U.S. ELECTION WRAP: Trump, Clinton Vie for Labor Day Edge

Clinton and Trump focus on the Midwest as both face post-Labor Day campaign challenges

State of the Race: Polls Tighten Heading Into Labor Day

Donald Trump will visit a black church in Detroit while Hillary Clinton focuses on Ohio and Iowa this weekend as Labor Day kicks off an accelerated push to November.

  • Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus dismissed a suggestion that Trump would be wiser to spend more time reaching out to swing voters in Florida or Pennsylvania instead of courting the black voters, a group that polls consistently show as largely loyal to Clinton
    • “The fact that we are going after the black vote and Hispanic vote and Asian vote across this country I think is what is going to make the difference between winning and losing,” Priebus told Fox News
    • The GOP, he said, is the party of the “open door,” and Trump “understands that”
  • If 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s share of the black vote in Ohio and Florida had increased by just a few percentage points, he would have won those crucial swing states: Priebus
    • NOTE: Romney still would have lost the electoral vote to President Obama, 285-253
  • The plans for Trump’s visit tomorrow to the predominantly black Great Faith Ministries International church in Detroit didn’t include a speech to the congregation; instead, he would answer questions from the pastor, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, and the interview would air later on Impact Network, Jackson’s Christian cable-TV channel, New York Times reported
    • After the newspaper last night wrote about a leaked script showing what the Republican’s advisers want him to say in the interview, the campaign said Trump would also address the congregation for 5-10 minutes
  • He also plans to visit Detroit neighborhoods with former campaign rival Ben Carson, an adviser who grew up in the city
    • Trump previously has called Detroit a “living, breathing example” of Clinton’s “failed economic agenda”
  • Trump’s campaign hasn’t yet released details of where he’ll be stumping on Labor Day itself
  • Clinton is to spend Labor Day in Cleveland and the so-called Quad Cities, a region of four counties in northwest Illinois and southeastern Iowa
  • The Midwest focus follows reports this week showing an unexpected rough patch last month for U.S. manufacturing
    • Manufacturing payrolls fell 14,000 in Aug. after rising 6,000 in July, govt data showed today
    • The Institute for Supply Management’s index fell by 3.2 points to 49.4 in Aug., the biggest drop in more than two years and signaling contraction for the first time in six months, the Tempe, Arizona-based group’s report showed Thursday
    • “Weak manufacturing numbers may help Trump in Rust Belt states,” Bloomberg Intelligence’s Carl Riccadonna said

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  • Moderators for the fall’s presidential debates, announced today by the commission that organizes them, include NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, who will handle the first face-off on Sept. 26 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.
    • ABC’s “This Week” co-anchor Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper will guide the second one on Oct. 9 in St. Louis, and “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace will helm the final one Oct. 19 in Las Vegas
    • Wallace’s selection marks the first time in Fox News’ 20-year history that someone from its staff has been picked for moderator duties
    • Wallace said he will have leeway to choose the six topics to be focused on at his debate, a decision he will make based on world conditions at the time and issues covered in the earlier debates
  • CBS News’ Elaine Quijano will oversee the single vice-presidential debate, set for Oct. 4 in Farmville, Va.
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  • The FBI today released details of its investigation into the Democratic candidate’s e-mail practices when she served as secretary of state; see story here
    • The campaign is “pleased that the FBI has released the materials from Hillary Clinton’s interview, as we had requested,” Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said
    • “While her use of a single e-mail account was clearly a mistake and she has taken responsibility for it, these materials make clear why the Justice Department believed there was no basis to move forward with this case”
    • A Trump aide said the FBI notes reinforce Clinton’s “bad judgment”
  • Clinton on Monday will begin allowing reporters covering her to travel on her campaign plane, Bloomberg’s Jennifer Epstein reported
    • Trump’s campaign has indicated it won’t put the press on the same plane as the GOP nominee or facilitate what’s known as a “protective pool” of journalists meant to monitor a nominee’s movements on behalf of the broader media
    • The plane arrangements this year differ from how presidential candidates, including Clinton eight years ago, have dealt with their reporters since the early 1960s, New York Times’ Jim Rutenberg wrote earlier this week
  • Clinton’s campaign struck back at assertions by Russian President Vladimir Putin that the hacking of Democratic Party groups was a public service, and accused him of endorsing “foreign interference” in the U.S. presidential election
    • Putin spoke earlier in an interview with Bloomberg News; see full story on Clinton’s reaction here
    • Trump’s campaign responded to the Clinton comment by saying she “needs to explain her deeply disturbing record on Russia, which includes her State Department approving a deal that ultimately handed Putin’s allies control over one-fifth of the U.S. uranium supply while donations from involved parties flowed to the Clinton Foundation”
  • Bloomberg’s Paul Barrett examined whether Clinton’s lead over Trump is driving gun sales; click here for story
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  • Marco Gutierrez, founder of the group Latinos for Trump, drew a mostly snarky backlash on social media after he told MSNBC that if U.S. problems with illegal immigrants aren’t fixed, there will be “taco trucks on every corner,” the New York Times reported
    • Reason magazine’s Nick Gillespie, perhaps in a hat tip to the late Gene Wilder, wrote: “If your best argument against immigration is an overabundance of food trucks, well, to quote Willy Wonka, ‘YOU GET NOTHING! YOU LOSE! GOOD DAY, SIR!’”
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  • The fight for Ohio showcases how Republicans and Democrats are navigating a deeply divided electorate, Bloomberg’s Mark Niquette and Jennifer Jacobs reported
    • No Republican has won the presidency without carrying the Buckeye State, and it has sided with the winning White House candidate since 1964
  • Trump met with casino owner Sheldon Adelson last week in Las Vegas, the second meeting between the GOP nominee and one of the GOP’s biggest donors in recent weeks, Politico reported
    • Trump allies are worried whether Adelson this year will spend anywhere close to the roughly $100 million he put into the 2012 elections
  • The Economist wrote on why Trump “does not need to concern himself with policy details”; read here
  • Clinton released a video blasting Trump for his “embarrassing” trip to Mexico, USA Today reported
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SENATE RACES (Republicans hold 54-46 majority)

  • FL: Conservative group American Future Fund released TV ad calling Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy a “fabulously phony failure,” saying he embellished his résumé and misleadingly referred to himself as “an immigrant” in an interview with Jorge Ramos
    • AFF reported spending $1.92m opposing Murphy, according to Federal Election Commission filing today
  • IL: Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth, who’s opposing Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, wrote a letter to Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch requesting Justice Dept. antitrust review of Mylan over pricing of EpiPen allergy shot
  • NH: Sen. Kelly Ayotte and ex-state Sen. Jim Rubens “battled over illegal immigration, free trade deals, fiscal issues, special interests, and even Donald Trump” in Republican primary debate yday, NH1 reported
    • Ayotte favored to defeat the more conservative Rubens in Sept. 13 contest and face Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan in highly competitive Nov. race
    • Granite State Solutions, super-PAC backing Ayotte, released TV ad referring to Hassan as “Taxin’ Hassan” for voting as a state legislator to increase taxes and fees
    • Narrator says “more big spending and higher taxes” are “the last thing we need more of in Washington”
    • Granite State Solutions spent $512k against Hassan, according to FEC filing; Jay Faison, entrepreneur and philanthropist who supports Republicans who favor clean-energy policies, gave $500k to the super-PAC in 2015
  • VA: Democratic Rep. Bobby Scott created leadership PAC, Strengthening Virginia’s Working Families PAC, “to raise money to assist other federal and state candidates,” according to FEC filing and e-mail from treasurer Katie Buchanan
    • Scott, potential replacement for Tim Kaine in the Senate if Democrats win White House, told the Daily Press that if appointed he would run in 2017 special election and again for full six-year term in 2018
    • Scott strongly favored to win 13th House term in Democratic district that includes Newport News, Portsmouth
  • WI: National Rifle Assn’s Institute for Legislative Action spent $137k on mailers backing re-election of GOP Sen. Ron Johnson, according to FEC filing
    • Johnson has voted against gun-control measures, sponsored proposal backed by most Republicans that aimed to block suspected terrorists from buying guns; Senate voted to kill Johnson’s plan in June
    • Democratic ex-Sen. Russ Feingold has “tried to straddle the line on guns throughout his career, making pro-gun-rights statements while casting votes on both sides of the issue,” Wisconsin State Journal reported in July story that examined both candidates’ gun-policy views

HOUSE RACES (Republicans hold 247-186 majority)

  • AZ-01: Democratic Congressional Campaign Cmte released TV ad attacking Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, saying “we can’t trust him with our kids” as it cites Phoenix ABC report about abusive discipline practices at Massachusetts boarding school for troubled teens where he was once headmaster
    • Babeu has said he would “never allow any type of abuse” and that “nobody was charged or convicted of anything” after investigations
    • Babeu opposed by Democrat Tom O’Halleran, ex-state legislator, for competitive district now held by Democratic Senate nominee Ann Kirkpatrick
  • AZ-09: Center Forward, group with ties to centrist Democratic Blue Dog Coalition, released TV ad praising Rep. Kyrsten Sinema for backing “no budget, no pay” legislation to freeze lawmaker pay until Congress adopts budget resolution
    • Sinema favored to defeat Republican Dave Giles in mildly Democratic district that includes Tempe and part of Phoenix; she may run for Senate in 2018
  • NH-01: GOP Rep. Frank Guinta and primary challenger Rich Ashooh “traded fire over a host of issues” in debate yday, including over campaign finance scandal stemming from how Guinta funded his 2010 campaign, NH1 reported
    • Guinta said he’s complied with Federal Election Commission settlement agreement to repay $355k to his parents and is “focused on the people” and representing the district; Ashooh said Guinta “broke the law” and “broke the trust of the voters”
    • Winner of Sept. 13 primary will face Democrat ex-Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, who lost to Guinta in 2010 and 2014 and won in 2012; Guinta beat Ashooh in 2010 primary
    • District includes Manchester, Rochester, Portsmouth; Obama won 50%-48% in 2012
  • NJ-05: House Majority PAC, super-PAC aiding Democrats, released cable TV ad saying Republican Rep. Scott Garrett’s views are “perfect for rural Alabama,” attacking his vote against banning Confederate flags from military cemeteries and for saying GOP shouldn’t support gay candidates
    • Ad refers to House adopting amendment in May to prohibit large-scale display of Confederate flags in VA-run cemeteries; Garrett among 159 who voted no
    • Garrett faces Democrat Josh Gottheimer in northernmost N.J. district that includes most of Bergen, Sussex and Warren counties, part of Passaic County
    • Related: Wall Street’s Straight Man in Washington
  • NY-03: Speaker Paul Ryan in endorsement statement said GOP state Sen. Jack Martins “will support policies that help hard-working families,” State of Politics blog reported
    • Martins faces Philip Pidot in new Oct. 6 GOP primary ordered by federal judge after Pidot was left off June primary ballot
    • Winner to face Democrat Tom Suozzi; Democratic Rep. Steve Israel isn’t seeking re-election in district that includes northern Long Island and part of Queens
  • WI-08: Democrat Tom Nelson’s campaign released TV ad saying he’ll “work to strengthen Social Security, not cut it”
    • Republican Mike Gallagher said in TV ad he’ll protect the program and oppose more taxes on small businesses, vowing to bring “Wisconsin common sense and Marine Corps fighting spirit to Congress”
    • Nelson, the Outagamie County Executive, and Gallagher, ex-campaign adviser to Gov. Scott Walker, seeking to succeed GOP Rep. Reid Ribble in northeastern district that includes Appleton, Green Bay
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