The Weekender (9/18/20)


Welcome to the Democratic Governors Association’s Friday newsletter, The Weekender.

Let’s get started.

Missouri: Cook Political Report ranked the Missouri governor’s race as more competitive for the second time, citing the strength of Democratic candidate Nicole Galloway’s campaign and Gov. Mike Parson’s “miscues” on the COVID-19 pandemic. Galloway has closed the gap on Parson’s early lead, putting up big fundraising quarters powered by grassroots donors, being recognized by national media for her impressive credentials, and receiving high-profile endorsements from Elizabeth Warren, Stacey Abrams, Kamala Harris, and Joe Biden. At least four national race ratings agencies have ranked the Missouri governor’s race as more competitive.

New Hampshire: Just a week after the primary, NH Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes has received endorsements for governor from labor unions, teachers, elected officials, and law enforcement. Most notably, the New Hampshire Troopers Association backed Feltes over GOP Gov. Chris Sununu, who received the troopers’ endorsement in 2018. Feltes also has the support of 15 other labor unions, nine state senators and over 90 state representatives.

Business Leaders Chastise Eric Holcomb For Refusing to Expand Mail-In Voting

Indiana business and municipal leaders are calling on GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb to take decisive action and expand access to mail-in voting during the pandemic. According to the Washington Post, Indiana is one of only five states without either no-excuse absentee voting or the ability to cite fear of contracting COVID-19 as a reason to vote by mail for the general election.

Holcomb has previously rejected calls from Hoosiers to institute vote-by-mail expansions and instead encouraged people to vote in person – which corporate and civic leaders fear could overwhelm the polls due to a national shortage of poll workers and fewer open polling places.

Last month, former Republican Lt. Gov. John Mutz accused Holcomb of caving to political pressure from the White House in his refusal to enact expanded vote-from-home measures. In an op-ed, Mutz said, “Hoosiers must not be forced to choose between protecting their health and exercising the most basic act of citizenship. Nor should we be scared to vote.”

In addition to refusing to make it easier for Hoosiers to vote in the general election, Holcomb has stayed silent as Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill attempts to disenfranchise voters. Hill recently filed a brief in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that suggested eliminating the vote-by-mail option for voters over the age of 65 – the population which is most vulnerable to COVID-19.

Bloomberg: Trump Confronts a Blue Wall of Governors

In at least three crucial swing states, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, the Democratic governor is significantly more popular than President Trump.

Bloomberg opinion editor Francis Wilkinson argues this “blue wall” is a sign the Trump campaign is in trouble – the policies, management styles, and values of Democratic governors are more aligned with Joe Biden, not Donald Trump.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll keep saying it: the path to 270 runs through Democratic governors. Democratic governors currently represent 288 electoral college votes – and since 2016, the DGA has won in nine states that went for Trump in the 2016 election. The kitchen table issues that ushered Democratic gubernatorial candidates to victory in 2018 and 2019 continue to resonate in 2020, with a sharper focus in the wake of uncertainty caused by the failed federal COVID-19 response.

Americans looked to Democratic governors when the Trump administration failed to enact a national strategy on COVID-19. One pollster said in Michigan, voters favor Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over Trump because, “she took corona seriously, listened to medical experts and implemented a plan — all things voters don’t think Trump did.”

It’s clear the key to winning over voters in swing states is emulating the success of Democratic governors like Gretchen Whitmer, Tom Wolf, and Tony Evers.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on MSNBC Live with Ayman Mohyeldin, MSNBC with Chris Hayes, and CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront, slamming President Trump for holding an “irresponsible” and “reckless” rally in Nevada against state rules, putting lives in danger.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on MSNBC Live with Katy Tur, reacting to Trump campaign rallies and the President’s false claim that “if you take the blue states out,” the United States would have a lower COVID-19 death toll.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront, discussing the Biden campaign’s outreach to Hispanic voters as Co-Chair of the Biden Transition Team.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle, talking about his state’s preparations for Hurricane Sally as the state also deals with the recovery from Hurricane Laura. 

“I implore you to recognize the science behind this destruction and stop your path of distortion and deception.”

“I don’t think that there’s any science that backs that up. That’s my personal opinion.”

Who said it? Send your answer to and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!

If you guessed GOP South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem last week, you were right! In response to a study showing a superspreader event she allowed to happen could be connected to over 250,000 coronavirus cases, Noem said: “Our people are happy. We’ve had big events.”