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Campaign update: Biden will not accept nomination in Milwaukee

Ryan Teague Beckwith
Bloomberg

Democratic nominee Joe Biden is unlikely to travel to the party’s convention in Milwaukee due to coronavirus. President Donald Trump says he’ll “probably” give his convention speech from the White House. Biden’s latest ad targets Florida grandparents.

There are 90 days until the election.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden puts on his mask as he leaves a campaign event in Wilmington, Del., Tuesday, July 28, 2020.

Biden Will Not Travel to Milwaukee to Accept Nomination

Biden will not travel to Milwaukee this month to accept the Democratic nomination for president at the party convention due to concerns about the coronavirus, according to two people familiar with the travel plans.Biden had been planning to attend the convention in person and deliver his acceptance speech, but the campaign recently scrapped those plans.

The Biden campaign declined to comment on his travel.

Trump Says He Probably’ Will Give Convention Speech From White House (9:02 a.m.)

Trump said Wednesday he’ll “probably” give his speech accepting the Republican nomination for re-election from the White House, another in a long line of protocol breaks from the president.

President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing with reporters in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Washington.

In a call to Fox News, Trump said that giving a speech from the taxpayer-owned White House would be “the easiest alternative. I think it’s a beautiful alternative. I love the building. I’m there right now. I spend a lot of time here. A lot of people didn’t spend as much time, I spent a lot of time here, and I like it.”

He said that going anywhere else is a hassle “militarily and law-enforcement wise.”

Accepting a presidential nomination from the White House would break with decades-old norms about separating official government properties from politics.

The move also could lead to White House staffers violating the Hatch Act, a 1939 law that bars federal workers from engaging in political activities in government buildings.

The Republican convention plans have bounced from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Jacksonville, Florida, and back to Charlotte as the coronavirus spiked and the two governors approached the pandemic differently. Now the Republican National Committee plans to meet in Charlotte for one day to formally nominate Trump and then speeches will occur elsewhere the rest of the normal convention week.

Biden’s Latest Ad Targets Florida Grandparents (6:56 a.m.)

A new ad from the Biden campaign aims for a big demographic in Florida: grandparents.

The minute-long ad features a woman, identified only as Donna, who lives in The Villages, a heavily Republican area near Orlando.

“My husband and I have been gifted with two beautiful grandchildren,” the woman says. “And it’s been six months, and it’s way too long.”

She adds, “while I don’t blame Donald Trump for the virus, I blame him for his lack of action. And because of that, we’re sitting here Zooming or FaceTiming with our grandchildren instead of hugging and kissing them.”

The ad is slated to run in the Orlando and Tampa markets.

Party-Switchers Help Cement Republican, Democratic Trends

Since 2018, 9% of both Republicans and Democrats have switched parties, giving neither party a net advantage, according to a new survey.

But the poll from the Pew Research Center shows that those switches weren’t evenly distributed. Instead, they helped cement some new alignments on demographic lines.

More White voters without a college degree moved to the GOP, while more White college graduates became Democrats.

Among non-White voters, 10% of Democrats became Republicans over the last two years, but twice that percentage of Republicans became Democrats.

The survey was based on interviews with the same set of 11,077 registered voters five times over the last two years.

Trump Ad Encourages Floridians to Vote by Mail, While Still Attacking Vote by Mail

A new Facebook ad from the Trump campaign encourages Florida voters to cast absentee ballots while making false claims about vote-by-mail in other states.

In the minute-long ad, Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara argues that Florida’s system, in which voters must request an mail-in ballot, is more secure than states in which voters are automatically sent a ballot.

The Florida system “is very different and much more secure a process than when the Democrats mail everyone in a state a ballot, often resulting in ballots being mailed to abandoned addresses and, hmm, individuals not registered to vote,” she says.

The eight mostly Western states that will have all-mail elections in November do not send ballots to “everyone in a state,” but only to active registered voters, and only Vermont does not match the signature on the ballot envelope to one on file.

In Colorado, the switch to all-mail elections had bipartisan support, while Utah’s switch was led by Republicans. And research has found low rates of fraud in mail-in elections.