Election 2020: Biden prepares for debate as Trump focuses on his electoral map with rallies
With the final presidential debate on Thursday hovering with intent over the campaign week and the home stretch, President Donald Trump is careening from one must-win stop on his electoral map to the next in the lead-up to the faceoff which may be his last, best chance to alter the trajectory of the 2020 campaign.
Joe Biden has been taking the opposite approach, holing up in Delaware for prep in advance of the debate in Nashville.
Trump trails in polls in most battleground states. Working to reverse that, he stopped in Pennsylvania and is bound for North Carolina today as he delivers what his campaign sees as his closing message. Zeke Miller, Will Weissert and Jonathan Lemire have the latest.
The president’s pitch that he should lead the rebuilding of an economy ravaged by the pandemic has been overshadowed by a series of fights.
In the last two days he has attacked the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, had a run-in with venerable TV newsmagazine CBS’ “60 Minutes” that apparently ended acrimoniously, while suggesting that the country was tired of talking about a virus that has killed more than 220,000 Americans.
VIDEO: Trump at Pennsylvania rally claims the US is ‘crushing the virus.’
Biden Transition: The Democrat’s biggest challenge may begin the day after Election Day. If he wins, he’ll have just over 10 weeks to set up a new government. After making Trump’s handling of the pandemic a centerpiece of his campaign, Biden will have to show that his team can better handle the public health crisis. He will also have to contend with what Democrats say is the damage the Trump administration has done to the bureaucratic machinery in Washington. Alexandra Jaffe reports.
AP Explains: Trump seizes on dubious Biden-Ukraine story.
Obama on the Trail: Former President Barack Obama is returning to Philadelphia for his first in-person 2020 campaign event for Biden. He’ll be speaking today at a drive-in rally, where supporters will listen to him over the radio inside their cars. The format underscores the challenge Democrats face in drumming up enthusiasm and getting out the vote in a year when they’ve eschewed big rallies in favor of small, socially distanced events.
Election Dispute: The Supreme Court’s action in a Pennsylvania voting case has heightened fears among Democrats about Amy Coney Barrett joining the high court in time to decide a post-election dispute and with it, the winner of the White House. The justices split 4-4 Monday. That outcome left in place a Pennsylvania court order to count mailed ballots if they are received up to three days after the election. Four conservative members of the court are likely to be joined soon by Barrett. That’s a potential majority in any election-related dispute, whether from Pennsylvania or any other battleground state where mailed-in ballots or a recount fight could decide the winner, Mark Sherman reports.
Florida’s Barometer: Pinellas County is one to watch on election night. Unlike places such as Tampa and Orlando, which have steadily grown more liberal, Pinellas is harder to categorize, and it’s set apart by its decidedly purple reign. Residents voted for Obama twice — and then Trump. It was one of only four counties in the state to switch from Obama to Trump. One thing everyone can agree on: Keep an eye on Pinellas because it’s a barometer for broader trends in the state and possibly the nation, Tamara Lush reports.