President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden are in the home stretch of this election. Refresh this blog all day for updates as the candidates make their final push.
Black voters could make the difference in the battle for Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is a top prize for President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, and some activists say Black voters could prove crucial to deciding who wins the presidential race and earns the state’s 20 electoral votes.
Organizers expect social unrest, the disproportionate impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on communities of color, and the renewed national focus on civil rights for Black Americans will spur more Black voters to show up at the polls in Pennsylvania than they did in 2016.
To activate those voters, groups are hosting socially distant rallies featuring local artists; conducting phone banks from home; setting up voter information booths at outdoor events; and leading caravans through Black neighborhoods.
Trump narrowly beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania in 2016, but Biden is now leading Trump by 5.4 points there, according to USA TODAY’s polling average. The state is 76% white and 12% Black, and had voted Democrat since 1992 before it swung right for Trump.
– Deborah Barfield Berry
Poll: Most disapprove of Trump’s decision to hold rallies during pandemic
A new USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll finds nearly two-thirds of likely voters prefer Democrat Joe Biden’s low-key campaign strategy to President Donald Trump’s raucous fanfare of surrounding himself with thousands of supporters at dozens of rallies.
Nearly six in 10 Americans disapprove of Trump’s decision to continue to hold large rallies during the pandemic, according to the poll, while nearly 64% approve of Biden’s decision to jettison big events in favor of much smaller gatherings.
Trump has held more than two dozen rallies since recovering from his own bout with COVID-19 this month – and he is expected to hold at least a dozen more before Tuesday’s election. The rallies are held outdoors, usually at airports, and supporters are packed in tight. While some rallygoers wear masks, many do not and Trump himself does not wear one.
Biden has rarely gathered more than a few dozen supporters at a time, often enforcing recommended distancing with white, spray-painted circles for each participant. His campaign has insisted participants get tested before they show up and wear masks.
– John Fritze, Bart Jansen and Joshua Bowling
‘Give me a break’: Sen. McSally brushes off Trump’s treatment at rally
President Donald Trump’s interactions with GOP Sen. Martha McSally at recent Arizona campaign rallies have been much-scrutinized with some viewing the exchanges as disrespectful and dismissive.
While campaigning in swing-state Arizona, Trump has kept McSally by his side, unlike some GOP candidates facing tough campaigns. But Trump has exuded little warmth for her lately.
On Wednesday at a rally in Goodyear, Trump hurried McSally on stage and told her to speak quickly, a departure from his recent rallies in Iowa and Michigan where the GOP Senate candidates were not brought on stage to speak during his prime-time slot.
“Martha, just come up fast,” Trump said, after issuing her praise and slamming her Democratic challenger Mark Kelly. “Fast. Fast. Come on. Quick. You got one minute! One minute, Martha! They don’t want to hear this, Martha. Come on. Let’s go. Quick, quick, quick. Come on. Let’s go.”
For her part, McSally shrugged off Trump’s treatment of her.
“Give me a break,” McSally told reporters Thursday at an event with Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., in Scottsdale. “President Trump will be President Trump, and I’m fighting with him to save the country.”
– Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Farah Eltohamy
‘Give me a break’:Sen. Martha McSally brushes off Trump’s treatment at Arizona rally
We’re four days away
There are now just four days to Election Day, and more than 80 million people have already voted, according to numbers compiled by @electproject.
Millions of mail ballots are still outstanding, and the date the USPS recommended to mail them back to make state deadlines is a few days passed. Officials stress those ballots now be dropped off in-person.
In Wisconsin, a crucial swing-state, multiple Milwaukee area agencies and organizations are teaming up during this coronavirus-era election season to help provide transportation to the polls on Nov. 3.
- A Florida judge has resigned from Duval County’s vote-counting board after findings that he donated repeatedly to Trump’s re-election campaign. Florida judicial rules bar judges from political donations of any kind.
- Biden holds a slight lead over Trump among Latino voters in the battleground state of Florida, according to a poll published Thursday, but is struggling with the Cuban population there. He is leading among Latino voters in Texas, Arizona and Nevada.
- A new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll found that 3 of 4 voters express concern about the possibility of violence on Election Day.
- Trump cancelled his rally Thursday in North Carolina due to high winds produced by Tropical Storm Zeta.
No presidential winner on election night? Mail-in ballots could put the outcome in doubt for weeks.
Where are the candidates today?
The Biden and Trump campaigns will hold dueling events in two states: Minnesota and Wisconsin, with drastically different event styles given the ongoing pandemic
In Minnesota, Biden will hold a drive-in car rally while Trump’s location, as of Thursday night, was influx due to the state’s COVID-19 safety regulations and his crowd size.
Trump will rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin while the Biden campaign will be in Milwaukee.
Biden will also visit Iowa, making Friday his fullest day of travel during the general election. Trump will rally in Michigan, as well.
Sen. Kamala Harris will campaign around Texas, in Fort Worth, McAllen and Houston.