Friday's Campaign Round-Up, 7.17.20

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
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By Steve Benen

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.

* In a major setback for voting rights, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way yesterday for Florida to strip former felons of their voting rights if they haven't paid all their prohibitively expensive court fines.

* After a local prosecutor charged Rep. Steve Watkins (R-Kan.) with voter fraud, his fellow Kansas Republican, Rep. Ron Estes (R-Kan.) announced his support for Watkins' primary rival, state Treasurer Jake LaTurner.

* Democratic officials continue to scale back plans for their upcoming national nominating convention, with party leaders telling members of Congress yesterday they should not plan to travel to Milwaukee for the 2020 gathering.

* In the wake of his brief presidential candidacy, Rep. Justin Amash confirmed overnight that he will not seek re-election in Michigan. The Michigan lawmaker, a former Republican, is currently the only self-identified independent in the U.S. House.

* Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), facing a tough re-election fight this year, is facing a new round of criticism this week after suggesting "the Hispanic population" is being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic because Hispanic Americans have shown "less consistent adherence to social distancing and wearing a mask.”

* Gallup's latest national survey points to a "dramatic" shift in Americans' party preferences, with support for Democrats climbing and support for Republicans sliding since the start of the year.

* New York held its primaries on June 23, and more than three weeks later, many races are still unresolved. Election officials are pointing to the unusually large number of absentee ballots, which take longer to count.

* That said, according to the Associated Press, Jamaal Bowman has, in fact, defeated House Foreign Affairs Chair Eliot Engel in New York's 16th congressional district.

* And in the wake of Donald Trump demoting Brad Parscale as his 2020 campaign manager, the Trump campaign insisted yesterday that Parscale wasn't actually demoted, reality notwithstanding.