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Presidential debate #3
(Oct. 22)
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(Oct. 15)
Vice presidential debate
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First presidential debate
(Sept. 29)
Town Halls: Trump
(Sept. 15) and Biden
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Democratic & GOP Conventions
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Iowa Democratic debate
(Jan. 14, 2020)
December Democratic debate
(Dec. 19, 2019)
Impeachment commentary
(Dec. 18, 2019)
November Democratic debate
(Nov. 20, 2019)
October Democratic debate
(Oct. 15, 2019)
CNN GLBT Democratic Town Hall
(Oct. 10, 2019)
Republican debate
(Sept. 24, 2019)
September Democratic debate
(Sept. 12, 2019)
Climate Change Town Hall
(Sept. 4, 2019)
July Democratic debate
(July 30-31, 2019)
June Democratic debate
(June 26-27, 2019)
2019 State of the State speeches
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2019 State of the Union speech
(Feb. 6, 2019)
2018 State of the State speeches
(Jan.-March, 2018)
2018 State of the Union speech
(Jan. 30, 2018)
2017 State of the Union speech
(Feb. 28, 2017)
Third Presidential debate
(Oct. 19, 2016)
Second Presidential debate
(Oct. 9, 2016)
Vice-presidential debate
(Oct. 4, 2016)
First Presidential debate
(Sept. 26, 2016)
Bernie Sanders vs. Hillary Clinton On the Issues
(paperback Feb. 2016)

Miami Democratic debate
(March 2016)
Miami Republican debate
(March 2016)
Republican primary debate in Detroit, Michigan
(March 2016)
CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary.
(Feb. 2016)
2016 CNN GOP Town Hall in South Carolina
(Feb. 2016)
2016 CBS News Republican Debate in S.C.
(Feb. 2016)
PBS Democratic Primary Debate in Wisconsin
(Feb. 2016)
2016 ABC News/IJReview Republican Debate in N.H.
(Feb. 2016)
MSNBC Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire
(Feb. 2016)
CNN Democratic Town Hall
(Jan. 2016)
Fox Iowa GOP debate
(Jan. 2016)
NBC/CBC Democratic debate
(Jan. 2016)
Fox Business GOP debate
(Jan. 2016)
State of the Union address
(Jan. 2016)
Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush On the Issues
(paperback Feb. 2016)

CNN GOP Nevada debate
(Dec. 2015)
Syrian Refugee crisis
(Nov.-Dec. 2015)
CBS Democratic debate
(Nov. 2015)
Fox Business GOP debate
(Nov. 2015)
CNBC GOP debate
(Oct. 2015)

CNN Democrat debate
(Oct. 2015)

CNN GOP debate
(Sept. 2015)

Fox/Facebook GOP debate
(August 2015)

Marco Rubio vs. Jeb Bush On the Issues
(paperback June 2015)

Hillary Clinton vs. Rand Paul On the Issues
(paperback May 2015)

Rand Paul vs. Jeb Bush On the Issues
(paperback April 2015)

Jeb vs. Hillary On the Issues
(paperback Feb. 2015)

Rand vs. Ron Paul On the Issues
(Chart April 2015)

Hillary vs. Bill Clinton On the Issues
(Chart Feb. 2015)

Jeb vs. George Bush On the Issues
(Chart March 2015)

Excerpts from "Hard Choices"
(by Hillary Clinton)

Excerpts from "Immigration Wars"
(by Jeb Bush)

Excerpts from "Government Bullies"
(by Rand Paul)

Iowa pre-caucus Summits
(Jan.-March, 2015)

2015 presidential hopeful excerpts

Senate debates
(for Nov. 2014 elections):

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Former Gov. Mitt Romney (R, MA)
No Apology
Rep. Paul Ryan (R, WI)
Young Guns
Pres. Barack Obama
The Audacity of Hope
V.P. Joe Biden
Promises to Keep
Former Rep. Ron Paul
End the Fed

Former Pres. George W. Bush
Decision Points
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America By Heart
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Living History
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My Life
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2020 Election Coverage:

2020 Senatorial debates:
- AL - AK - AZ - AR - CO - DE - GA-2 - GA-6 - ID - IL - IA - KS - KY - LA -
- ME - MA - MI - MN - MS - MT - NE - NH - NJ - NM - NC -
- OK - OR - RI - SC - SD - TN - TX - VA - WV - WY

2019-2021 Gubernatorial debates:
DE - IN - KY - LA - MO - MS - MT - NC - ND - NH - NJ - PR - UT - VA - VT - WA - WV


2021 Gubernatorial races: March 3-17, 2021

Three races for Governor underway

  • There are only three states holding gubernatorial races in 2021, NJ, VA, and CA.
  • California is a "recall election" which requires 1.5 million signatures on a "recall petition" -- sufficient signatures were submitted by the March 17 deadline but the results are yet to be certified; then an election date will be set.
  • In Rhode Island, the next gubernatorial election is November 2022 -- but the incumbent Governor got appointed to President Biden's Cabinet, so the Lieutenant Governor got seated, upending the 2022 race just as it's getting started.
  • Candidates so far in all four races:
State (click for debate coverage)Candidate (click for full coverage)

Source: See additional California Recall coverage throughout March and April.

House membership finalized for 117th Congress: Feb. 11, 2021

Last contested House election resolved; but more special elections to follow...

Source: See 117th Congress membership list for ongoing updated coverage.

State of the State speeches: Jan.5-Jan.21, 2021

Excerpts from early January speeches

Each state's governor delivers a state-of-the-state speech each year. We excerpt the speeches scheduled early below; more will follow through February and March.
Democratic Governor SOTS speechesRepublican Governor SOTS speeches

Source: See additional 2021 SOTS speeches throughout February.

President Biden and V.P. Harris inaugurated: Jan. 20, 2021

Democrats take "Trifecta" today: Presidency, Senate, and House of Representatives

    Five Democrats were sworn in today, completing the Democratic takeover of the federal government:

  • Joe Biden was inaugurated as President, with former President Trump refusing to attend. Former presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton attended.

  • Kamala Harris was inaugurated as Vice President, with former Vice President Pence in attendance, in accordance with long-standing tradition symbolizing the peaceful transition of power.

  • Alex Padilla was sworn in today as Senator from California. He was appointed by California Governor Gavin Newsom to replace Harris, who resigned from the Senate yesterday.

  • Raphael Warnock was sworn in today as Senator from Georgia for a 2-year term. He won the special election runoff on Jan. 6th.

  • Jon Ossoff was sworn in today as Senator from Georgia for a 6-year term. He won the general election runoff on Jan. 6th.

  • The United States Senate is now split 50 Republicans to 50 Democrats, with V.P. Harris as the tie-breaking vote giving the Democrats the majority.

  • In conjunction with the House and the Presidency, holding all three levers of power is called "a trifecta," and ensures that President Biden's legislative agenda will get passed.

Source: See President Biden's incoming Cabinet for nascent coverage.

117th Congress inaugurated, Jan. 3, 2021

100 Senators and 434 Members of Congress sworn in

Source: See House members' policy stances.

Special Election Results: Dec. 1-3, 2020

Five House SPEL races in 2020; two so far for 2021

  • Rep.-Elect Kwanza Hall won the special election in Georgia's 5th Congressional District on Dec. 1
  • Rep. Hall was sworn in on Dec. 3, because it's a special election (all other Representatives-Elect will be sworn in on Jan. 3, 2021)
  • Special elections occur when an incumbent member of the House resigns or passes away. There were 5 special elections during 2020:
  • There are two SPEL races anticipated so far for 2021, for members of the House who resign to serve in the Biden administration -- listed below.
Congressional DistrictSPEL dateWinning Party / New RepresenttiveReason predecessor left
Georgia's 5th DistrictDecember 1, 2020Democratic winner: Kwanza Hall Rep. John Lewis passed away
New York's 27th DistrictJune 23, 2020Republican winner: Chris Jacobs Rep. Chris Collins resigned in a scandal
Wisconsin's 7th DistrictMay 12, 2020Republican winner: Tom Tiffany Rep. Sean Duffy resigned for health reasons
California's 25th DistrictMay 12,2020 Republican winner: Mike Garcia Rep. Katie Hill resigned ina scandal
Maryland's 7th DistrictApril 28, 2020Democratic winner: Kweisi Mfume Rep. Elijah Cummings passed away

  • There are two SPEL races anticipated so far for 2021, for members of the House who resign to serve in the Biden administration:
Louisiana's 2nd District~Feb. 2021Democratic resignation: Cedric Richmond Will resign to serve as Office of Public Liaison to President-elect Biden
Ohio's 11th District~Feb. 2021Democratic winner: Marcia Fudge Will resign to serve as HUD Secretary in Biden's Cabinet

Source: See additional 2020 House races and outcomes.

All Eyes on Georgia: Nov. 17, 2020

Two races in Georgia will determine control of Senate

  • Georgia had two Senate races in 2020, and in neither race did a candidate get over 50% of the vote.
  • Under Georgia election law, a runoff will occur on Jan. 5th, 2021, with the top two vote-getters from each race.
  • Right now, the election results yield 48 Democrats and 50 Republicans in the Senate. -- with Democratic Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the tiebreaker, the two Georgia seats will determine majority control of the Senate.
  • The party with majority control of the Senate determines all the Senate committee chairs, and thereby sets the agenda for all of 2021-2022.
  • Hence "all eyes on Georgia" until Jan. 5.
  • Below is our coverage of the Georgia Senate elections and the coming runoffs -- the winners of the Nov. 3 election, who are in the runoff for Jan. 5, are marked.
Candidate Debate
Regularly-scheduled election for 6-year Senate term (candidates shown with party affiliation and percentage of November vote):
David Perdue(R,49.7%) Debate AARP CampusElect Website TV Ad
Jon Ossoff(D,48%) Debate AARP CampusElect Website TV Ad AJC
Shane Hazel(L,2.3%) Debate NPAT Website
Teresa Tomlinson(D) Debate Website
Special election for 2-year Senate term after resignation of Johnny Isakson (candidates shown with percentage of November vote; "Others" garnered 17% total):
Raphael Warnock(D,33%) Debate AARP CampusElect Website TV Ad AJC
Kelly Loeffler(R,26%) Debate AARP CampusElect TV Ad AJC
Doug Collins(R,20%) Debate CampusElect Website
Matt Lieberman(D,2.8%) Debate Website AJC
Ed Tarver(D,0.5%) Debate
Allen Buckley(L,0.4%) Debate AJC
Valencia Stovall(I,0.3%) Debate OTI NPAT Legis

Source: See numerous additional excerpts from the 2-year Senate race and the 6-year Senate race plus fact-checking.

President-Elect Biden's Cabinet speculation: Nov. 13, 2020

Prospects for Cabinet appointments and subsequent Senate appointments

Source: See President Trump's outgoing Cabinet for full issue coverage.

Presidential Election Prediction, for Nov. 3, 2020

OnTheIssues prediction: Biden wins 388-150 but....

  • We predict that Joe Biden will win in a landslide, but not on Election Night.
  • We further predict that polling will be vindicated after the travesty of incorrect polls in Nov 2016, with caveats. Details below....
  • ON ELECTION NIGHT: We predict Biden will end the evening ahead by 175-123 on Nov. 3 -- those are the dark blue and dark red states in our prediction map above.
  • No victory will be declared on Nov. 3, because not enough states will have finished counting ballots for either candidate to reach the minimum 270 electoral votes for victory.
  • ON ELECTION VICTORY: The light blue and light red states, we predict, will all be decided in the days following the election -- some by Nov. 4, and some as late as Nov 9, due to COVID slowing the ballot counting.
  • Biden should reach the threshold 270 electoral votes sometime around Friday, Nov. 6. In the intervening three days, the presidency will be uncertain -- we describe that "interregnum" below.
  • ON POLLING: Our prediction is based on polls (like everyone else's), with exceptions detailed below. The pollsters claim to have "fixed" the problems with polling from November 2016, and we have studied their methods and believe them. If they're wrong again, like in 2016, it means polling cannot be fixed.
    • DARK BLUE: Biden leads in the polls by 5% or more in several polls in these states. If any of these are inaccurate, it means the polls were grossly wrong -- and should never be trusted, ever again.
    • LIGHT BLUE: Biden leads in the polls by 2% or more in several polls in these states, or there are exception in our list below (for TX, FL, and GA).
    • DARK RED: Trump leads, and Biden stopped campaigning in these states. Two exceptions are Maine and Nebraska, both of which split their electoral votes -- Trump might lose a couple of electoral votes there.
    • LIGHT RED: Too close to call. We predict these will go to Trump because of "shy voter syndrome": Trump supporters are reluctant to tell the truth to pollsters because they consider pollsters to be anti-Trump.
  • ON EXCEPTIONS: We make three state predictions that bend the rules above, all based on extra campaigning done on the Democratic side. These three states are all "too close too call", so we're calling them for Biden because....
    • GA: Stacey Abrams has worked for two years on registering black voters (who typically vote 90% Dem. to 10% GOP) in Georgia, after the stolen election of 2018. Pollsters cannot count newly-registered voters when they are unexpectedly registered -- they have to use the previous election's expectations -- so thousands of new voters are ignored in the polls.
    • TX: Beto O'Rourke has worked for months near Texas' southern border, registering new Latino voters (including many former Mexicans or people with family in Mexico), another under-represented community. This group is pro-Democrat too, and all the more so because of Trump's demonization of Mexicans and immigrants in general.
    • FL: Mike Bloomberg has spent $100 million on TV advertising in Florida in favor of Biden. That spending will turn out many young people and other polling groups under-represented in traditional polling.
  • ON ELECTION LATE-NIGHT: If you see TX, GA, and FL declared for Trump late on Nov. 3, then Trump will win the whole election overwhelmingly. Biden still has enough to win without those three -- it would be 305-233 in Biden's favor -- but it means the polls are all wrong, and our analysis is all wrong, and it's 2016 all over again.
  • If you see TX, GA, or FL (any of the three) declared for Biden late on Nov. 3, then Biden will win overwhelmingly. This is the scenario we predict as the most likely.
  • If neither of those overwhelming scenarios occurs, then there will be no winner reaching 270 electoral votes for several days, and America will suffer an "interregnum", a period where America's leadership is undetermined...
  • ON INTERREGNUM:: Awaiting an outcome of the presidential race is dangerous in the current political climate. If no winner is decided on Nov. 3 or early Nov. 4, we predict a period of civil unrest until a winner is declared, which could be days or even weeks.
  • Recall the interregnum of November-to-December 2000, when Al Gore and George W. Bush fought in the courts for the presidency while the country waited with bated breath. We don't foresee Trump's supporters holding their breath while courts slowly proceed -- we foresee them taking to the streets instead-- hence our prediction of civil unrest until a decisive outcome.

Source: See Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump for full race coverage.

Governor Predictions, Oct. 30, 2020

OnTheIssues predictions for 12 Gubernatorial races: Republican retention of majority of Governor's seats

  • Eleven states, plus Puerto Rico, have governor elections in 2020; our predictions for each race appear below.
  • The current partisan balance is 26 Republicans and 24 Democrats, plus a Republican incumbent in Puerto Rico.
  • Our prediction is for one Republican takeover and one Democratic takeover, leaving the same partisan balance of 27-24.
  • But "partisan balance" doesn't really matter for governors, since there is no collective voting by governors, like there is for Senators.
  • What matters most for "partisan balance" is the governor's party affiliation when appointing Senators to fill the seats of those who enter the new Cabinet in 2021.
  • Cabinet appointments of incumbent Senators happens frequently -- and applies to either Biden's new appointees, or Trump's second term appointees. Some interesting cases:
  • If Senator Kamala Harris(D-CA) wins the Vice-Presidency, her replacement would be appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom(D-CA).
  • If Biden wins the White House and appoints Senator Cory Booker(D-NJ) to the Cabinet, his replacement would be appointed by Governor Phil Murphy(D-NJ).
  • In both those cases, the governor is from the same party as the Senator for whom he'd be appointing a replacement. In the following cases, the governor and Senator are from opposing parties -- which means these appointments would change the partisan balance in the Senate:
  • If Trump wins, and appoints Senator Jerry Moran(R-KS) to the Cabinet, his replacement would be appointed by Governor Laura Kelly(D-KS).
  • If Biden wins, and appoints Senator Bernie Sanders(I-VT) to the Cabinet, his replacement would be appointed by Governor Phil Scott(R-VT).
  • If Biden wins, and appoints Senator Elizabeth Warren(D-MA) to the Cabinet, her replacement would be appointed by Governor Charlie Baker(R-MA).
  • The decision of who to nominate for Cabinet positions would certainly be affected by the potential loss of partisan strength ni the Senate!

DEJulianne Murray (R)John Carney(D)Dem retention
INEric Holcomb (R)Woody Myers(D)GOP retention
MOMike Parson (R)Nicole Galloway(D)GOP retention
MTGreg Gianforte (R)Mike Cooney(D)GOP takeover
NHChris Sununu (R)Dan Feltes(D)GOP retention
NCDan Forest (R)Roy Cooper(D)Dem retention
NDDoug Burgum (R)Shelley Lenz(D)GOP retention
PRWanda Vazquez Garced (R)Pedro Pierluisi(D)Dem takeover
UTSpencer Cox (R)Chris Peterson(D)GOP retention
VTPhil Scott (R)David Zuckerman(D)GOP retention
WALoren Culp (R)Jay Inslee(D)Dem retention
WVJim Justice (R)Ben Salango(D)GOP retention

Source: See Governor races and candidates' policy stances.

Third Presidential Debate: Oct. 22, 2020

Excerpts from Trump & Biden, plus fact-checking

The third debate between Biden and Trump included new rules by the Commission on Presidential Debates to mute the microphones. When one candidate is initially asked a question, the microphone of the opposing candidate is muted for two minutes, to allow an uninterrupted response. This new rule responds to the first debate's constant speaking over each other (most of which did NOT occur during the "uninterrupted response" time).

The debate took place at Belmont University, in Nashville TN. The moderator, Kristen Welker of NBC, chose six topics:

  1. Fighting COVID-19
  2. American families
  3. Race in America
  4. Climate change
  5. National Security
  6. Leadership (which becamse the question, "What will say on inauguration day to those who voted against you?")
  7. The Trump campaign requested a focus on foreign policy (which came up a few times, but not as a formal question)
    Excerpts from Donald Trump:
  • Need to re-open country during pandemic, to have a country
  • Use military to distribute 100 million vials of vaccine
  • China has already paid $28B to our farmers
  • Working very hard to reunite 500+ kids with their parents
  • Wind power kills birds; solar can't run factories
  • Excerpts from Joe Biden:
  • Re-open businesses, restaurants, & schools with COVID safet
  • If we just all wore masks, we'd save 100,000 lives
  • Malarkey that China paid farmers; taxpayers did
  • Separating kids from parents in border cages is criminal
  • Fence-line communities need restrictions on pollutants

Source: See numerous additional debate excerpts plus fact-checking.

Senate Election Prediction, Oct. 19, 2020

OnTheIssues predictions for 35 Senate races: Democratic takeover, but not on Election Day!

  • The partisan balance in the United States Senate currently stands at 53 Republicans to 47 Democrats.
  • We predict a 3-round takeover of the Senate by the Democratic Party - round one on Nov. 3 (tie 50-50); round 2 around Nov. 10 (partisan split 52-48 in favor of the Dems); and round 3 on Jan. 5 (final partisan split 53-47, in the opposite direction from 2020).
  • We predict a net gain on Election Day of 3 seats for the Democrats, yielding a 50-50 partisan split.
  • Surprises might come in the following additional five races, which are too-close-to-call: AK, IA, KS, NC, SC
  • All five of the too-close-to-call races have Republican incumbents--the surprise would mean that the Democrats gain a majority of the Senate. We predict no surprise victory declarations on Election Day....
  • HOWEVER, the pandemic will cause slow election counting, and hence we predict that these five races will all take several days to decide the winner. We predict that TWO of the too-close-to-call races will result in a Democratic takeover, and hence a safe majority for the Democrats in the 2021 Senate, but not until aound Nov. 9th or Nov. 10th, and hence "all eyes on the Carolinas."
  • HOWEVER, we also predict that the Georgia "GA-2" Special Senate Election AND the regular "GA-6" Senate election will not be decided until a runoff on January 5. The Nov. 3 election is a "jungle primary" in which we predict no candidate will exceed 50%, so it'll be "all eyes on Georgia" for two months. We predict a Democratic victory in ONE of these two seats (both have Republican incumbents now), because the people of Georgia will be influenced by the opportunity to have their Senator in the majority party.
  • Note that the Arizona race is also a special election; we predict that the Democrat will win, and will be seated for the lame-duck session of Congress. That would also apply to the Georgia special election, but we predict "no winner" until after the lame-duck session ends.
  • Note that the Lousiana race is also a "jungle primary", but we predict a clean Republican victory and hence no later runoff race, as we predict in Georgia.

ARRicky Dale Harrington (Libertarian)Tom CottonGOP retention
AKAl Gross(Independent)Dan SullivanToo close to call; GOP incumbent
ALDoug JonesTommy TubervilleGOP takeover
AZMark KellyMartha McSallyDem takeover
COJohn HickenlooperCory GardnerDem takeover
DEChris CoonsLauren WitzkeDem retention
GA-2Kelly Loeffler
vs.Doug Collins
vs.Derrick Grayson
vs.Valencia Stovall(Independent)
Raphael Warnock
vs.Ed Tarver
vs.Matt Lieberman
vs.Allen Buckley(Libertarian)
Runoff in January
GA-6David Perdue
vs.Shane Hazel(Libertarian)
Jon OssoffRunoff in January
IATheresa GreenfieldJoni ErnstToo close to call; GOP incumbent
IDPaulette JordanJim RischGOP retention
ILDick DurbinMark CurranDem retention
KSBarbara BollierRoger MarshallToo close to call; GOP incumbent
KYAmy McGrathMitch McConnellGOP retention
LAAdrian PerkinsBill CassidyGOP retention
MAEd MarkeyKevin O`Connor
vs.Shiva Ayyadurai(Independent)
Dem retention
MESara GideonSusan CollinsDem takeover
MIGary Peters
vs.Marcia Squier(Green)
John JamesDem retention
MNTina Smith
vs.Paula Overby(Green)
Jason LewisDem retention
MSMike EspyCindy Hyde-SmithGOP retention
MTSteve BullockSteve DainesDem takeover
NCCal CunninghamThom TillisToo close to call; GOP incumbent
NEChris JanicekBen SasseGOP retention
NHJeanne ShaheenCorky MessnerDem retention
NJCory BookerRik MehtaDem retention
NMBen Ray LujanMark Ronchetti
vs.Bob Walsh(Libertarian)
Dem retention
OKAbby BroylesJim InhofeGOP retention
ORJeff MerkleyJo Rae PerkinsDem retention
RIJack ReedAllen WatersDem retention
SCJaime HarrisonLindsey GrahamToo close to call; GOP incumbent
SDDan AhlersMike RoundsGOP retention
TNMarquita BradshawBill HagertyGOP retention
TXMJ HegarJohn CornynGOP retention
VAMark WarnerDaniel GadeDem retention
WVPaula Jean SwearenginShelley Moore CapitoGOP retention
WYMerav Ben-DavidCynthia LummisGOP retention

Source: See 2020 Senate debate page for full race coverage.

Second Presidential "Debate": Oct. 15, 2020

Excerpts from Trump & Biden "Dueling Town Halls"

    The second debate between Biden and Trump was cancelled because the two sides could not agree on virus protective conditions after President Trump exited Walter Reed hospital for a coronavirus infection. Accordingly:
  • Vice President Biden participated in a Town Hall on ABC in Philadelphia, moderated by George Stephanopoulos.
  • President Trump participated in a Town Hall on NBC in Miami, moderated by Savannah Guthrie.
  • The "Dueling Town Halls" took place at the same time, on opposite TV networks.
  • When the two candidates addressed the same topic, we excerpted as if the two candidates were on the same stage, responding
Excerpts from Joe Biden: Excerpts from Donald Trump:
I started wearing masks in March; Trump still questions them. People with masks can still catch coronavirus.
It's a K-shape recovery; only works for the top. We have a V-shape recovery; it's coming back.
More community policing, but not as police jump-out squads. Strong on law enforcement AND on enforcing law on police.
Fund research at HBCUs for foundational support. I got funding for HBCUs for ten years.
I wanted to keep people in China in early 2020 pandemic. I put in travel ban to China very early, and Europe too.
Pre-existing conditions are in jeopardy from Supreme Court. Replace ObamaCare with less expensive but great healthcare.

Source: See numerous additional debate excerpts plus fact-checking.

Vice Presidential Debate: Oct. 7, 2020

Excerpts from Pence & Harris, plus fact-checking

    The Vice Presidential debate was held in utah, moderated by USA Today.

    Excerpts from V.P. Mike Pence:
  • Biden's plan is a $2 trillion version of Green New Deal.
  • We're producing millions of vaccines; ready by end of year.
  • FactCheck: Voted against Great Recession auto bailout
  • Factcheck: Yes, Biden promised to move embassy to Jerusalem; but Obama never agreed
  • Excerpts from Sen. Kamala Harris:
  • FactCheck: Yes, would ban fracking; but Biden never agreed
  • Trump's 50 Court of Appeals appointments: no Blacks.
  • Trump's China policy has cost American jobs & lives.
  • On pre-existing conditions: Republicans are coming for you.
  • We won't raise taxes on anyone earning less than $400,000.
  • We lost Trump's trade war with China, by losing jobs

Source: See numerous additional debate excerpts plus fact-checking.

First Presidential Debate: Sept. 29, 2020

Excerpts from Trump & Biden, plus fact-checking

    The first debate was moderated by Fox News' Chris Wallace, on Sept. 29, at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland. Wallace selected the following topics for the first debate:
  1. The Trump and Biden Records
  2. The Supreme Court (and the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett)
  3. Covid-19
  4. The Economy
  5. Race and Violence in our Cities. and
  6. The Integrity of the Election.

  • Excerpts from Joe Biden:
  • Ran for president after Trump's response to Charlottesville.
  • Suburbs are by and large integrated.
  • Violence is never appropriate response to police violence.
  • Reimagine policing: I totally oppose defunding police.
  • FactCheck: Endorsed by 175 law enforcement officials.
  • I support the Biden Plan, not the Green New Deal.
  • Five states have done mail-in ballots for a decade or more.
  • FactCheck: Yes, Hunter Biden was kicked out of military.
    Excerpts from Donald Trump:
  • Proud Boys: stand back & stand by
  • Racial sensitivity training is racist
  • FactCheck: No, not endorsed by Portland's Sheriff.
  • FactCheck: Hillary used term "super predators," not Biden.
  • Obama left 128 openings for judges; I appointed 300.
  • My healthcare plan: we got rid of the individual mandate.
  • I created the Space Force and fixed the VA.

Source: See numerous additional debate excerpts plus fact-checking.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies, Sept. 18, 2020

Supreme Court Justice seat opening for late 2020

    Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died of cancer at age 87. Her dying wish: "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed to overcome that wish. President Trump recently announced a list of possible nominees, including:

    Following is our coverage of Ginsburg and the rest of the Supreme Court:

Source:OnTheissues archives and Supreme Court full coverage

Democratic and Republican Town Halls: Sept. 15-17, 2020

Trump and Biden participate in separate Town Halls

The two major party candidates participated this week in "Town Halls," with a single moderator directing questions from a live audience, and broadcast live. Basically, this was "warm up" for the upcoming debates! Our excerpts include:

    Joe Biden Town Hall on CNN, Sep. 17, 2020:
  • On Free Trade: China unfairly competes with state-owned enterprises
  • FactCheck: Yes, US has tried "Buy American" for 100 years
  • On Civil Rights: I've benefited from white privilege, & been looked down upon
  • FactCheck: No, only 50% of recent presidents were Ivy league
    Donald Trump Town Hall on ABC, Sep. 15, 2020:
  • On War & Peace: We're creating peace in Mideast; not the old-fashioned way
  • On Tax Reform: Fact Check: Claims falsely that Biden would raise all taxes
  • On Health Care: Coronavirus was China's fault; I tried to close border

Source: See numerous additional excerpts from ABC and CNN Town Halls.

Democratic and Republican Conventions: August 17-27, 2020

Excerpts from acceptance speeches and Party Platforms

The two major parties held their conventions, which included acceptance speeches by the nominees; release of the party platforms; and numerous additional speeches. We excerpt then all...

Donald Trump's acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination
Mike Pence's acceptance speech for the Republican vice-presidential nomination
Joe Biden's acceptance speech for the Democratic presidential nomination
Kamala Harris's acceptance speech for the Democratic vice-presidential nomination
Republican Party Platform new planks (just a one-page statement this year)
Democratic Party Platform new planks (a 91-page document this year)

Source: See numerous additional Convention Spech excerpts plus fact-checking.

Presidential ballot: August 25, 2020

U.S. House race coverage

The two major parties completed their conventions this week, and the third parties already have. The results of the conventions is the long list of choices that may appear on your ballot (most of the third parties will appear on only SOME of the 50 states' ballots).

(Click for platform)
Presidential nominee Vice-Presidential nominee
Republican Party Donald Trump Mike Pence
Democratic Party Joe Biden Kamala Harris
Libertarian Party Jo Jorgensen Spike Cohen
Green Party Howie Hawkins Angela Walker
Reform Party / Alliance Party Rocky De La Fuente Darcy Richardson
Birthday Party Kanye West Michelle Tidball
Constitution Party Don Blankenship William Mohr
Socialist Party / Liberation Ticket Gloria La Riva Sunil Freeman

Source: See numerous additional hot races for U.S. House for candidates who withdrew or lost primaries.

Kamala Harris nominated for Vice President, Aug. 11, 2020

Biden selects California Senator and presidential campaign rival

    Following is our coverage of Senator Harris' books, debates and media appearances (click on the left for Kamala's excerpts, or on the right for context):

Source:OnTheissues archives and Kamala Harris full coverage

Hot Congressional races: July 31-Aug. 1, 2020

U.S. House race coverage

We report on all House incumbents, but we only cover House races when it seems possible the challenger will win the general election. Following is our list of House challengers in hot races:

Mike Garcia (Republican) Christy Smith (
Incumbent member of Congress House Challenger
CA-21: TJ Cox (D) 2020 rematch challenger: former U.S. Rep. David Valadao(R)
CA-25: TJ Cox (D)2020 rematch challenger: former U.S. Rep. David Valadao(R)
CA-39: Gil Cisneros (D) 2020 rematch challenger: 2018 candidate Young Kim(R)
CA-50: Duncan D. Hunter resigned Jan. 2020 Former Rep. Darrell Issa (R,CA)
GA-5: John Lewis passed away in July 2020. State Sen. Nikema Williams appointed to take his place on the November ballot.
GA-6: Lucy McBath 2020 rematch challenger: former U.S. Rep. Karen Handel (R)
IL-6: Sean Casten 2020 challenger: State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R)
IL-14: Lauren Underwood 2020 challenger: State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R)
IA-3: Cindy Axne 2020 rematch challenger: former U.S. Rep. David Young (R)
KS-2: Steve Watkins Kansas Treasurer and former State Senator Jake LaTurner (R,KS)
MA-4: Joe Kennedy III running for MA Senate in 2020 Alan Khazei running for the open seat.
MI-13: Rashida Tlaib Former US Rep. Brenda Jones Dem. primary challenger
MT-0: Greg Gianforte running for Governor in 2020 Secretary of State Corey Stapleton (R; lost GOP primary)
vs. State Auditor Matt Rosendale (R; won GOP primary)
NJ-7: Tom Malinowski State Sen. Thomas Kean Jr.(R)
NM-2: Xochitl Torres Small 2020 rematch challenger: State Rep. Yvette Herrell(R)
NY-22: Anthony Brindisi 2020 rematch challenger: Former Rep. Claudia Tenney (R,NY)
NC-2: George Holding retiring due to redistricting Challenger State Rep. Deborah Ross (D)
SC-1: Joe Cunningham (D) Challenger State Rep. Nancy Mace (R)
TX-17: Bill Flores retiring 2020 Contender: Former Rep. Pete Sessions (R,TX-32).
VA-2: Elaine Luria 2020 rematch challenger: Former Rep. Scott Taylor (R,VA)

Source: See numerous additional hot races for U.S. House for candidates who withdrew or lost primaries.

House primary results: July 6 - July 17, 2020

Long-time Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) loses primary

Five House incumbents have been unseated in primaries. The list so far (we'll add here if any more incumbents lose in late primaries):

Update Aug. 4: Make that "seven House incumbents have been unseated"; see the Kansas and Missouri primaries listed below...
Representative District   
Party    Year first seated Lost primary...
(Click on names for their stances no the issues)
Ross SpanoFL-15(D)2019Lost primary to Scott Franklin on Aug. 16
William Lacy ClayMO-1(D)2001Lost primary to Cori Bush on Aug. 4
Steve WatkinsKS-2(R)2019Lost primary to State Sen. Jake LaTurner on Aug. 4
Eliot EngelNY-16(D)1989Lost primary to Jamaal Bowman on July 17
Scott TiptonCO-3(R)2011Lost primary to Lauren Boebert on July 6
Denver RigglemanVA-5(R)2019Lost renomination to Bob Good on June 14
Steve KingIA-4(R)2003Lost primary to State Sen. Randy Feenstra on June 3
Dan LipinskiIL-3(D)2005Lost primary to Marie Newman on March 18

Source: See House incumbents' and candidates' policy stances.

Veepstakes, June 2020

Biden's list of possible vice-presidents

    Following is our coverage of the Veepstakes contenders. Biden's process will likely take all of June and July, with a nominee announced prior to, or at, the Democratic National Convention on Aug. 17. With links to their issue-based coveraeg, the contenders are:

Source:OnTheissues archives and dozens of news reports throughout May and June

Third Party nominations: May 1-2, 2020

One party nomination; two party competitions

We report on the nomination races for several third-party candidates throughout the election. We also report on party platforms, and will update them for 2020 as they become avbailable. Following is our list of parties and candidates:

Party (with link to platform) Candidate(s) nominated or running for nomination
Constitution Party
Virtual convention May 1-2
Don Blankenship(WV): nominated at convention, May 2, 2020
Green Party
Convention planned for July 9-12, 2020
Gov. Jesse Ventura(MN): Exploratory Committee as of April 27, 2020
vs.Howie Hawkins(NY): Green candidate since May 2019
vs.Ian Schlakman(MD): Withdrew Green candidacy Dec. 2018
Libertarian Party
Convention planned for May 21-25
Rep. Justin Amash(MI): Exploratory Committee as of April 28, 2020
vs.Arvin Vohra(MD): Libertarian candidate since July 2018
vs.Larry Sharpe(NY): Libertarian V.P. candidate since July 2018
vs.Sen. Lincoln Chafee(RI): Withdrew Libertarian candidacy April 5, 2020
vs.Zoltan Istvan(CA): Withdrew Libertarian candidacy Nov. 2017
Socialist Party
Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) and the Peace and Freedom Party
Convention planned for August 2020; primaries held on Super Tuesday
Gloria La Riva(CA): nominee-apparent since March 3, 2020
Alliance Party / Reform Party
Virtual convention, April 25, 2020
Rocky De La Fuente(FL):

Source: See party platforms for the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, too, through 2016.

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