This Week in the States: April 26, 2019

by Future Majority | 4.26.19

Three things to know that happened outside the Beltway this week:

The top three battleground states for 2020 had lots of action this week, demonstrating just how critical Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin are to both Trump and the eventual Democratic nominee’s paths to victory.

Pennsylvania continues to emerge as perhaps the top battleground state heading into 2020. The Trump campaign is concerned about repeating their narrow victory there in 2016 and has descended on the state to build a game plan. Meanwhile, Scranton, PA-born Joe Biden was in Philadelphia Thursday to announce his candidacy. Biden’s first public event as a candidate will take place May 1 in Pittsburgh at the TEAMSTERS Local 249 union hall, where he’ll “lay out his vision for rebuilding America’s middle class”. Biden will hold an official launch rally May 18 in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Bob Casey has already endorsed Biden for President. (link)

• The Trump campaign dispatched Vice President Pence to another critical battleground state this week to shore up the president’s slipping popularity there. During a visit to Taylor, Michigan this week, Pence said that Trump’s trade deals and the USMCA (the new NAFTA) are “essential” to the state’s auto industry. (link)

• New Zogby polling shows several Democrats besting Donald Trump in hypothetical 2020 general election matchups in Wisconsin. Biden polls the strongest against Trump in the matchups (Biden 50%/Trump 40%) and Kamala Harris the weakest among the big name candidates (Harris 43%/Trump 41%). The state chose a Republican presidential candidate for the first time in 30 years in 2016. (link) 

Elsewhere in the states:

• A three-judge federal court panel handed down a blockbuster ruling this week finding that Michigan must redraw the state’s gerrymandered legislative and congressional districts for the 2020 election. The court found that the Michigan’s current GOP-drawn maps, drawn in 2020, represent political gerrymandering “of historical proportions” and were drawn specifically to “subordinate the interests of Democratic voters and entrench Republicans in power” and are in violation of the First and 14th amendments. Republicans will likely appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. The ruling means the state will have to hold special state Senate elections in 2020, which cuts in half the terms being served by some current lawmakers. (link)

• Candidate Bernie Sanders greeted Trump’s first visit to Wisconsin this week with a front page ad in the Green Bay Press-Gazette tying the president to job losses in the state. (link)

• The Mueller report cites a Russian troll “Miners for Trump” scam launched in October 2016 targeting cities across Pennsylvania as a prime example of the Russian attempt to sway the election by targeting battleground states. (link) (link)

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