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US Coast Guard says Texas barge collision may have spilled up to 2,000 gallons of oil

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US Coast Guard says Texas barge collision may have spilled up to 2,000 gallons of oil
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US Coast Guard says Texas barge collision may have spilled up to 2,000 gallons of oil

2024-05-17 06:24 Last Updated At:06:31

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — Early estimates indicate up to 2,000 gallons of oil may have spilled into surrounding waters when a barge carrying fuel broke free from a tugboat and slammed into a bridge near Galveston, Texas, the U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday.

The barge crashed into a pillar supporting the Pelican Island Causeway span on Wednesday. The impact caused the bridge to partially collapse and cut off the only road connecting Galveston to Pelican Island, the Coast Guard said.

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Spill booms surround a barge at the Pelican Island bridge in Galveston, Texas, Wednesday, May 16, 2024. The barge collided with the bridge Tuesday which caused a partial collapse of the bridge and spilled vacuum gas oil the barge was carrying into Galveston Bay. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — Early estimates indicate up to 2,000 gallons of oil may have spilled into surrounding waters when a barge carrying fuel broke free from a tugboat and slammed into a bridge near Galveston, Texas, the U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday.

Crews monitor spill booms at the Pelican Island bridge in Galveston, Texas on Thursday, May 16, 2024, after a barge collided with the bridge Tuesday causing a partial collapse of the bridge and spilling vacuum gas oil into Galveston Bay. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

Crews monitor spill booms at the Pelican Island bridge in Galveston, Texas on Thursday, May 16, 2024, after a barge collided with the bridge Tuesday causing a partial collapse of the bridge and spilling vacuum gas oil into Galveston Bay. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

Crews monitor spill booms at the Pelican Island bridge in Galveston, Texas on Thursday, May 16, 2024, after a barge collided with the bridge Tuesday causing a partial collapse of the bridge and spilling vacuum gas oil into Galveston Bay. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

Crews monitor spill booms at the Pelican Island bridge in Galveston, Texas on Thursday, May 16, 2024, after a barge collided with the bridge Tuesday causing a partial collapse of the bridge and spilling vacuum gas oil into Galveston Bay. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

Spill booms surround a barge at the Pelican Island bridge in Galveston, Texas, Wednesday, May 16, 2024. The barge collided with the bridge Tuesday which caused a partial collapse of the bridge and spilled vacuum gas oil the barge was carrying into Galveston Bay. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

Spill booms surround a barge at the Pelican Island bridge in Galveston, Texas, Wednesday, May 16, 2024. The barge collided with the bridge Tuesday which caused a partial collapse of the bridge and spilled vacuum gas oil the barge was carrying into Galveston Bay. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

Debris and railroad tracks from the Pelican Island bridge in Galveston lie atop a barge owned by Martin Marine on Wednesday, May 16, 2024. The barge crashed into the bridge at about 10 a.m. Tuesday closing the only road access to and from the island. The bridge Wednesday was open to car traffic leaving Pelican Island and pedestrian traffic both ways. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

Debris and railroad tracks from the Pelican Island bridge in Galveston lie atop a barge owned by Martin Marine on Wednesday, May 16, 2024. The barge crashed into the bridge at about 10 a.m. Tuesday closing the only road access to and from the island. The bridge Wednesday was open to car traffic leaving Pelican Island and pedestrian traffic both ways. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

United States Coast Guard boats patrol the Galveston Ship Channel near the Pelican Island bridge, Wednesday, May 16, 2024, as city, county and state officials continue to assess the damage from a barge crashing into the bridge Tuesday in Galveston, Texas. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

United States Coast Guard boats patrol the Galveston Ship Channel near the Pelican Island bridge, Wednesday, May 16, 2024, as city, county and state officials continue to assess the damage from a barge crashing into the bridge Tuesday in Galveston, Texas. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

U.S. Coast Guard boats patrol the water near the site where a barge hit the Pelican Island Bridge Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

U.S. Coast Guard boats patrol the water near the site where a barge hit the Pelican Island Bridge Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Officials patrol the waters at the site where a bardge crashed into the Pelican Island Bridge Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Officials patrol the waters at the site where a bardge crashed into the Pelican Island Bridge Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

An spill boom is moved into position to contain a leak from a barge that crashed into the Pelican Island Bridge, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

An spill boom is moved into position to contain a leak from a barge that crashed into the Pelican Island Bridge, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

An spill boom is moved into position to contain a leak from a barge that crashed into the Pelican Island Bridge, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

An spill boom is moved into position to contain a leak from a barge that crashed into the Pelican Island Bridge, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A section of railroad track hangs down from Pelican Island Bridge after a barge crashed into the bridge, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A section of railroad track hangs down from Pelican Island Bridge after a barge crashed into the bridge, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Officials respond after the Pelican Island Bridge was closed when a passing barge struck one of its supports, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. A barge slammed into a bridge pillar on Wednesday, spilling oil into surrounding waters and closing the only road to a smaller and separate island that is home to a university, officials said. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Officials respond after the Pelican Island Bridge was closed when a passing barge struck one of its supports, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. A barge slammed into a bridge pillar on Wednesday, spilling oil into surrounding waters and closing the only road to a smaller and separate island that is home to a university, officials said. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Officials respond after the Pelican Island Bridge was closed when a passing barge struck one of its supports, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. A barge slammed into a bridge pillar on Wednesday, spilling oil into surrounding waters and closing the only road to a smaller and separate island that is home to a university, officials said. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Officials respond after the Pelican Island Bridge was closed when a passing barge struck one of its supports, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. A barge slammed into a bridge pillar on Wednesday, spilling oil into surrounding waters and closing the only road to a smaller and separate island that is home to a university, officials said. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Officials respond after the Pelican Island Bridge was closed when a passing barge struck one of its supports, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. The accident caused oil to spill into surrounding waters and closing the only road to a smaller and separate island that is home to a university, officials said. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Officials respond after the Pelican Island Bridge was closed when a passing barge struck one of its supports, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. The accident caused oil to spill into surrounding waters and closing the only road to a smaller and separate island that is home to a university, officials said. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Officials respond after the Pelican Island Bridge was closed when a passing barge struck one of its supports, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. The accident caused oil to spill into surrounding waters and closing the only road connecting the city to Pelican Island. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Officials respond after the Pelican Island Bridge was closed when a passing barge struck one of its supports, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. The accident caused oil to spill into surrounding waters and closing the only road connecting the city to Pelican Island. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Two workers stand on the barge that struck the Pelican Island Bridge on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. The accident caused oil to spill into surrounding waters and closing the only road to a smaller and separate island that is home to a university, officials said. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Two workers stand on the barge that struck the Pelican Island Bridge on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. The accident caused oil to spill into surrounding waters and closing the only road to a smaller and separate island that is home to a university, officials said. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Workers survey the site where a barge crashed into the Pelican Island Bridge, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Workers survey the site where a barge crashed into the Pelican Island Bridge, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Video shows splotches of oil had spilled from the barge into Galveston Bay. Jeff Davis of the Texas General Land Office said during a news conference Thursday that early cleanup efforts have not identified any impacted wildlife.

The barge has the capacity to hold 30,000 barrels, but was holding 23,000 barrels — approximately 966,000 gallons — when it struck the bridge, Rick Freed, the vice president of barge operator Martin Marine, said at the news conference. Freed said the only tank that was compromised in the crash was holding approximately 160,000 gallons, which is the “complete risk.”

“We’re pretty confident there was much less oil introduced to the water than we initially estimated,” Coast Guard Capt. Keith Donohue said.

“We’ve recovered over 605 gallons of oily water mixture from the environment, as well as an additional 5,640 gallons of oil product from the top of the barge that did not go into the water,” Donohue said.

The Coast Guard said earlier that it had deployed a boom, or barrier, to contain the spill, which forced the closure of about 6.5 miles (10.5 kilometers) of the waterway.

A tugboat lost control of the 321-foot barge “due to a break in the coupling” that had connected the two vessels, the Coast Guard said.

“Weather was not a factor, at all, during the coupling issue,” Freed said. When pressed for more details on how the two vessels became disconnected, he said: “It’s under investigation right now, and I really can’t disclose anything further until the investigation is through.”

On Thursday, the barge remained beside the bridge, weighed in place by debris including rail lines that fell onto it after the crash.

The bridge, which provides the only road access between Galveston and Pelican Island, remained closed to incoming traffic, but vehicles leaving Pelican Island and pedestrians in both directions were able to cross.

Texas A&M University at Galveston, which has a campus on Pelican Island, urged staff and faculty to leave and said it was closing the campus, although essential personnel would remain.

“Given the rapidly changing conditions and uncertainty regarding the outage of the Pelican Island Bridge, the Galveston Campus administration will be relocating all Texas A&M Pelican Island residents," through at least Sunday, it said in a statement late Wednesday.

Fewer than 200 people related to the school were on the island when the barge hit the bridge. Spokesperson Shantelle Patterson-Swanson said the university would provide transportation and cover the housing costs of those who choose to leave, but underlined that the school has not issued a mandatory evacuation.

Aside from the environmental impact of the oil spill, the region is unlikely to see large economic disruption as a result of the accident, said Maria Burns, a maritime transportation expert at the University of Houston.

The affected area is miles from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, which sees frequent barge traffic, and the Houston Ship Channel, a large shipping channel for ocean-going vessels.

The accident came weeks after a cargo ship crashed into a support column of the Francis Key Bridge in Baltimore on March 26, killing six construction workers.

Gonzalez reported from McAllen, Texas.

This story corrects the spelling of the name of a University of Houston's maritime transportation expert. Her name is Maria Burns, not Marcia.

Spill booms surround a barge at the Pelican Island bridge in Galveston, Texas, Wednesday, May 16, 2024. The barge collided with the bridge Tuesday which caused a partial collapse of the bridge and spilled vacuum gas oil the barge was carrying into Galveston Bay. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

Spill booms surround a barge at the Pelican Island bridge in Galveston, Texas, Wednesday, May 16, 2024. The barge collided with the bridge Tuesday which caused a partial collapse of the bridge and spilled vacuum gas oil the barge was carrying into Galveston Bay. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

Crews monitor spill booms at the Pelican Island bridge in Galveston, Texas on Thursday, May 16, 2024, after a barge collided with the bridge Tuesday causing a partial collapse of the bridge and spilling vacuum gas oil into Galveston Bay. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

Crews monitor spill booms at the Pelican Island bridge in Galveston, Texas on Thursday, May 16, 2024, after a barge collided with the bridge Tuesday causing a partial collapse of the bridge and spilling vacuum gas oil into Galveston Bay. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

Crews monitor spill booms at the Pelican Island bridge in Galveston, Texas on Thursday, May 16, 2024, after a barge collided with the bridge Tuesday causing a partial collapse of the bridge and spilling vacuum gas oil into Galveston Bay. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

Crews monitor spill booms at the Pelican Island bridge in Galveston, Texas on Thursday, May 16, 2024, after a barge collided with the bridge Tuesday causing a partial collapse of the bridge and spilling vacuum gas oil into Galveston Bay. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

Spill booms surround a barge at the Pelican Island bridge in Galveston, Texas, Wednesday, May 16, 2024. The barge collided with the bridge Tuesday which caused a partial collapse of the bridge and spilled vacuum gas oil the barge was carrying into Galveston Bay. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

Spill booms surround a barge at the Pelican Island bridge in Galveston, Texas, Wednesday, May 16, 2024. The barge collided with the bridge Tuesday which caused a partial collapse of the bridge and spilled vacuum gas oil the barge was carrying into Galveston Bay. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

Debris and railroad tracks from the Pelican Island bridge in Galveston lie atop a barge owned by Martin Marine on Wednesday, May 16, 2024. The barge crashed into the bridge at about 10 a.m. Tuesday closing the only road access to and from the island. The bridge Wednesday was open to car traffic leaving Pelican Island and pedestrian traffic both ways. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

Debris and railroad tracks from the Pelican Island bridge in Galveston lie atop a barge owned by Martin Marine on Wednesday, May 16, 2024. The barge crashed into the bridge at about 10 a.m. Tuesday closing the only road access to and from the island. The bridge Wednesday was open to car traffic leaving Pelican Island and pedestrian traffic both ways. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

United States Coast Guard boats patrol the Galveston Ship Channel near the Pelican Island bridge, Wednesday, May 16, 2024, as city, county and state officials continue to assess the damage from a barge crashing into the bridge Tuesday in Galveston, Texas. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

United States Coast Guard boats patrol the Galveston Ship Channel near the Pelican Island bridge, Wednesday, May 16, 2024, as city, county and state officials continue to assess the damage from a barge crashing into the bridge Tuesday in Galveston, Texas. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

U.S. Coast Guard boats patrol the water near the site where a barge hit the Pelican Island Bridge Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

U.S. Coast Guard boats patrol the water near the site where a barge hit the Pelican Island Bridge Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Officials patrol the waters at the site where a bardge crashed into the Pelican Island Bridge Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Officials patrol the waters at the site where a bardge crashed into the Pelican Island Bridge Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

An spill boom is moved into position to contain a leak from a barge that crashed into the Pelican Island Bridge, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

An spill boom is moved into position to contain a leak from a barge that crashed into the Pelican Island Bridge, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

An spill boom is moved into position to contain a leak from a barge that crashed into the Pelican Island Bridge, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

An spill boom is moved into position to contain a leak from a barge that crashed into the Pelican Island Bridge, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A section of railroad track hangs down from Pelican Island Bridge after a barge crashed into the bridge, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A section of railroad track hangs down from Pelican Island Bridge after a barge crashed into the bridge, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Officials respond after the Pelican Island Bridge was closed when a passing barge struck one of its supports, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. A barge slammed into a bridge pillar on Wednesday, spilling oil into surrounding waters and closing the only road to a smaller and separate island that is home to a university, officials said. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Officials respond after the Pelican Island Bridge was closed when a passing barge struck one of its supports, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. A barge slammed into a bridge pillar on Wednesday, spilling oil into surrounding waters and closing the only road to a smaller and separate island that is home to a university, officials said. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Officials respond after the Pelican Island Bridge was closed when a passing barge struck one of its supports, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. A barge slammed into a bridge pillar on Wednesday, spilling oil into surrounding waters and closing the only road to a smaller and separate island that is home to a university, officials said. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Officials respond after the Pelican Island Bridge was closed when a passing barge struck one of its supports, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. A barge slammed into a bridge pillar on Wednesday, spilling oil into surrounding waters and closing the only road to a smaller and separate island that is home to a university, officials said. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Officials respond after the Pelican Island Bridge was closed when a passing barge struck one of its supports, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. The accident caused oil to spill into surrounding waters and closing the only road to a smaller and separate island that is home to a university, officials said. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Officials respond after the Pelican Island Bridge was closed when a passing barge struck one of its supports, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. The accident caused oil to spill into surrounding waters and closing the only road to a smaller and separate island that is home to a university, officials said. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Officials respond after the Pelican Island Bridge was closed when a passing barge struck one of its supports, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. The accident caused oil to spill into surrounding waters and closing the only road connecting the city to Pelican Island. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Officials respond after the Pelican Island Bridge was closed when a passing barge struck one of its supports, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. The accident caused oil to spill into surrounding waters and closing the only road connecting the city to Pelican Island. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Two workers stand on the barge that struck the Pelican Island Bridge on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. The accident caused oil to spill into surrounding waters and closing the only road to a smaller and separate island that is home to a university, officials said. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Two workers stand on the barge that struck the Pelican Island Bridge on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. The accident caused oil to spill into surrounding waters and closing the only road to a smaller and separate island that is home to a university, officials said. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Workers survey the site where a barge crashed into the Pelican Island Bridge, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Workers survey the site where a barge crashed into the Pelican Island Bridge, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The third day of the Republican National Convention kicks off Wednesday with Republicans — led by the newly nominated Donald Trump and his running mate, U.S. Sen. JD Vance of Ohio — shifting their focus to issues of national security and foreign policy.

Republicans are expected to focus on Democratic President Joe Biden’s handling of the ongoing crises in Europe and the Middle East. Former Trump administration officials are also expected to take the stage to outline what foreign policy would look like if he returns to the White House for a second term.

Vance will also introduce himself to a national audience Wednesday evening when he delivers his first speech as the Republican vice-presidential nominee.

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Delegate and Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman of New York expects U.S. Sen. JD Vance to bring more excitement to the ticket than former Vice President Mike Pence did.

“I like Mike Pence,” Blakeman said Wednesday outside the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. “Mike Pence is a good man, but Mike was the kind of guy that you probably would want to be a professor or someone like that.”

“JD is a doer. He’s an action guy,” Blakeman continued. “He’s a man of principle. He really really cares about this country in a very deep way. I think JD is the perfect guy for Trump because he’s strong, and together they will project the strength that the American people want.”

But that doesn’t mean the two always will agree or should agree on everything, Blakeman added.

“When you accept the nomination for vice president, your job is to give counsel to the president, but to do it in private,” he said.

U.S. Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, a Republican from New York State, said Wednesday that the selection of U.S. Sen. JD Vance as Donald Trump’s running mate is part of their party’s embrace of youth.

“We’ve often been criticized for being the older party,” D’Esposito said outside the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. “I think he speaks to a different demographic in this country that has far too long been left out.”

“I think he’s exactly what this country is looking for and what we’ve been lacking,” D’Esposito added. “He’s someone who’s a leader. He’s someone who’s fought for this country. He’s someone who’s been an experienced level-headed legislator.”

D’Esposito also said that Vance’s nomination shows that the Republican party “can put our differences aside,” noting that the senator was previously a critic of Trump.

House Speaker Mike Johnson says he will be calling on the Secret Service director Kimberly Cheatle to resign in the aftermath of the assassination attempt on Donald Trump.

Johnson said Wednesday on Fox News that “it’s inexcusable” what happened and that the House will be launching a task force to investigate the security at the Trump rally last weekend.

“We need answers,” he said in a social media post. Cheatle was scheduled to appear before a House committee next Monday, but Johnson said he’s been told she may not appear.

President Donald Trump’s running mate, U.S. Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, is unknown to most Americans.

According to a new poll from the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, which was conducted before Trump selected the freshman senator as his vice presidential choice, 6 in 10 Americans don’t know enough about Vance to form an opinion.

About 2 in 10 U.S. adults have a favorable view of him, and 22% view him negatively.

Among Republicans, 61% don’t know enough to have an opinion of Vance. About one-quarter have a positive view of him, and roughly 1 in 10 have a negative view.

Democrats are relatively dour about their party’s prospects come November, according to a new poll from the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Only about a third of Democrats believe Biden is more capable of winning than Trump is come November. About 3 in 10 Democrats think the two are equally capable of winning and 16% say victory is more likely to go to Trump.

By contrast, Republicans are overwhelmingly convinced that Trump is in the best position to win.

Trump also has the edge on Biden when Americans consider who is most capable of handling a crisis — 38% to 28%. And people are about equally divided on which candidate has the better vision for the country, with 35% saying Biden and 34% Trump.

The poll did offer a bright spot for Biden: 40% of adults say he’s more honest than Trump, while about 2 in 10 think the opposite.

About two-thirds of Democrats say President Joe Biden should withdraw from the presidential race and let his party select a different candidate, according to a new poll from the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The poll was conducted two weeks after Biden’s debate flop and undercuts his claims since then that Democrats nationwide support his candidacy.

Democrats are slightly more likely to say they’re dissatisfied with Biden as their nominee now than they were before his halting performance. About half are dissatisfied, an uptick from about 4 in 10 in an AP-NORC poll from June.

Younger Democrats are especially likely to want to see him bow out — and to say they’re dissatisfied with him. Three-quarters of Democrats under the age of 45 want Biden to drop out, compared to about 6 in 10 of those who are older.

If there’s a glimmer of optimism for the Biden campaign, the poll does provide some evidence that Black Democrats are among Biden’s strongest supporters, with roughly half in the survey saying he should continue running, compared to about 3 in 10 white and Hispanic Democrats.

Overall, seven in 10 Americans think Biden should drop out, with Democrats only slightly less likely than Republicans and independents to say that he should make way for a new nominee.

Abortion was a central theme as Democratic leaders and women with harrowing personal stories of struggling to access reproductive care gathered in Milwaukee the week of the Republican National Convention.

Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar blamed Trump for abortion bans after the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. Trump frequently takes credit for appointing three U.S. Supreme Court justices who helped overturn the landmark 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion.

“I want to speak directly to American women to tell you there’s only one team on that ballot that cares about you and that’s the Biden-Harris team,” she said. “The Trump-Vance ticket does not care about women.”

Amanda Zurawski, a woman from Austin who went into premature labor, developed sepsis and nearly died, said her story “was only made possible because of Donald Trump, and if it is up to Trump and his new running mate JD Vance, it could become a reality for far too many other Americans.”

Zurawski called Vance’s abortion agenda “extreme,” pointing out that he previously argued against the need for rape and incest exceptions in abortion restrictions.

Nearly two-thirds of Democrats say President Joe Biden should withdraw from the presidential race and let his party nominate a different candidate, according to a new poll, sharply undercutting his post-debate claim that “average Democrats” are still with him even if some “big names” are turning on him.

The new survey by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, conducted as Biden works to salvage his candidacy two weeks after his debate flop, also found that only about 3 in 10 Democrats are extremely or very confident that he has the mental capability to serve effectively as president, down slightly from 40% in an AP-NORC poll in February.

The findings underscore the challenges the 81-year-old president faces as he tries to silence calls from within his own party to leave the race and tries to convince Democrats that he’s the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump. The poll was conducted mostly before Saturday’s assassination attempt on Trump at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania.

It’s unclear whether the shooting influenced people’s views of Biden, but the small number of poll interviews completed after the shooting provided no early indication that his prospects improved.

Read more here.

Democrats will look to hold a virtual vote to make President Joe Biden their party’s nominee in the first week of August, as Biden has rebuffed calls from some in his party to quit the race after his disastrous debate performance against Donald Trump.

The Democratic National Convention’s rules committee will meet on Friday to discuss its plans, according to a letter sent to members obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, and will finalize them next week. The letter from co-chairs Bishop Leah D. Daughtry and Gov. Tim Walz states that the virtual vote won’t take place before Aug. 1 but that the party is still committed to holding a vote before Aug. 7, which had been Ohio’s filing deadline.

“We will not be implementing a rushed virtual voting process,” Daughtry and Walz wrote, “though we will begin our important consideration of how a virtual voting process would work.”

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told The Associated Press he was “horrified” to learn that former President Donald Trump was injured in a shooting on Saturday.

“Thank God that former President Trump survived and is OK,” Murthy said in an interview.

A 20-year-old man’s assassination attempt on Trump using an AR-style rifle happened just weeks after Murthy declared gun violence a public health crisis in America.

Republicans have roundly rejected Murthy’s calls for gun restrictions. Trump fired Murthy, an Obama appointee, from the Surgeon General post in 2017. Murthy is serving a second term with the Biden administration.

Murthy said he was also thinking of Trump rallygoers on Saturday, who feared for their lives.

“That kind of fear, by the way, is what millions of people experience every day in our country,” Murthy said of gun violence across the U.S.

The House Democrats’ campaign committee says it raised a record $44 million this past quarter.

Despite the turmoil roiling the party over Biden’s reelection, strategists have said donors are stepping up to give to congressional Democrats as a firewall against a potential second Trump White House.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Wednesday the total includes $19.7 million raised in June. Biden’s halting debate against Trump was at the end of the month.

After three days, an enigmatic portrait emerged of the 20-year-old man who came close to killing former President Donald Trump with a high-velocity bullet: He was an intelligent loner with few friends, an apparently thin social media footprint and no hints of strong political beliefs that would suggest a motive for an attempted assassination.

Even after the FBI cracked into Thomas Matthew Crooks’ cellphone, scoured his computer, home and car, and interviewed more than 100 people, the mystery of why he opened fire on Trump’s rally Saturday, a bullet grazing the GOP nominee’s ear, remained as elusive as the moment it happened.

▶ Read more about the investigation

Former White House official Peter Navarro was released Wednesday from prison and was expected to speak just hours later at the Republican National Convention, according to a person familiar with the schedule who spoke on condition of anonymity before its official release.

Navarro was released from custody after completing his four-month sentence for refusing to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons.

Navarro will be heading straight to Milwaukee to speak at the third night of the Republican National Convention.

He is scheduled to speak in the 6 p.m. hour.

Associated Press writers Alanna Durkin Richer and Jill Colvin contributed to this report.

Vice President Kamala Harris is criticizing Republican Donald Trump’s new running mate ahead of the speech he’s making Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention.

In a video released by President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign, Harris dismissed the choice of Ohio Sen. JD Vance as Trump looking “for someone he knew would be a rubber stamp for his extreme agenda.”

“Make no mistake: JD Vance will be loyal only to Trump, not to our country,” Harris says in the 45-second video.

Trump and other top Republicans have recently intensified their criticism of Harris. That comes amid speculation she could replace Biden at the top of the Democratic presidential ticket if he were to heed intensifying calls for him to leave the race.

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas, the first House Democrat to publicly call on President Joe Biden to drop out of the 2024 presidential race, says the Democratic National Committee should not “fast-forward” the nominating process for his reelection bid.

Doggett said in a statement Wednesday that plans for a quick nomination — which the DNC is considering with a virtual roll call before the August convention — would jeopardize their chances of winning. He called instead for an open process to select a new Democratic presidential nominee.

“Fast-forwarding the nomination process is no way to convince the many unconvinced voters in the growing number of battleground states,” he said. “The risk of Trump tyranny is so great that we must put forward our strongest nominee.”

“Short-circuiting the normal Convention process jeopardizes the White House, Senate and House,” he added.

WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general says it’s investigating the U.S. Secret Service’s handling of security for former President Donald Trump on the day a gunman tried to assassinate him at a Pennsylvania rally.

The agency says in a brief notice on its website the objective is to evaluate the Secret Service’s “process for securing former President Trump’s July 13, 2024 campaign event.”

▶ Read more about the Department of Homeland Security’s investigation

After Donald Trump triumphantly entered the hall on the second night of the Republican National Convention, the program turned to one of his signature issues: illegal immigration. An ominous video of chaos at the U.S.-Mexico border led into to a speech by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who declared, “We are facing an invasion on our southern border.”

▶ Here’s a look at some of the claims made Tuesday

The mayor of Milwaukee says former President Donald Trump called him Tuesday, and the two had “a pleasant conversation.”

“Mr. Trump had positive things to say about his experience so far here in Milwaukee,” Mayor Cavalier Johnson said at an early-morning briefing. “He shared his gratitude for the security and for law enforcement preparations.”

The mayor said he wished Trump a speedy recovery during the phone call, which Johnson said lasted two to three minutes.

Milwaukee’s mayor says he was saddened by the death of a man shot by a group of bicycle police from Columbus, Ohio, who were in town to help with convention security.

The officers were briefing each other on the day’s activities Tuesday when they witnessed a man with two knives lunge at an unarmed man, Mayor Cavalier Johnson said at an early-morning briefing.

Police body camera footage of the encounter was released Tuesday.

“The information we have leaves a clear impression that these Columbus officers, they saved the life of an unarmed man from death or perhaps serious injury,” Johnson said.

The shooting occurred about three-quarters of a mile (1.2 kilometers) from the convention arena, near a park where demonstrators have been protesting this week.

Donald Trump ’s running mate JD Vance will introduce himself to a national audience Wednesday as he addresses the Republican National Convention.

The Ohio senator’s headlining address will be his first speech as the Republican vice-presidential nominee. He’s a relative political unknown who rapidly morphed in recent years from a severe critic of Trump to an aggressive defender.

Vance, 39, is positioned to become the next potential leader of the former president’s political movement, which has reshaped the Republican Party and busted many longtime political norms. The first millennial to join a major party ticket, he joins the race when questions about the age of the men at the top of the tickets — 78-year-old Trump and 81-year-old President Joe Biden — have been high on the list of voters’ concerns.

▶ Read more about JD Vance’s expected appearance

The presidential race was top of mind for everyone in Milwaukee. But Republicans also want to flip the Senate, and they highlighted on Tuesday night seven of their candidates hoping to nab seats from Democrats.

Only one of them was greeted with significant applause. That was Kari Lake of Arizona — a strong Trump supporter who became a conservative celebrity when she denied that Trump had lost his 2020 race or that she’d been defeated in her bid for governor.

All the Senate hopefuls had a common approach: slam Biden for his stewardship of the country and then link their opponent to the president.

Overall, the Senate candidates didn’t sketch out much of an individual agenda, instead hoping to tie their races to the presidential one. With most Senate elections going to the winner of the state’s presidential election, and Republicans bullish on Trump’s odds, it’s not an unreasonable calculation.

Democrats are trying to offer political counterprogramming to the RNC, announcing $15 million to fund campaign operations in seven key swing states — even as some in the party have urged President Joe Biden to bow out of November’s election.

The Democratic National Committee announced Tuesday that it is investing $15 million in state parties, meant to help them open more field offices and bolster staffing. The funding will let them add to the 217 existing coordinated campaign offices working jointly for Biden’s reelection bid and state parties that already employ 1,100-plus staffers in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the DNC said.

The investments will pump nearly $3 million into Wisconsin; nearly $2 million each into Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada; almost $1.5 million in Arizona; more than $1.2 million in North Carolina; and more than $1 million in Georgia.

Usha Chilukuri Vance, wife of JD Vance, is a Yale law graduate and attorney.

She stood next to her husband on Monday as he was named the Republican vice presidential nominee at the Republican National Convention.

The 38-year-old Chilukuri Vance was raised in San Diego, by Indian immigrants. Her mother is a biologist and provost at the University of California at San Diego; her father is an engineer, according to JD Vance’s campaign.

She received an undergraduate degree at Yale University and a master of philosophy at the University of Cambridge through the Gates Cambridge scholarship.

▶ Read more about Usha Vance

Trump and Vance were expected to appear in the hall each night of the convention. Vance is slated to speak Wednesday and Trump will speak Thursday.

Trump, who has long decried rivals with harsh language and talked about prosecuting opponents if he wins a second term, seemed poised to deliver a more toned-down speech. His eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., said in an Axios interview outside the RNC that he spent three or four hours going through his father’s convention speech with him, “trying to de-escalate some of that rhetoric.”

But there were hints in Tuesday’s programming of some of Trump’s old grievances, including several references to Trump’s disproven theories of election fraud. One of the primetime speakers, Madeline Brame, railed against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, whose office prosecuted Trump for illegally orchestrating a hush money scheme to influence the 2016 election. That made Trump the first former president convicted of a felony crime.

Brame accused Bragg of having mishandled the cases against the people accused of killing her son. Of Trump, she said, “He’s been a victim of the same corrupt system that I have been and my family has been.”

Trump’s survival of an attempted assassination Saturday at a rally in Pennsylvania was on the minds of many inside the convention hall. One of the delegates in the crowd could be seen with a folded white piece of paper over his ear — an apparent tribute to the bandage Trump wore when he entered the hall Monday to a roaring crowd.

He was wearing it again when he arrived Tuesday night, appearing even earlier than he did the night before. Trump entered a few minutes after his newly chosen running mate, Ohio Sen. JD Vance.

Many of the speakers so far have referenced the assassination attempt on Trump’s life, and that’s something we can expect to hear more of as speeches go on.

With Trump’s primary rivals speaking, Day 2 at the RNC was an occasion for the GOP to demonstrate its unity, a sharp contrast to the Democratic party’s mounting concerns over the viability of Biden.

▶Read the AP’s takeaways from night 2

Madeline Brame, whose veteran son was stabbed to death in Harlem in 2018, brought the crowd’s focus Tuesday night to one of right’s biggest boogeymen: New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Brame has publicly criticized Bragg for being soft on crime, including in the case of her son’s alleged killer. The crowd responded with roaring applause as Bragg is one of the officials involved in Trump’s various legal battles. “They betrayed us and stab us in the back,” Brame said about Democrats. “Trump was right when he said they’re after us, he’s just standing in the way.”

As part of the convention’s ‘Make America Safe Again’ session, family members of those who have lost loved ones to fentanyl overdose appeared back-to-back on the RNC stage to make the forceful and at time emotional case for why Trump would fix the epidemic.

Michael Morin, the brother of a woman who was killed by a man who was allegedly in the country illegally, said that Trump would take more action on the drug crisis than Biden and Harris have in the past three and a half years. Another speaker, Anne Funder, lost her 15-year-old son Austin to an overdose two years ago. As she got choked up on stage, the crowd began to chat “Joe must go!” to which she responded, “Yes, he must.”

Tom King, a Pennsylvania delegate from Butler, Pennsylvania, said he spoke to Trump at the rally 10 minutes before the shooting erupted on Saturday. He says he sat about 20 feet in front of Corey Comperatore, the former fire chief who was killed.

“It was a great day to see the president,” said King, who is general counsel for the Pennsylvania Republican Party. “He was in a great mood. He was energetic, but he was very serious about what we need to do in Pennsylvania to win the election.” When an AP reporter asked him to specify what he said needed to be done in Pennsylvania, King said, “I won’t say what he said.”

“We pledged to do everything we could to help him,” he said. “He’s a great guy.”

A street performer sings during the second day of the 2024 Republican National Convention near the Fiserv Forum, Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Joe Lamberti)

A street performer sings during the second day of the 2024 Republican National Convention near the Fiserv Forum, Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Joe Lamberti)

Law enforcement officers gather at campaign rally site for Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is empty Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. Trump's campaign said in a statement that the former president was "fine" after a shooting at his rally in Butler (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Law enforcement officers gather at campaign rally site for Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is empty Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. Trump's campaign said in a statement that the former president was "fine" after a shooting at his rally in Butler (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surround by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surround by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

President Joe Biden speaks, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Rehoboth Beach, Del., addressing news that gunshots rang out at Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump's Pennsylvania campaign rally. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Joe Biden speaks, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Rehoboth Beach, Del., addressing news that gunshots rang out at Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump's Pennsylvania campaign rally. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

A general view during rehearsals at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

A general view during rehearsals at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, right, with his dog named "Baby Dog" during the Republican National Convention Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, right, with his dog named "Baby Dog" during the Republican National Convention Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Campaign buttons are seen during the second day of the 2024 Republican National Convention near the Fiserv Forum, Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Joe Lamberti)

Campaign buttons are seen during the second day of the 2024 Republican National Convention near the Fiserv Forum, Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Joe Lamberti)

A supporter holds his hat during the national anthem at the Republican National Convention, Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

A supporter holds his hat during the national anthem at the Republican National Convention, Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Delegates dance around during the Republican National Convention, Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Delegates dance around during the Republican National Convention, Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Texas delegates watch during the Republican National Convention Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Texas delegates watch during the Republican National Convention Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Republican Pennsylvania candidate Dave McCormick speaks during the Republican National Convention Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Republican Pennsylvania candidate Dave McCormick speaks during the Republican National Convention Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Delegates pray during the Republican National Convention, Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Delegates pray during the Republican National Convention, Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

A volunteer poses near a sign during the second day of the 2024 Republican National Convention near the Fiserv Forum, Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

A volunteer poses near a sign during the second day of the 2024 Republican National Convention near the Fiserv Forum, Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., talks with Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump during the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., talks with Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump during the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump and Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, attend the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump and Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, attend the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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