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Good morning, friends. Less than five months till Election Day. Are you sick of the robotexts yet?

3 things to know

  • President Joe Biden called for defending democracy during a speech commemorating D-Day on Friday. Standing in Normandy, France, Biden said the heroes of World War II are asking us to “stay true to what America stands for,” including defending Ukraine in its war with Russia. Read more here.
  • 2024 is the “biggest election year in history,” with half of the world’s population seeing elections in their country. All eyes are on the U.S., but other democracies — throughout Europe to southeast Asia and Africa — will either “slip further into illiberalism, or start climbing to freedom,” one writer said. Read more here.
  • Dr. Phil tried to nudge Donald Trump to forgiveness. It almost worked. “We are all brothers and sisters, and there must be no resentment,” Dr. Phil said, after asking Trump about his criminal conviction. Trump seemed to concede, saying, the “country has to be united.” But, also, “Sometimes revenge can be justified, though,” he said. “I have to be honest.” Read more here.

The Big Idea

Biden’s red-state fundraising surprise

Trump is in the middle of a massive fundraising haul. In April, the Trump campaign surpassed Biden’s fundraising totals by $25 million. In May, Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee raised $141 million, a third of that coming within 24 hours of Trump’s criminal conviction. Last weekend, Trump reportedly raised another $30 million during a weekend fundraising spree through Southern California.

Even so, Biden has a surprising edge in one red state: Utah.

According to FEC data, donations to Biden’s principal campaign committee in the Beehive State so far outpace donations to Trump’s. During the 2024 campaign cycle, Biden for President has raised $1,031,627 from Utah donors, while Donald J. Trump for President 2024 has raised $750,461.

The fundraising totals are only a snippet of the campaigns’ total financial outfits. Both campaigns benefit from joint fundraising arrangements with their parties and aligned super PACs. Additionally, Trump has yet to fundraise in person in Utah this cycle, while Biden has: the president hosted a fundraiser in Park City during a visit last August, and first lady Jill Biden returned in January and held another.

The Trump campaign planned on fundraising in Utah in late June, but the plan was scrapped after Trump agreed to a CNN debate on the same date. Fundraiser organizers are now hoping to bring Trump to Park City in late July or late August, a person with knowledge of the event said.

Trump is expected to win Utah handily. Republicans hold every statewide office. In 2020, Trump won the state by 20 percentage points, though Biden — who finished with 38% — performed better than any Democrat since 1964.

Democrats are putting up a fight regardless. The Democratic National Committee announced Monday that it was awarding a $45,000 grant to Utah Democrats with help with organizing infrastructure, bolstering what they say will be the first coordinated campaign in Utah since 2016. The donation is part of a nearly $2 million initiative to bolster red-state Democrats in down-ballot races.

Diane Lewis, chair of the Utah Democratic Party, called the grant a sign of commitment “to supporting Utah’s potential as a future swing state.”

“With the support of the national party, we will organize across our state to help Democrats get across the finish line, not just in this election cycle, but in every election to come,” Lewis said in a statement.

What I’m reading

This magnum opus on Phoenix as a microcosm of America is worth reading in full. But Latter-day Saints will find this anecdote about ex-Arizona Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers particularly interesting: in the 1920s, Bowers’ grandmother says she heard Heber J. Grant, then president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speak in Phoenix about water scarcity. A century later, that has inspired Bowers to dedicate his post-politics life to water conservation. The Most American City (George Packer, The Atlantic)

In most elections, vice presidential candidates don’t matter much. In 2024, they very well might — thanks to the widespread unpopularity of both major-party candidates. The shortlist for Trump’s VP slot has narrowed to a handful of potential candidates. Here is an interesting argument in favor of the least well-known of them all: North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. Trump Veepstakes 2024: The Survivors (Jeffrey Blehar, National Review)

Immigration and the economy are the top two issues for voters in 2024. They are interconnected. While the U.S. needs a secure border, it also needs a thriving immigrant community for the health of its economy — from agricultural jobs in California farms to administrative ones in the country’s top businesses. The Immigration Story Nobody is Talking About (John Cassidy, The New Yorker)

Tuesday trivia

Last Tuesday’s question: Donald Trump will make his fifth visit to Nevada this election cycle when he rallies in Las Vegas on Sunday. Which presidential candidate visited Nevada most during the 2020 election cycle?

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The answer is Julian Castro, the former Housing Department secretary who ran for the Democratic nomination. He visited Nevada 12 times during his 2020 run, according to the Nevada Independent’s tracker. One of those visits was to tiny West Wendover, Nevada — a “swing city” on the border of a swing state.

This week’s question:

Think inflation is bad now? The U.S. Treasury once printed a $100,000 bill — with which president’s image on it?

See you on the trail.

Editor’s Note: The Deseret News is committed to covering issues of substance in the 2024 presidential race from its unique perspective and editorial values. Our team of political reporters will bring you in-depth coverage of the most relevant news and information to help you make an informed decision. Find our complete coverage of the election here.

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