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Elections

Sen. Tillis wins re-election in NC, Cunningham has conceded

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) has won a close and brutal re-election fight, multiple outlets are reporting on Tuesday afternoon. His Democratic opponent, Cal Cunningham, has conceded the race to him.

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Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) has won a close and brutal re-election fight, multiple outlets are reporting on Tuesday afternoon. His Democratic opponent, Cal Cunningham, has conceded the race to him.

According to Politico, Tillis received 48.7% of the vote compared to Cunningham’s 47% with roughly 100,000 votes separating the two.

Tillis’s re-election to the U.S. Senate boosts Republicans’ chances that they will maintain a majority of seats in the upper chamber in the new session of Congress starting in January.

That’s all to be decided by Georgia and Alaska.

As of right now, both of Georgia’s Senate races will see side-by-side runoff elections, where the margins between both incumbent Republicans and their Democratic challengers is very slim.

The outcome of both runoff elections will have a heavy bearing on what the political dynamic on Capitol Hill will look like for the next two years. There is also incumbent GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan’s race in Alaska that has yet to be called but is widely expected to go to Sullivan.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Elections

CNN announces controversial presidential debate rules obviously intended to benefit Biden

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CNN announced its several presidential debate rules over the weekend sparking controversy. The rules will govern the upcoming debate between former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden on June 27. A

After Trump publicly stated he would debate the president “any time and any where” the Biden campaign agreed to a total of two debates that would be closely regulated. Not only did the administration demand a ban on audiences, it also approved CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash as its moderators. Breitbart reports Tapper is one of Trump’s sharpest critics.

CNN announced its own additional parameters on Saturday, which likely were done in partnership with the White House:

  • Two commercial breaks (Likely to benefit Biden)
  • Campaign staff will not be able to interact with their candidate during the break
  • No opening statements, two-minute closing statements
  • Two-minute answer shot clock, one minute for rebuttals
  • Mics will be muted “except for the candidate whose turn it is to speak” (Likely to benefit Biden)

CNN reported its rules:

The 90-minute debate will include two commercial breaks, according to the network, and campaign staff may not interact with their candidate during that time. Both candidates agreed to appear at a uniform podium, and their podium positions will be determined by a coin flip.

Microphones will be muted throughout the debate except for the candidate whose turn it is to speak. While no props or pre-written notes will be allowed on the stage, candidates will be given a pen, a pad of paper and a bottle of water.

Some aspects of the debate – including the absence of a studio audience – will be a departure from previous debates. But, as in the past, the moderators “will use all tools at their disposal to enforce timing and ensure a civilized discussion,” according to the network.

Breitbart reports that the President is planning to spend about a week preparing to debate Trump who has also requested Biden receive a drug test before the debates. The White House did not respond in May as to whether Biden intends to use performance-enhancing drugs in preparation for the presidential debates.

Ron Klain, Biden’s former chief of staff who is going on vacation to help Biden prepare for the debates, did not respond to Politico Playbook’s request for comment about “whether any illegal substances are used as part of Klain’s debate prep.”

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