Election Cheat Sheet: 7 of the Week’s Biggest Talking Points



This week, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump resumed campaigning after taking a pause after last week’s national tragedies. Clinton received a long-awaited endorsement from Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, but polls indicate that she’s still neck in neck with Trump—which means both candidates have plenty of work to do to get ahead.

Here, the top 7 election-related takeaways from the last week.

Trump Selects a Running Mate

In the last week, Trump went from considering several candidates—including New Jersey governor Chris Christie—to be his running mate to honing in on one: Republican Governor of Indiana Mike Pence. Pence’s staunch conservative views on social issues such as gay rights and abortion are expected to bring Trump more support among certain right-wingers and add stable, “Midwestern appeal” to Trump’s ticket that may make him more friendly to Washington. Trump postponed his official announcement due to Thursday’s violent attack in Nice, but tweeted today that he’ll hold a news conference to confirm Pence as his running mate tomorrow.

Clinton and Trump Are Tied

We knew the presidential race was close, and that the electorate isn’t thrilled with either candidate, but new data shows just how ambivalent U.S. voters feel about their options. The latest New York Times/CBS News Poll shows that more than a third of Republicans are upset that Trump will represent them this fall, and that he doesn’t represent Republican party values; meanwhile, a quarter of Democrats say they’re disappointed in Clinton. Clinton’s approval ratings, which have been in the mid-40s, have sunk to 40 percent, putting her head to head with Trump, who has polled at 40 percent for weeks.

Republicans Get Ready for the Convention

The GOP convention will take place in Cleveland next Monday, July 18 through Thursday, July 21. Concerns over security are rising, especially in light of the recent violence that has wracked the country, and the tension that has marked Trump’s campaign in general. Making things worse, Ohio’s open-carry gun laws mean that entrants to the convention’s 1.7 square-mile zone are allowed to openly hold live firearms (not inside the arena itself, though).

The lineup of speakers deviates from the GOP’s standard list of party leaders, and reportedly will include members of “Trump’s eclectic collection of friends, celebrities and relatives, from his Slovenian supermodel wife, Melania, to the professional golfer Natalie Gulbis.”

Clinton Will Campaign in a Pokémon Go Gym

This Saturday, Hillary Clinton is scheduled to hold one of her standard campaign events—at a gym that doubles as a ‘Pokéstop,’ a.k.a. designated locations where Pokémon Go game players can go to catch the virtual creatures and battle other players. The event’s headline on Clinton’s site reads “Gotta Catch ‘Em All!” and goes on to say: “Join us as we go to the Pokéstop in Madison Park and put up a lure module, get free Pokémon, & battle each other while you register voters and learn more about Sec. Hillary Clinton!!! Kids welcome!” It’s not the worst strategy for getting people to a campaign event.

Trump Says He Can Relate to Victims of Racism

On this week’s episode of The O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly treated audiences to a conversation with Trump in which the two old, white men discussed how to heal the racial divide in America. “There are some black Americans who believe that the system is biased against them,” said O’Reilly. “What do you say to them?” Trump replied: “Well, I’ve been saying, even against me, the system is rigged. When I ran for president, I could see what is going on with the system, and the system is rigged … I can really relate it very much to myself.” We’ll give you a minute to absorb that.

People Speculate About Clinton’s Running Mate

As Trump’s hunt for a running mate winds down, Clinton continues her own—much quieter, lower-profile—search. According to CNN, here are five of the potential candidates being buzzing about: Virginia senator and former Democratic National Committe Chairman Tim Kaine; Ohio senator and advocate for fair trade and worker’s rights Sherrod Brown; New Jersey senator and former mayor of Newark Cory Booker; U.S. secretary of agriculture Tom Vilsack, who is seen as a “safe” choice; and Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, who has generated a lot of talk, but who is seen as an unlikely pick.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Slams Trump

Over the past week, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave three separate interviews in which she criticized Trump for his reckless campaign and outrageous policies, saying she “didn’t want to think about” the possibility of a Trump presidency, and called him a “faker” with “no consistency,” among other remarks. People from both sides of the aisle called Ginsburg’s comments unethical, and a violation of the judicial codes of ethics (something some argue she clearly must have known, indicating she chose to speak out intentionally). Trump responded to her remarks with characteristic volatility, and Justice Ginsburg has since released a written apology, saying: “Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office. In the future I will be more circumspect.”

MORE: Why 5 Millennial Women Are Voting for Trump

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