep blocking emergency USPS funding rather than make it easier to process mail-in ballots from millions of Americans who want to vote safely and securely from home. While Democrats have prioritized USPS funding in the next coronavirus relief package, Senate Republicans are blocking that funding and refusing to negotiate. By enabling the president’s attacks on the Postal Service, Senate Republicans are not only putting the election at risk; they’re also delaying the delivery of prescription drugs for veterans and seniors, slowing down Social Security payments, and harming small businesses.
As DSCC Chair Catherine Cortez Masto said this weekend: “Mitch McConnell should end recess, return to Washington, and work to pass the bipartisan emergency funding needed to provide urgent economic relief, combat this pandemic, and ensure the Postal Service can operate in a safe and timely manner.” Read Senator Cortez Masto’s full statement here.
DAY 4: MCCONNELL STILL BLOCKING UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF, STILL ON RECESS. After blocking unemployment relief for months, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are now on Day 4 of their month-long vacation.
DROP IN TESTING HAMPERS CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE. Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans decided to leave for recess without passing any additional relief as the U.S. is seeing a drop in reported coronavirus tests conducted daily. It’s a trend that experts widely agree is “worrisome” and underscores Senate Republicans’ abject failure to adequately respond to this pandemic. Despite public health experts and federal officials saying that increased testing “is essential to reining in the pandemic,” Senate Republicans proposed insufficient funding for more testing and contact tracing in their latest coronavirus relief proposal. New York Times: ‘We’re Clearly Not Doing Enough’: Drop in Testing Hampers Coronavirus Response
REPUBLICANS KEEP “REWRITING HISTORY” ON PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS. A HuffPost deep dive spotlights Senate Republicans’ health care hypocrisy as they continue trying to rewrite history and cover up the fact that they “spent the last few years trying to take away pre-existing condition protections” in Washington. Republican senators around the country “are doing precisely what Trump has been doing: Lying about their records.”
DOD THREATENS TO SLASH MILITARY HEALTH CARE DURING PANDEMIC. A new report finds that Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is looking to cut the military health system budget by $2.2 billion over the next five years, a rushed and arbitrary move that senior officials warn “will imperil the health care of millions of military personnel and their families” in the middle of an escalating public health crisis. While Democrats have denounced the potential cuts as “crazy,” GOP senators have yet to speak out against the Trump administration proposal that could “gut the Pentagon’s health care system during a nationwide pandemic.” It’s just the latest example of Republicans in Washington trying to cut access to health care for hardworking families. POLITICO: Esper eyes $2.2 billion cut to military health care
COOK POLITICAL REPORT SHIFTS #SCSEN RATING (AGAIN) IN DEMOCRATS’ DIRECTION. The nonpartisan election analysts at Cook Political Report shifted the South Carolina Senate race in Democrats’ direction again this morning, this time to a competitive “Lean Republican” rating. Jaime Harrison has outraised vulnerable incumbent Senator Lindsey Graham two quarters in a row, his campaign went up on TV early with positive advertising, and now a series of public and internal polls has shown the race tightening. With Senator Graham posting an underwater approval rating in the state and losing independents, Harrison’s “campaign focused on dinner table issues” is gaining traction. As Jessica Taylor writes in her analysis explaining the ratings change: “it’s clear this race is becoming more competitive, and Graham faces an incredibly strong challenge.” Cook Political Report: South Carolina Senate Moves From Likely to Lean Republican
NO LOCAL INTERVIEW OR PUBLIC TOWN HALLS FOR SENATOR DAVID PERDUE, BUT PLENTY OF ACCESS FOR DONORS. A blistering CBS46 report on Friday night called out vulnerable Senator David Perdue for hiding from the local press and ducking public town halls with voters. Some highlights of this must-watch clip:
Watch the devastating full TV clip here: Campaign 2020: Trying to connect to Senator Perdue
PERDUE CLAIMS HE’S THE REAL VICTIM OF HIS OWN CAMPAIGN’S ANTI-SEMITIC FACEBOOK AD. On Sunday morning, Senator Perdue was asked on Fox News about the anti-Semitic fundraising ad his campaign ran against Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff — and the incumbent’s response was as disgraceful as the ad itself. An investigation last month found that the Perdue campaign was running a digital ad that “lengthened and widened” Ossoff’s nose while “other parts of his face stayed the same size and proportions.” Rather than taking responsibility, Senator Perdue laughed off the accusation, and claimed he had been “victimized.” Senator Perdue once again ignored calls to apologize to Georgia’s Jewish community and failed to acknowledge his campaign’s role in the ad.
“THE WORD ‘BADASS’ GETS TOSSED AROUND A LOT. BUT MJ HEGAR… HAS ACTUALLY EARNED THE TAG.” Rolling Stone’s Jeff Goodell has a new profile of decorated combat veteran MJ Hegar, where she discusses her personal story and heroic military service, the threat of this pandemic, and the growing momentum around her effort to unseat Senator John Cornyn and flip Texas. The Senate race is heating up in this increasingly competitive battleground state: a poll conducted for the DSCC last month found MJ in a virtual tie with Senator Cornyn, a vulnerable three-term incumbent who is well under 50% support and getting mixed reviews from voters as his lead slips. Read more about why MJ has earned the tag of ‘badass’: Rolling Stone: Is Texas Ready for a Democratic Senator? MJ Hegar Thinks So
IN ALASKA, DR. AL GROSS MOUNTING STRONG CHALLENGE TO VULNERABLE SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN. A new analysis from Paul Kane for the Washington Post spotlights how independent candidates – including Senate challenger Dr. Al Gross – are “putting up the toughest fights that incumbent Alaska Republicans have seen since 2008.” Gross “has steadily outraised” Senator Dan Sullivan this year, particularly “after he released his first ad last month.” Gross outraised Sullivan (again) in July during the pre-primary period, nearly doubling Sullivan’s haul. An orthopedic surgeon, Gross “has targeted Sullivan for his votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, an issue he says is only more relevant during the pandemic.” Gross’ message is clear: “Alaskans want an independent voice in the Senate” — and his strong campaign is the latest example of Democrats expanding the map and making Republican incumbents nervous. Washington Post: In Republican Alaska, GOP incumbents face strongest challenges in decades amid the coronavirus pandemic
DEM AD WATCH
AK – Dr. Al Gross highlights Senator Dan Sullivan’s record voting against access to affordable prescription drugs for Alaskans. Watch.
CO – Hickenlooper for Colorado launches new digital campaign highlighting the Trump-centric ad Senator Cory Gardner tried to hide from Colorado. Watch.
ME – Sara Gideon’s new ad focuses on her work as House Speaker helping Maine’s small businesses afford health care, expanding job training, and supporting vocational education. Watch.
KS – Dr. Barbara Bollier’s latest ad highlights her background as a doctor and how she’ll use it to stand up to the partisan dysfunction in Washington and help Kansans get through this public health crisis. Watch.
IN THE STATES
AL – MSNBC: Sen. Jones: ‘Kentucky crickets’ from McConnell amid calls for Congress to return
CO – Denver Post: Guest Commentary: Cory Gardner is not the person his ads portray
CO – Colorado Politics: ‘My Complete and Total Endorsement’: Trump heaps praise on Gardner
IA – Cedar Rapids Gazette: Senate challenger Theresa Greenfield critiques Joni Ernst for lack of independent voting record
ME – Bangor Daily News: Ad Watch: GOP group gets personal against Sara Gideon on taxes but misses context
MT – Outside Magazine: The Republicans Who Really Want to Seem Outdoorsy
NH – WMUR: NH Primary Source: Human Rights Campaign criticizes Bolduc for referring to ‘pansies’ in TV ad
SC – The State: SC Democrats plan to seize on Biden-Harris ticket to help boost down-ballot turnout