KGOU

Scott Detrow

Democrats don't know who they will nominate for president in 2020, and they don't know yet where their convention will be held.

But the Democratic National Committee has now set a date for its next presidential nominating convention: July 13-16, 2020.

That's earlier than when conventions have been held in recent presidential election years, when the political spectacles have been staged as late as September, in order to maximize voter attention.

On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that "Democrats are going to spend the next few months, including the August work period, focusing on the nation's health care system."

Every campaign manager running a Democratic campaign would have winced at that idea, had it come at any point between 2009 and 2017. "I would be pretty surprised," said Guy Cecil, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee's executive director in 2012 and 2014, at the idea a Democrat would willingly draw attention to health care so close to an election.

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Today on the Senate floor, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made a promise.

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Since most of the congressional candidates that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders endorsed this year are losing contested primaries, then Sanders' political clout must be fading, right?

"That's a stupid argument," Sanders told NPR this week.

"You know, he has a much broader look at politics than just elections," Sanders' longtime strategist Jeff Weaver said.

That is evident. The 2016 candidate repeatedly questioned the political value of his endorsements, and even expressed some mild indifference to the race-by-race results of the primaries he's waded into.

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Updated on June 6 at 10:10 a.m. ET

Democratic hopes to take back the House may have gotten a major boost on Tuesday, with the party seeming likely to avoid its worst nightmare as Democrats appear to have survived California's top-two "jungle primary."

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As voters go to the polls in Texas this year, they're seeing something they haven't encountered in a generation - a Democratic Party that's making an effort to win all across the state. NPR's Scott Detrow reports.

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has a message for lawmakers who've been talking of removing him from his job.

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As House Republicans poured out of the closed-door meeting where Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told them he won't run for re-election this year, there was a constant theme: Things are on track. All is well. And a sitting speaker's decision to call it quits after less than three years in charge of the House chamber shouldn't be taken — at all — as a sign the GOP is facing an increasingly challenging election cycle.

"I go back to my district and people couldn't be more ecstatic about the things we're doing," Florida Rep. Brian Mast said. "I'm not concerned about it at all."

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SCOTT DETROW, HOST:

To the German city of Muenster now, where police say a vehicle has crashed into a crowd, killing several people and injuring others. For more on this developing story, NPR's Esme Nicholson joins me now from Berlin. Hello, Esme.

ESME NICHOLSON, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.

A couple of weeks ago, NPR's Weekend Edition told you about America's only elected dogcatcher, Zeb Towne. He's held that position in the town of Duxbury, Vt. for 15 years in a row.

Towne told us he had never been bothered by that timeworn political insult: "You couldn't get elected dogcatcher!"

Major League Baseball players have more than a month to get ready for the season and shake off their winter rust, there's no spring training for the grounds crew.

There isn't much prep time before the MLB's nationwide opening day, when the field has to be perfect: Not too wet, not too dry, and the grass just the right length so that ground balls don't slow down too much or skip too quickly.

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