“The Libertarian National Convention on Sunday chose a pair of former Republican governors as their presidential and vice presidential nominees, putting forward the most-experienced election ticket in the party’s four-decade history … the party is now looking to make inroads into the class of donors that usually bankrolls Republican candidates,” and capitalize off voter discontent with Clinton and Trump. The ticket will likely be the only third-party option on the ballot in all 50 states. (Wall Street Journal )
However, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (L) was criticized “for his vice presidential pick,” former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld (R). Weld “has had a difficult time pitching himself to the Libertarian convention. Many have been skeptical over Weld’s libertarian credentials, especially his record on gun control and support for Republican politicians. Prior to teaming up with Johnson, Weld had endorsed” John Kasich. (CNN)
“Johnson and Weld now head a deeply divided party, and many of the Libertarian faithful gathered in Orlando were resistant to being dragged anywhere near the mainstream.” (Politico)
UPHILL BATTLE AHEAD. “Republicans enter the general election at a hefty disadvantage: Since the 1992 campaign, 18 states have voted consistently for Democrats in presidential elections, giving their party a firm foundation of 242 electoral votes to build upon. And in the four regions likely to decide the presidency — Florida, the upper Southeast, the Rust Belt and the interior West — real estate mogul Donald Trump (R) “faces daunting obstacles, according to interviews last week with elected officials, political strategists and voters.” (New York Times )
But for Democrats, anxiety remains. “[E]arly optimism that this would be an easy race is evaporating. In the corridors of Congress, on airplane shuttles between New York and Washington, at donor gatherings and on conference calls, anxiety is spreading through the Democratic Party that” former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) “is struggling to find her footing.” (New York Times)
LOOKING UP. There’s some evidence to suggest Clinton’s lead over Trump will grow once Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) leaves the race. A new poll by NBC News/Wall Street Journal shows Clinton leading Trump 46-43 percent, but that lead becomes 51-43 percent once Sanders drops out. (NBC News)
“[A]ny trial heat between Trump and Clinton today is like comparing apples and oranges. Trump’s nomination fight is over while Clinton’s contest is still at a messy stage. … By contrast, many of Bernie Sanders’s supporters still seem be in the denial and anger stages. Feelings are still raw, and the healing process has not yet begun.” (National Journal)
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Special counsel Robert Mueller "is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation." A source tells ABC News that "Mueller's investigators are keen to obtain emails related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the earlier decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter."
"President Donald Trump would not insist on including repeal of an Obama-era health insurance mandate in a bill intended to enact the biggest overhaul of the tax code since the 1980s, a senior White House aide said on Sunday. The version of tax legislation put forward by Senate Republican leaders would remove a requirement in former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law that taxes Americans who decline to buy health insurance."