The 100 Day March to Election Day - "The Sunday Political Brunch" July 26, 2020


CHARLESTON, W. Va. – We are at a critical milestone. Sunday July 26, 2020 marks 100 days until Election Day 2020. There is a lot of consternation in the polls, and precious little time to change minds. A lot is at stake. Let’s “brunch” on that this week:

“The Trump Briefing Return” – This week President Trump returned to the White House Briefing Room podium for the first time since April. The question is, is it too little, too late? The closest this race has been was April 3, 2020, when it was a statistical dead heat with a Fox News Poll showing President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden tied at 43 percent. The latest nationwide composite poll from Real Clear Politics has it 50 percent for Biden to 41 percent for Trump. The race is in play, with no guarantees based on the latest polling data. But clearly Trump’s lack of Covid-19 briefings may have damaged his chances.

“Florida Convention Off” – President Trump has cancelled his planned election acceptance speech in Jacksonville, Florida, while much of the rest of the GOP National Convention in Charlotte may be virtual. The Milwaukee convention for the Democrats will be largely viral. My plans to be at both are cancelled. Trump needs to win both Florida and North Carolina to win a second term, and this hurts him. Being high-profile in both states just over two months before the election helps. And all the money that would be poured into the local economies would also be a bonus to the Republicans. Taking that off the table hurts bad in must-win states.

“Biden VP Pick?” – Former Vice President Joe Biden needs to name his running mate, and soon, in my opinion. He needs to build some excitement and momentum, and with it the money and manpower that’s needed for a ground campaign. One thought I had was that he announce it the week of the Republican National Convention, to steal the GOP’s thunder, just as John McCain did to Democrats the morning after their 2008 convention in Denver, when he announced Gov. Sarah Palin, (R) AL. While that strategy caused a huge bounce for the GOP (and briefly put McCain in the lead), it failed in the end. Biden should announce his pick no later than August 3, which is three months until Election Day.

“All Eyes on the Senate” – As with 1980, the race for the White House is not the only marquee race this year. Control of the U.S. Senate is on the table. Right now, Republicans hold a 53-47 advantage over Democrats. But the latest Real Clear Politics composite poll of the Senate shows Republicans winning 47 seats and Democrats winning 46. There are seven states where the races are a toss-up: Maine, Arizona, Georgia. Montana, Michigan, North Carolina and Iowa. Democrats need to win three or four of the toss-ups to take the Senate majority.

“What About the House?” – The Real Clear Politics composite poll for the U.S. House shows a much different story. It lists 214 Democrats as safe, versus 190 Republican. 31 races are listed as toss-ups, so Democrats need to win only four of them to maintain their majority. Republican chances of winning the House appear slim, to none.

“The Importance of Coattails” – In 1980 Ronald Reagan won a landslide victory over President Jimmy Carter, that was so large it swept Republicans into control of the U.S. Senate And while the GOP did not take the House that year, there were enough Republican gains that paired with conservative Southern Democrats, Republicans wound up with a philosophical majority in the House that helped pass tax cuts and defense spending increases, advocated by Reagan. The House will stay a Democratic majority in 2020, but if Biden wins the White House, he may sweep enough Senate races to get a majority there, too.

What’s going on in your state as we are 100 days until Election Day 2020. Just click the comment button and let us know!

Mark Curtis, Ed.D., is Chief Political Reporter for the six Nexstar Media TV stations serving West Virginia, its five neighboring states and most of the Washington, D.C. media market. He is a National Contributing Political Writer for The White House Patch at

© 2020 Mark Curtis Media, LLC

Photo courtesy Getty Images.

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