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Highlights: Biden, Trump prep for final pitches to voters

Get the latest presidential election news and campaign updates.
Image: President Donald Trump and Joe Biden on a background of concentric circles made up of blue and red stars.
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

With only two days to go before Election Day, both President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden are making their final pitches to voters in battleground states that will be keys to victory.

Trump is traveling to five states — Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida — while Biden is holding two events in Philadelphia.

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading election news for Monday, Nov. 2, 2020.

Stories we're following:

—Latest polls from battleground states and more

—The road to 270: How Biden or Trump could win

A voting rights win in Texas

—Trump begins rally blitz by playing the hits

—Biden bests Trump with Latino voters

Trump responds to 'Fire Fauci!' chants at Florida rally

OPA LOCKA, Fla. — At President Donald Trump's fifth and final rally of the day Sunday, the crowd broke out in a chant of  “Fire Fauci!” and Trump responded, “Let me wait until a little bit after the election.”

His remark came hours after the White House strongly pushed back against an interview in which Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's leading infectious disease expert, said the U.S. is in a terrible position to face the coming months of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fauci said the country needs to make an "abrupt change" in its public health practices and behaviors as the holiday season nears. 

In a lengthy statement, White House spokesman Judd Deere said it was "unacceptable and breaking with all norms for Dr. Fauci, a senior member of the President's Coronavirus Taskforce and someone who has praised President Trump's actions throughout this pandemic, to choose three days before an election to play politics."

Colombian music replaces Trump rally soundtrack in last minute push for Latino voters

OPA LOCKA, Fla. — Rather than the usual Trump rally soundtrack of Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ and the theme song from Titanic greeting rally attendees, Trump’s campaign brought in a Spanish-speaking Colombian band to warm up the crowd at his event here outside of Miami.

It was a clear sign of the Trump campaign’s efforts to try to win over Latino voters who campaign officials see as key to winning the state after losing support among other key groups, like seniors. But while 69 percent of residents in Miami-Dade County identify as Hispanic, many attendees at the crowd appeared to be non-Hispanic.

The late night rally, scheduled to start just an hour before the county's midnight curfew goes into effect, was Trump's last scheduled event in Florida before Election Day. But as Trump makes a last-minute push in Florida, nearly 9 million voters in the state have already cast their ballots early, almost as many as the total ballots cast in 2016. When one speaker asked the crowd who had voted, they were met with loud cheers. 

Julián Castro campaigns for Biden in Phoenix, visits a Day of the Dead altar

Julián Castro, a campaign surrogate for Joe Biden, visited a Día de los Muertos ofrenda, or Day of the Dead altar, on Sunday in Phoenix, where local organizers had placed a photo of his stepmother, Alice, who died of Covid-19. 

The former Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Barack Obama, has been working to get out the Latino vote. He also attended a "Low Riden for Joe Biden" event in Phoenix.

Trump responds after FBI investigating harassment of Biden campaign bus in Texas

The FBI said on Sunday it is investigating the alleged harassment of a Biden campaign bus in Texas on Friday.

During a rally in Michigan earlier Sunday, the president praised a group of his supporters who surrounded the Biden campaign bus with their vehicles. Video showed two cars colliding, and the Biden campaign said the pro-Trump trucks tried to run the bus off the road as it traveled from San Antonio to Austin.

Trump responded to the FBI's statement in a tweet later Sunday, saying his supporters "did nothing wrong."

"In my opinion, these patriots did nothing wrong," he said. "Instead, the FBI & Justice should be investigating the terrorists, anarchists, and agitators of ANTIFA, who run around burning down our Democrat run cities and hurting our people!"

How Florida plans to restore voter confidence in the mail-in ballot

Trump says he's sending in his lawyers as soon as the election ends to review swing state votes

President Trump said Sunday that he's sending in his lawyers as soon as the election ends on Tuesday, his latest attack on the legitimacy of this week's unprecedented vote count.

After landing in North Carolina Sunday evening, Trump was asked about a report published Sunday in Axios that said the president could try to prematurely declare victory on Election Day. Trump denied he would do so, but lamented Supreme Court rulings that allowed for Pennsylvania and North Carolina to count absentee ballots that are postmarked before Election Day but arrive shortly after Nov. 3.

"I think it was a terrible decision for our country. And I think it was a very dangerous decision for our country," Trump said. "Because you're going to have one or two or three states depending on how it ends up where they're tabulating ballots and the rest of the world is waiting to find out. And I think there's great danger to it and I think a lot of fraud and misuse can take place. I think it's a terrible decision by the Supreme Court. A terrible decision."

His claims of widespread fraud connected to mail-in voting have been repeatedly debunked.

"Now I don't know if that's going to be changed because we're going to go in night of, as soon as that election is over, we're going in with our lawyers," Trump continued, adding, "I don't think it's fair that we have to wait a long period of time after the election. Should've gotten their ballots in a long time before that. Could've gotten their ballots in a month ago. I think it's a ridiculous decision."

Pennsylvania and North Carolina are two of the most hotly contested swing states. In Pennsylvania specifically, election officials are not allowed to ready the ballots for tabulation ahead of polls closing — a process known as "pre-canvassing" — that would help speed up the counting process.

Read more here.

These attorneys remade the Supreme Court. Now they're fighting to limit voting.

Way back in February, before the pandemic, the lockdowns, and the epic lines at polling places, election officials in the battleground state of Michigan got a letter. It said voter registration in 19 counties was “abnormally” high, indicating they weren’t maintaining their rolls.

The group spearheading those letters, called the Honest Elections Project, describes its mission as a nonpartisan effort to fight fraud, protect every American’s right to vote and instill faith in the electoral process.

Behind the group is a network that includes some of Washington's most powerful conservative figures, with close ties to the GOP and the Trump administration. Hundreds of pages of financial records and other documents, some not previously reported, lead back to Leonard Leo, an adviser to President Donald Trump and the former executive vice president of the influential conservative legal group known as the Federalist Society.

Read more here.

'Does anybody have a coat I can use?' Trump laments Michigan weather at campaign rally

As Biden sees multiple paths to win, Democrats face 'crippling fear' of 2016 redux

Joe Biden heads into Election Day with a unique coalition and multiple paths to victory against President Trump — but some Democrats can hardly believe the polls, haunted by the ghosts of 2016.

"I'm ping-ponging back and forth between utter dread and cautious optimism," said Zac Petkanas, a Democratic strategist who worked as the director of rapid response on Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Many Democrats were overconfident about the 2016 election and paid a heavy price for it. Now it's the opposite. They appear to be in a better position, but party operatives and loyalists are persistently on edge, trying to remain hopeful but often quick to panic at warning signs.

Read more here.

In key battlegrounds, voters of color see ballots marked for rejection at higher rates

Mail ballots returned by voters of color in two swing states where the race between President Trump and Joe Biden is tight are being flagged for errors and possible rejection at disproportionately high rates, according to an analysis by NBC News and TargetSmart.

NBC News and TargetSmart reviewed data on more than 60,000 spoiled ballots in 11 states, including two — Florida and Georgia — which have released the number of ballots flagged for errors or rejection as broken down by race. More than 7,900 ballots cast by Black, Hispanic, and Asian voters in those two states have been marked for voter errors at higher rates than white voters. However, the data from the 11 states shows a low rejection rate overall. 

In Florida, election officials have flagged Black, Hispanic and Asian voters at twice the rate of white voters. 

Read more here.