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Biden campaign plans travel around competitive Senate races

Joe Biden's campaign is storming states with competitive Senate races this week to help boost Democratic candidates in the run-up to the election.

Why it matters: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death is galvanizing Democrats to fight harder for control of the Senate with less than two months before Election Day.


  • Winning that chamber is the only hope Democrats have of responding to Republicans' plan to vote on President Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election.
  • Biden's campaign also launched a joint fundraising effort with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) this week to help candidates across the U.S.

Driving the news: Biden will be in North Carolina on Wednesday, while his his wife, Jill Biden, and Doug Emhoff, Sen. Kamala Harris's husband, take on Maine and Iowa.

  • The campaign just added Georgia and Iowa — two states Trump won in 2016 — to its list of TV and digital ad campaign targets heading into the election.
  • On Tuesday the Biden campaign started airing TV ads in New Hampshire, which Hillary Clinton won by less than a single point.
  • The Cook Political Report ranks the Georgia, Iowa and Maine Senate contests as toss-ups.

By the numbers: In all five of those states, polls show a neck-and-neck race between Biden and Trump at the top of the ticket, and Democrats leading or within striking distance of their Republican opponents.

The big picture: Democrats hope Biden's presence and investment in these states will create more favorable conditions for their Senate candidates, and they point to his campaigning with successful candidates in 2018.

  • Biden made dozens of campaign stops with House and Senate candidates, including Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Rep. Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, who helped Democrats make gains in swing districts during the midterms.

How Amy Coney Barrett will make an immediate impact on the Supreme Court

In her first week on the job,Amy Coney Barrett may be deciding which votes to count in the presidential election. By her third week, she’ll be deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

Where it stands: The Senate votes on Barrett’s nomination tomorrow. If she’s confirmed, Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to swear her in at the Supreme Court within hours, an administration official tells Axios.

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Biden team rebuffs Texas Democrats' pleas for more money

The Biden campaign is rebuffing persistent pleas from Texas Democrats to spend at least $10 million in the Lone Star state, several people familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: If Texas — which has 38 electoral votes and is steadily getting more blue, but hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976 — flipped to the Biden column, it would be game over. But the RealClearPolitics polling average stubbornly hovers at +2.6 for Trump — and Team Biden appears more focused on closer targets.

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Where Trump and his inner circle plan to spend election night

A luxe election-night watch party at the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue is being planned for President Trump's donors, friends and advisers — but Trump's hand in it is minimal because he's "very superstitious" — people familiar with the plans tell Axios.

The big picture: This "mecca for all things MAGA," as one adviser described it, is one of three hubs where they say Trumpworld will watch returns. The others are the war room at campaign HQ in Rosslyn, Virginia, and the White House residence, where Trump and the first lady will gather close family and advisers before heading to the hotel later that night, the sources said.

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Trump plans to fire heads of FBI, CIA and Pentagon if he wins re-election

If President Trump wins re-election,he'll move to immediately fire FBI Director Christopher Wray and also expects to replace CIA Director Gina Haspel and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, two people who've discussed these officials' fates with the president tell Axios.

The big picture: The list of planned replacements is much longer, but these are Trump's priorities, starting with Wray.

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Senate advances Amy Coney Barrett nomination, setting up final confirmation vote

The Senate voted 51-48 on Sunday to advance the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, setting up a final confirmation vote for Monday.

Why it matters: It's now virtually inevitable that the Senate will vote to confirm President Trump's third Supreme Court nominee before the election, which is just nine days away.

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String of recent scandals show Wall Street is living up to its bad reputation

If you judge a bank by its scandals,recent headlines will have you convinced that Wall Street is hell-bent on living up to all of its stereotypes.

Driving the news: Goldman Sachs,of course, is the biggest and the boldest, paying a total of $6.45 billion in fines and guarantees in the wake of the 1MDB scandal.

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Former FDA commissioner: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said "the short answer is yes" when asked whether Vice President Mike Pence is putting others at risk by continuing to campaign after several aides tested positive for COVID-19, stressing that the White House needs to be "very explicit about the risks that they're taking."

Why it matters: The New York Times reports that at least five members of Pence's inner circle, including his chief of staff Marc Short and outside adviser Marty Obst, have tested positive for the virus. Pence tested negative on Sunday morning, according to the VP's office, and will continue to travel for the final stretch of the 2020 campaign.

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AOC says it's "extremely important" that Biden offer Bernie Sanders a Cabinet position

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that she believes it's "extremely important" that Joe Biden offer Sen. Bernie Sanders and other progressive leaders Cabinet positions if he's elected president.

The big picture: Ocasio-Cortez was pressed repeatedly on policy differences between her and the more moderate Biden, including her opposition to fracking and support for Medicare for All. She responded that it would be a "privilege" and a "luxury" to be able to lobby a Biden administration on progressive issues, insisting that the focus right now should be on winning the White House.

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