2020 Elections

A group of guys are staring into a laptop, exchanging excited giggles. Every couple minutes there's an "oooooh" that morphs into an expectant hush.

The Las Vegas scene seems more like a college dorm party than a deep dive into the democratic process.

Cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon are being tossed around. One is cracked open and spews foam all over a computer keyboard.

"That's a new vulnerability!" someone yells.

Labor Day has long been an unofficial start to election season. So far, two rounds of Democratic debates, and two fundraising deadlines have revealed a lot about where the Democratic primary stands.

Security experts have warned about the prospect of a new era of high quality faked video or audio, which some commentators worry could have deeply corrosive effects on U.S. democracy.

Here's what you need to know.

What are "deepfakes?"

Foreign interference didn't begin in 2016. It didn't end with that election. And U.S. officials expect it to remain an issue through the 2020 elections as well.

Here's what you need to know.

Barring some kind of miraculous last-minute reprieve, Friday will be the last business day that the Federal Election Commission will be able to function for quite a while, leaving the enforcement of federal campaign finance laws unattended ahead of the 2020 election.

The commission's vice chairman, Matthew Petersen, announced his resignation earlier this week, to take effect at the end of the month. With Petersen gone, the FEC will be down to three members and won't have a quorum.

The Sept. 12 Democratic debate stage is set with just 10 candidates, ensuring there will be a one-night event in which the front-runners will finally come face to face.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is the latest Democratic presidential candidate to drop out of the 2020 race.

She announced her exit Wednesday afternoon in a video posted on Twitter.

"It's important to know when it's not your time and to know how you can best serve your community and country," Gillibrand said. "I believe I can best serve by helping to unite us to beat Donald Trump in 2020."

Gillibrand thanked her volunteers and supporters in the video, saying "I'm so proud of this campaign and everything we've achieved."

The massive Democratic presidential field could begin its inevitable reduction this week with only half of the current candidates set to make the cut for next month's debate.

The controversial decision will please many party stalwarts who worry that the often dizzying number of Democrats seeking the nomination could endanger their chances of defeating President Trump.

Back in April, things looked a little different in the Democratic presidential primary.

Elizabeth Warren's first-quarter fundraising was disappointing; she was eschewing big-money fundraisers, and her campaign was spending a lot — 87 cents of every dollar it was taking in on 160 or so staffers in early states.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

Joe Walsh, a conservative talk-radio host and former Tea Party congressman, is launching a long-shot primary challenge to President Trump. He's the second Republican to officially announce a run against Trump, who has a strong approval rating among his party's base.

Walsh, 57, supported Trump during his 2016 campaign but in recent months has been offering a bitter critique of the president, calling Trump a liar and bully who is unfit for office. Walsh has also attacked Trump from the right.

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