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Obama mocks Trump, Biden calls for unity

Latest news, polls, analysis and more.
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 one week remaining until Election Day, President Donald Trump and Joe Biden are heading to key battleground states for their final pushes.

Trump held afternoon events in Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as a Nebraska rally at 8:30 p.m. ET. Meanwhile, Biden visited Georgia, a traditionally Republican stronghold that Democrats are hoping they can flip.

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading election news for Wednesday, October 28, 2020.

Stories we’re following today:

Melania Trump talks Covid-19 diagnosis in first solo 2020 campaign event

—Biden brings closing message to historically red Georgia

How to track your ballot after mail-in voting

—Latest polls from battleground states and more

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

Read updates below:

773d ago / 5:16 PM UTC

'Who are these folks?': Obama slams Jared Kushner for his comments on Black Americans

Obama on Tuesday slammed Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and adviser, for comments he made Monday about Black Americans.

"His son-in-law says Black folks have to want to be successful. That's the problem. Who are these folks? What history books do they read? Who do they talk to?" Obama said to Biden supporters at a drive-in rally in Orlando.

In an interview with Fox News, Kushner described Black America's issues with inequality and racism as "complaining."

"The thing we've seen in the Black community, which is mostly Democrat," he said, "is that President Trump's policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they're complaining about, but he can't want them to be successful more than they want to be successful."

773d ago / 5:11 PM UTC

Obama mocks Trump, saying he's jealous of Covid-19 media coverage

While campaigning in the key battleground state of Florida, former President Obama mocked Trump for his recent complaints about media coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"What's his closing argument? That people are too focused on COVID. He said this at one of his rallies. 'COVID, COVID, COVID,' he's complained. He's jealous of COVID's media coverage. If he had been focused on COVID from the beginning, cases wouldn't be reaching new records," Obama told Biden supporters in Orlando at a drive-in car rally.

Obama also expressed incredulity at how the White House has responded to the Covid-19 outbreaks among its staffers. 

"Let me say this, I lived in the White House for a while. It's a controlled environment. You can take some preventive measures in the White House to avoid getting sick. Except this guy can't seem to do it. He's turned the White House into a hot zone," Obama said. 

773d ago / 4:53 PM UTC

Majority of Americans don't expect to know presidential winner on Election Day

A week out from Election Day, a majority of American adults don't expect to know who will win the presidential race on Nov. 3, according to new data from the latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Tracking Poll. 

Sixty-eight percent of adults said they don't expect to know if President Trump or Joe Biden won the election on election night, but there's a split in how long people will think it will take to find out. Thirty-eight percent said they expect to know within a few days, 19 percent said within a few weeks and 11 percent said they expect it to take longer than a few weeks. 

Thirty percent of Americans said they still expect to know who won the contest on Nov. 3. 

773d ago / 4:38 PM UTC

'I'm committed': Early voters motivated as they wait in line in Philadelphia

773d ago / 4:19 PM UTC

What a data analysis of Supreme Court confirmations tells us

According to U.S. Senate records, in the last 45 years,  two other successful Supreme Court nominations have taken less time than Amy Coney Barrett's: John Roberts' second nomination in 2005, and John Paul Stevens' 1975 nomination. 

President Franklin Roosevelt had more Supreme Court justices confirmed than any president since George Washington. President Richard Nixon had four justices confirmed in his first term, the most in one term in recent history. President Donald Trump just got his third.

Read the story, after Ginsburg’s death, what a data analysis of Supreme Court confirmations tells us.

Graphic: Number of justices nominated and confirmed, per president
773d ago / 4:09 PM UTC

Who are the Asian Americans still voting for Trump in spite of his 'China virus' rhetoric?

President Donald Trump's repeated use of anti-China rhetoric like "kung flu" and "China virus" to describe Covid-19 quickly became a customary part of the election cycle. Soon after, his word choice prompted analysis around how it could affect Asian American voters.

For the most part, Trump's discriminatory language hasn't done him many favors with Asian American voters. A survey released in September shows that a majority of the electorate is supporting Joe Biden, at 54 percent, while about 30 percent is backing Trump. But the community's depth and diversity can't be explained in one statistic.

Asian Americans as a whole have trended left in recent elections, but research shows that some populations have shifted toward the right, specifically Vietnamese Americans and, to a lesser extent, Indian Americans. In some cases, that's because of the rhetoric that many fear has emboldened people to attack those in the community.

Continue reading on NBCNews.com.

773d ago / 4:04 PM UTC

Biden maintains ad advantage in key swing states

A look at the TV and radio ad spending in the battleground states helps tell the story behind Joe Biden's lead, showing big spending advantages over President Donald Trump in places like Michigan, Wisconsin and even Pennsylvania.

Biden outspent Trump in every single one of the states rated as toss-ups or leaning on the NBC News Political Unit's latest battleground map over the last week (Oct. 20-26). 

Here’s some state-by-state analysis.

773d ago / 3:55 PM UTC

'It ain't never going to change': West Virginians say why they're not voting

In the 2016 election, 63% of eligible voters in McDowell County, W.Va., did not vote and the 2020 election may yield similar results.

NBC News' Morgan Radford spoke with West Virginians who might be planning to skip voting again.

773d ago / 2:46 PM UTC

Analysis: The polls could be wrong. But that may help Biden, not just Trump.

As Election Day approaches and President Donald Trump continues to trail Joe Biden by high single digits both nationally and in key states, their respective bases are buzzing with either hope or dread that "the polls could be wrong again."

In truth, public opinion polls are imperfect instruments, and there's always bound to be some degree of error, especially given the widely varying quality of the nation's pollsters. But Trump would probably need a larger polling miss than in 2016 to win re-election, and there's no guarantee a systemic polling error this year would run in his favor.

Could the polls be wrong in 2020? A lot depends on the region.

First, it's important to remember that in 2016, the final pre-election average showed Hillary Clinton leading Trump 46.8 percent to 43.6 percent nationally, according to leading polling aggregator RealClearPolitics. That wasn't too far off the mark: She went on to win the popular vote 48.2 percent to 46.1 percent, not exactly strong evidence that hordes of "shy Trump voters" refused to tell pollsters their true intentions.

Continue reading on NBCNews.com. 

773d ago / 2:30 PM UTC

Early voting begins in DC

Voters wait outside of the Capital One Arena before the start of the first day of early voting in Washington on Oct. 27, 2020.
Voters wait outside of the Capital One Arena before the start of the first day of early voting in Washington on Oct. 27, 2020.Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call via AP
773d ago / 2:18 PM UTC

In closely watched Florida, poll shows Biden with edge

A new poll of the tight race in Florida finds Biden with a slight edge over Trump among likely voters, the Florida Atlantic University, Business and Economics Polling Initiative found. 

Of those polled, 50 percent of voters support Biden and 48 percent support Trump, though 6 percent said they could change their minds before Election Day. 

Thirty-seven percent of respondents found the economy to be the most important issue, followed by the coronavirus and health care. 

Trump won Florida in 2016 by just over 1 percent and has made several campaign stops in the state. Former President Barack Obama will visit North Miami to campaign for Biden on Saturday. 

The poll was conducted Oct. 24-25 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. 

773d ago / 1:43 PM UTC

Fake news spread on WhatsApp to Indian Americans plays stealth role in U.S. election

New Jersey tech entrepreneur Arun Bantval is U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden’s top fake-news watchdog on messaging service WhatsApp about the Democrat and his Indian American running mate Kamala Harris.

Messages on WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, are confidential and cannot be seen by moderators who police misleading memes, claims and other content on the social media giant’s flagship platform. Two billion users rely on WhatsApp’s free app to chat with individuals and groups of up to 256 people.

Bantval, 56, who chairs the Biden campaign’s five-member rapid response team focused on South Asian voters, has tracked dozens of concerning messages of unknown origin and crafted about 50 rebuttal graphics and texts over the last three months.

Continue reading

773d ago / 1:34 PM UTC

FIRST READ: Biden continues to lead in latest battleground map

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WASHINGTON — With one week to go until Election Day, the NBC News Political Unit’s battleground map is pretty much unchanged from a month ago.

Joe Biden and the Democrats continue to be above 270 electoral votes, with Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin all in the Lean Democratic category.

But there are two changes. One, Arizona moves from Lean Democratic to Toss Up, bringing Biden down from 290 electoral votes to 279.

Two, Texas moves from Lean Republican to Toss Up, bringing the electoral votes in President Trump’s column down from 163 to 125.

Continue reading

773d ago / 1:33 PM UTC

In setback for Democrats, Supreme Court won't let late mail ballots count in Wisconsin

Image: Early Voting Begins In Swing State Of Wisconsin
Residents drop mail-in ballots in an official ballot box outside of the Tippecanoe branch library in Milwaukee on Oct 20, 2020.Scott Olson / Getty Images

Wisconsin cannot count mail ballots that arrive well after the polls close under an order issued Monday by the Supreme Court, a defeat for Democrats in a battleground state.

By a vote of 5-3, the justices declined to lift a lower court ruling preventing the state from counting mail ballots that arrive as much as six days after Election Day. Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan said they would have granted the request.

Voting rights groups, the state and national Democratic parties and the League of Women Voters sued seeking to extend the deadline to accept mail-in ballots. They said the flood of absentee ballots and problems arising from the coronavirus pandemic make it harder for voters to receive their mail ballots and return them on time. Wisconsin has been especially hard hit by Covid-19, with hospitals filled nearly to capacity.

Read the story.

773d ago / 1:27 PM UTC

Both sides ramp up ground games in suddenly battleground state of Texas

With just a week to go until Election Day both Democrat and Republican groups are on the ground in Texas working to turn-out last-minute voters. 

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican Super PAC has invested $1 million in the state, in an effort to turn out voters in areas where there hasn’t been a robust GOP voter outreach effort.

Meanwhile Democratic groups like the Texas Organizing Project are also barnstorming the state alongside Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke. They’re focused on galvanizing Black and Latino voters who are registered to vote, but haven’t done so historically. The goal: to turn Texas, a historically red state, blue. 

Read more on the Texas battle.

773d ago / 1:16 PM UTC

U.S. voter info has always been public — but now it's getting weaponized

Image: Early voting in Maryland
Voters line up outside a polling station during early voting in Bel Air, Md., on Oct. 27, 2020.Hannah McKay / Reuters

When John Ratcliffe, the top U.S. intelligence official, said at a news conference Wednesday that Iran and Russia had obtained American voter registration information, he left out an important point: American voters' data is already public and widely available.

"We have confirmed some voter registration information has been obtained by Iran and separately by Russia," Ratcliffe said. "This data can be used by foreign actors to attempt to communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion."

Iran had already weaponized some of that information in the form of threatening emails sent to some Democrats in Florida. The email campaign showed no signs of any successful effort to target Florida's election infrastructure.

But the campaign offered a stark reminder that voting in the U.S. comes with a strong chance that your personal information is shared online.

Read the story.

773d ago / 1:02 PM UTC

Ex-Postal Service worker charged with tossing absentee ballots in dumpster in Kentucky

A former U.S. Postal Service worker was charged with tossing dozens of absentee ballots and other mail that was found in a dumpster in Kentucky, the U.S. attorney's office said.

DeShawn Bojgere, 30, of Louisville, was charged with delay or destruction of mail, a news release from U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman's office said in a news release Monday.

The mail included approximately 111 general election absentee ballots that were being mailed from the Jefferson County clerk’s office to voters, as well as 69 mixed class pieces of mail, 320 second-class pieces of mail and two national election campaign flyers from a political party in Florida, the release said.

Bojgere told Postal Service special agents that he was responsible for discarding the mail, prosecutors said. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted. It was not known whether he is represented by a lawyer who could comment on his behalf. 

Special Agent Scott Balfour said earlier that such incidents are “exceedingly rare.

773d ago / 12:58 PM UTC

'Relentless lies and baseless attacks': Pa. governor's office dismisses Trump's rally venue claims

Image: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a campaign event, in Allentown, Pennsylvania
President Donald Trump throws a "Make America Great Again" cap into the crowd during a rally in Allentown, Pa., on Oct. 26, 2020.Leah Millis / Reuters

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's office is dismissing Trump's claims during campaign events Monday that the governor was "shutting us out" of rally venues in the state. 

"This is more of the president’s relentless lies and baseless attacks," said Sara Goulet, a spokeswoman for the governor's office. "The administration sent a letter to the Trump campaign’s legal office asking the campaign to abide by masking and social distancing guidelines earlier this year. We did not receive a response." 

"Outside of that, the administration has had no contact with the Trump campaign about its events," Goulet added. "Neither the Trump campaign nor the Biden campaign must reach out to the administration when planning visits."

To the cheers of attendees, Trump issued what appeared to be a threat of retaliation against the state's Democratic governor during a rally in Allentown on Monday, claiming Wolf's coronavirus restrictions had forced the campaign to shift the site of his campaign events. 

773d ago / 12:49 PM UTC

With one week to go, Trump and Biden make final push

With just seven days to go until Election Day, President Trump and Joe Biden are crisscrossing the country, making their final arguments to voters. NBC's Kristen Welker reports for "TODAY" from Atlanta, where Biden is set to hold a rally Tuesday night.

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773d ago / 12:28 PM UTC

'Big responsibility': In 2020, even armchair election analysts see little room for error

Volvi Einhorn at work in Brooklyn.
Volvi Einhorn at work in Brooklyn.Buri Stein

Volvi Einhorn is a full-time architect in Brooklyn, New York, not a political operative, so you wouldn't think he'd be a wild card in the election.

But in his spare time, Einhorn and two friends have been faithfully posting the latest political polls to a Twitter account that, thanks to their dedication since 2015, now has more than 195,000 followers. And he says that come election night, Nov. 3, they'll be doing their best to call the results.

"We're going to be busy the whole night," said Einhorn, 30.

Calling elections was once the exclusive domain of a select group of experts. But the internet, as it has with just about everything else, has democratized the scene. Einhorn is part of a growing group of self-appointed election gurus and prognosticators who have taken on the challenge of analyzing races and making forecasts — often before news organizations have weighed in.

And while their analyses are unofficial, such calls — even those made in good faith — add to an information ecosystem that experts have warned could be rife with bad actors looking to exploit any uncertainties around the election.

Read the story.

773d ago / 10:21 AM UTC

Twitter flags Trump voting tweet as misleading

Twitter placed a warning label on a tweet President Donald Trump sent Monday night, calling it misleading for its baseless claims about mail-in ballots for the Nov. 3 election. 

"Big problems and discrepancies with Mail In Ballots all over the USA. Must have final total on November 3rd," Trump tweeted.

Twitter later placed a label the tweet, warning, "Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about how to participate in an election or another civic process." It also linked to a page on the site explaining that voting by mail is safe and secure.

This is the latest move by the social media giant, which has recently taken an aggressive approach to limit and remove misinformation and misleading claims on the site. Last week, Twitter removed a tweet from one of Trump's top Covid-19 advisers, which falsely claimed that masks don't work to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

There is no evidence of massive voter fraud and election experts have repeatedly noted that if fraud happens, such as a recent case in New Jersey in which a new election was called after allegations of mail-in ballot fraud, it is easily found. 

773d ago / 10:20 AM UTC

How states aim to prevent a surge in mail-in ballot rejections

In North Carolina, voters whose absentee ballots are rejected will be notified and given the chance to fix them and deadlines are extended. Experts worry rejection rates for mail-in ballots in some states could be double or triple what they are in a normal election year.

773d ago / 10:19 AM UTC

Ivanka Trump fundraises in Beverly Hills for father's cash-strapped campaign

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White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump, alongside Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, fundraised with major donors in Beverly Hills on Monday for President Donald Trump's cash-strapped campaign, an unusual move in the final week before Election Day.  

The event at Spago, the flagship restaurant of chef Wolfgang Puck, was limited to 15 individuals willing to make a minimum contribution of $100,000. 

Health care executive Lee Samson, who previously hosted the president in April 2019, opened up his home on Monday afternoon for an event of about 100 donors. McDaniel led a discussion with Ivanka Trump.  

Two individuals told NBC News that there were few masks and that Trump and McDaniel were not wearing face coverings for at least the backyard portion of the fundraiser. All attendees for both events were required to test negative ahead of the gatherings and were socially distanced throughout, according to a Republican familiar with the planning.

"There was certainly no social distancing going on," one of the individuals said. "Almost no one was wearing a mask — except the valet, the waiters and the law enforcement."

773d ago / 10:17 AM UTC

Biden adds more in-person campaign stops in final week

Joe Biden announced that he's expanding his reach across the map in the days before Election Day, traveling to Iowa and Wisconsin on Friday and Michigan on Saturday.

Biden's visit to Iowa is an indicator of how the campaign is feeling, given that he’s traveling to a state that the campaign had filed under their "win back" column but has done little in-person campaigning there. The Democratic nominee has not been to Iowa since he jetted out of the state the evening of the primaries in early February. 

Biden was last in Wisconsin on Sept. 21 when he made two stops. The campaign wanted him to go more often since then, but the coronavirus cases spikes delayed the visit. He was last in Michigan on Oct. 16, when he made stops in Southfield and Detroit. Polls show Biden leading President Donald Trump there, a state Trump won four years ago.

The former vice president makes two stops in Georgia today and two in Florida on Thursday.

 

773d ago / 10:14 AM UTC

Twitter launches 'pre-bunks' to get ahead of voting misinformation

Twitter says it will begin placing messages at the top of users' feeds to pre-emptively debunk false information about voting by mail and election results, an escalation of the tech company’s battle against misinformation.

Twitter is calling the messages a "pre-bunk," something it says it has never done, because the debunking is not a reaction to an existing tweet with misinformation.

Read more here.

773d ago / 10:12 AM UTC
774d ago / 10:14 PM UTC

Masks required at Monday's White House event

Masks will be required at Monday's White House event in honor of Judge Amy Coney Barrett's anticipated Supreme Court confirmation, a senior White House official said.

"Tonight’s seated audience will be socially distanced," the official told NBC News. "Face coverings are required for all those attending. Those in close proximity to the President will be tested beforehand.”

Face-coverings have not been a requirement at similar White House gatherings before and were notably not seen at the late September event honoring Barrett's nomination. Trump and more than a dozen people close to him, including the first lady and his youngest son, tested positive for Covid-19 in the days after that event.