Thursday's Campaign Round-Up, 7.16.20

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.

* Ahead of the Republican convention next month, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel sent a letter to committee members this morning, outlining a scaled-back gathering in Jacksonville. The convention will apparently include a speech from Donald Trump with a smaller audience than the one the president hoped to see.

* The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, released yesterday, found Joe Biden leading Trump nationally, 51% to 40%. Last month, the former vice president had a more modest seven-point advantage over the incumbent.

* And while Republicans were probably discouraged by those results, the latest Quinnipiac poll was even worse: it showed Biden ahead of Trump, 52% to 37%. "Yes, there's still 16 weeks until Election Day, but this is a very unpleasant real time look at what the future could be for President Trump. There is no upside, no silver lining, no encouraging trend hidden somewhere in this survey for the president," Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy said.

* Biden is scheduled to speak today to Emgage Action, the nation’s largest Muslim-American political action committee, less than a year after skipping the Islamic Society of North America’s convention.

* Bolstering Democratic hopes in Texas, turnout for this week's Democratic U.S. Senate runoff shattered a state record set in 1994: 746,641 votes were set 26 years ago, compared to 955,735 votes this week.

* The nation's largest LGBTQ rights advocacy organization, the Human Rights Campaign, has traditionally supported Sen. Susan Collins' (R) re-election campaigns, but this year, it's endorsing her rival, former state House Speaker Sara Gideon (D).

* A new political action committee with Democratic ties is launching a new ad campaign in Kansas, targeting Rep. Roger Marshall's (R) U.S. Senate campaign, and hoping to boost former Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R). There's no great mystery behind the strategy: Democrats hope Kobach wins the Republican Senate primary because they see him as easier to defeat in November.

* And in 2024 news, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is signaling his interest in running for president again. The former governor's 2016 bid, dogged by scandal and unpopularity, did not go well, and Christie endorsed Trump early in the process.