Monday's Campaign Round-Up, 7.20.20

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 the wake of John Lewis' passing, the Democratic Party officials in Georgia's 5th congressional district will meet today to choose their 2020 candidate for the seat. A local report added that Gov. Brian Kemp (R) will also schedule a special election to fill Lewis' vacancy for the remainder of his current term, though it will likely coincide with the Nov. 3 general election.

* The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll shows Joe Biden leading Donald Trump by 15 points, 55% to 40%, among registered voters nationwide. That's up from the 10-point lead the Delaware Democrat enjoyed in May. Among likely voters, Biden's is currently 11 points.

* The latest national Fox News poll, however, found the former vice president up by eight points, 49% to 41%. In June, the same pollster found Biden ahead by 12 points, so this is sort of good news for the president.

* After Rep. Steve Watkins (R-Kan.) was charged with criminal voter fraud last week, his office suggested he intended to keep his committee assignments, House GOP Conference rules notwithstanding. Late Friday, the Kansas Republican relented and gave up his posts.

* After officials in Houston scrapped plans for an in-person Republican Party of Texas state convention, party officials filed suit. Late Friday, a Reagan-appointed federal judge sided with the Texas GOP, clearing the way for its in-person gathering, though Republicans announced soon after that they would proceed with a virtual convention instead.

* It generated surprisingly little attention, but the National Rifle Association formally endorsed Trump's re-election campaign late last week.

* Four years ago, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) insisted that a 2016 Supreme Court vacancy should remain unfilled until after the presidential election. This year, the far-right Iowan is taking the opposite position, saying Senate Republicans should proceed with a confirmation process -- during a lame-duck session, if necessary -- in the event of a 2020 vacancy on the high court. Ernst is running for a second term this year.