The TAKE with MaryAlice Parks
Ahead of the 2020 election, both sides of the aisle can point to fundraising successes, but for Democrats, the vast majority of the money has been divided up over the nearly two dozen primary campaigns, whereas the Republican National Committee continues to rake in serious dough for the general election.
In the second quarter of this year, the field of two dozen Democratic primary candidates raised a combined $132.7 million. During that same period, President Donald Trump's reelection campaign, which is raising money in ways Democrats can't or aren't yet able to, and his two joint fundraising committees with the Republican National Committee have raised a total of $108 million.
Those joint fundraising committees with the incumbent have proven to be to huge boost for the RNC. The organization said Tuesday that it raised nearly $21 million in July alone with the help of the partnerships, a sharp increase from the haul the organization pulled in this time last year.
An RNC official told ABC News that the organization held highly successful digital fundraising campaigns around the 2020 Democratic debates and former special counsel Robert Mueller's Capitol Hill testimony.
By comparison, in June, the RNC raised $20.8 million, while the Democratic National Committee only raised $8.5 million. All that money can't buy love, but it can buy a ton of ads.
The RUNDOWN with Alisa Weirsema
Nearly a year after her husband's passing, political divisiveness is on Cindy McCain's mind, and she's aiming to do something about it to honor his legacy.
In an interview with ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, she described her family's new initiative, "Acts of Civility," which launches Wednesday. The program will use the late-Sen. John McCain's story to inspire people to engage with one another on critical issues and urge people to understand their differences in a constructive way.
While taking steps to initiate a civil dialogue among Americans, McCain was careful to avoid stirring up potential incivility herself. She did not mention Trump, who frequently attacked her husband, even after he was laid to rest, when asked to weigh in on the current state of the Republican Party.
"I'm surprised by a lot of things," she said. "This party is not the party of Abraham Lincoln that I've seen anyway, nor the party of Ronald Reagan."
As she launches the initiative, McCain remains optimistic the U.S. will bounce back from its current state of political divisiveness, even though, she added, no one's picked up where her husband left off.
"I don't see anybody carrying that mantle at all, I don't see anyone carrying the voice -- the voice of reason," she said.
The TIP with Jeffrey Cook
After spending the first five days of his re-launched campaign in rarely stumped states like Mississippi, Arkansas and Oklahoma -- a strategy he said is deliberately meant to target areas where voters don't often see presidential candidates and where he said the president is causing the most damage -- Beto O'Rourke has arrived in Iowa for a week of events where he's expected to focus heavily on Trump and gun violence.
Campaign officials told ABC News that they believe O'Rourke's message will resonate with Iowa voters and that it did so in Oklahoma and Arkansas, where the former Texas congressman drew overflow crowds at rallies near the two states' flagship universities.
ONE MORE THING:
When Rep. Tulsi Gabbard used the spotlight of a debate stage to accuse Sen. Kamala Harris of withholding key evidence that could have "freed an innocent man from death row" during her time serving as California attorney general, Harris fired back a stern retort. "My entire career I have been opposed – personally opposed -- to the death penalty. And that has never changed."
Harris has said that consistently. But advocates on both sides have said her approach to cases involving the death penalty -- long a politically treacherous issue in California -- has been far more complicated.
ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Wednesday morning's episode features ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega, who outlines the back-and-forth from the White House on possible tax cuts to head off a potential recession. And we hear from ABC News' Anne Flaherty, who tells us about new rules from the Trump administration that would allow for the longer detentions of families traveling with children across the U.S.-Mexico border. http://apple.co/2HPocUL
ABC News' "Powerhouse Politics" podcast. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., joins Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl and Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce to talk about the urgent situation at the U.S.-Mexico border and his new book, "America is Better Than This." Listeners will hear an excerpt from ABC News' exclusive interview with Cindy McCain, Sen. John McCain's widow, about her initiative on trying to bridge the growing divide in this country. https://apple.co/2v6tkuR
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