Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Public and private polling shows President Trump "not only trailing badly in swing states like Michigan and Wisconsin, but running closely with [Joe] Biden in traditionally conservative bastions like Kansas and Montana," the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Trump won each of those states in 2016 by 20 points. If he's in dogfights there, his map is on fire.

  • Tim Murtaugh, Trump campaign communications director, replied: "That’s nonsense. In our data, President Trump is strong against Joe Biden in all the states we track and which will decide the election."
  • "Our plan has always been, and remains, to retain the states the President won in 2016 and add some more to his column. We will be playing on Biden’s field in states like New Hampshire, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Nevada."

Murtaugh said the campaign’s polling shows openings based on the defunding police issue, which is “why you see us on offense in states we didn’t win in 2016."

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Updated Aug 4, 2020 - Health

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Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves issued a statewide mask mandate on Tuesday for people in public, as well as teachers and students going back to school.

The big picture: 34 states, in addition to the District of Columbia, have issued some form of a mask mandate as infections surge across the country.

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House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has given his GOP colleagues new marching orders for stump speeches between now and November, as incumbents worry about how President Trump's own challenges may strain their re-election bids.

Driving the news: McCarthy delivered a PowerPoint presentation to the GOP conference in person last Thursday at the Capitol Visitor Center, with several members joining via Zoom, lawmakers and aides familiar with the gathering tell Axios.

Exclusive: Trump campaign seeks early September presidential debate

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Image

The Trump campaign is asking the Commission on Presidential Debates to move up the last presidential debate to the first week in September to get ahead of an expected surge in early voting.

Driving the news: President Trump's personal attorney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, made the request in a letter dated Wednesday and obtained by Axios.