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Election 2020: Trump, Biden hold dueling Florida rallies

The candidates are running a tight race in the key battleground state.
Image: President Donald Trump and Joe Biden on a background of concentric circles made up of blue and red stars.
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

President Donald Trump and Joe Biden are holding dueling rallies on Thursday in the key battleground state of Florida, where polls show a virtual tie.

Trump and Biden held events earlier in the day in Tampa and Coconut Creek, respectively. Biden will also traveled to Tampa later in the day for remarks that were cut short due to rain.

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading election news for Friday, October 30, 2020.

Stories we're following today:

Hackers stole millions from Wisconsin GOP

—Heat at Trump rally sends a dozen attendees to the hospital

—Latest polls from battleground states and more

—Plan your vote here

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

Biden campaign knocks Facebook for freezing political ads

The Biden campaign is knocking Facebook’s last-minute ban on political ads, noting that the freeze has cost them half a million in lost projected revenue and could possibly be helping President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Both the Biden and Trump campaign’s had until Oct. 27th to publish digital ads before the ban began, which would have allowed those ads to remain on the platform through the election. However, the Biden campaign is accusing the social media giant of keeping their ads completely away from users to interact with which they consider a broken promise.

They project that it has cost them a projected $500,000 in revenue loss in just the last several days and go as far to say that it has also impacted their entire digital operation, including persuasion and mobilization.

Facebook has, to this point, provided no clarity on the widespread issues that are plaguing all of our ad campaigns since the onset of their new ad restrictions. We have no sense of the scale of the problem, who it is affecting, and their plan to resolve it. We find ourselves 5 days out from Election Day unable to trust that our ads will run properly, or if our opponents are being given an unfair, partisan advantage.

Rob Flaherty, the Biden campaign’s digital director, said in a lengthy statement that they have consistently been pushing for more accountability by Facebook on manipulated ads by the Trump camp.

“Facebook has, to this point, provided no clarity on the widespread issues that are plaguing all of our ad campaigns since the onset of their new ad restrictions,” he writes. “It is currently unclear to us whether or not Facebook is giving Donald Trump an unfair electoral advantage in this particular instance, but it is abundantly clear that Facebook was wholly unprepared to handle this election despite having four years to prepare.”

Harris target of more misinformation than Pence, data shows

Long before Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced her as his running mate, Kamala Harris was the target of widespread online misinformation.

Social media posts included racist claims that she was ineligible to serve in the White House or that she was lying about her Black and Indian heritage. Her mother is from India and her father from Jamaica.

Since being named to the presidential ticket, Harris has been at the center of online misinformation campaigns far more often — four times as much — than the white men who campaigned for the same job, according to a report from media intelligence firm Zignal Labs shared exclusively with The Associated Press.

“The narratives related to Kamala Harris zeroed in much more on her personal identity, especially as a woman of color,” said Jennifer Granston, head of insights at Zignal Labs.

The firm identified more than 1 million mentions since June on Twitter of Harris with hashtags or terms associated with misinformation about her. The mentions include fact checks that rebuffed the falsehoods, but those made up only a small portion of that conversation.

There's been a huge uptick in social media conversation around the vice presidential candidates this year, compared to the 2016 campaign. From July to October, Harris and Republican Vice President Mike Pence have been mentioned almost 48 million times combined on Twitter, compared to only 12 million total mentions of Pence or Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, who was the Democratic vice presidential nominee four years ago.

Misinformation accounted for less than 1% of Twitter talk when Pence and Kaine were running in 2016. The same goes for Pence this year, with most of the misleading claims around him centered on the idea that he supports gay conversion therapy, which Pence has repeatedly denied.

But misinformation around Harris has been more prevalent, making up more than 4% of the conversation on Twitter, Zignal Labs found.

Spanish-language disinformation campaigns target Latino voters

 

Late Minnesota absentee ballots must be separated, appeals court rules

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Thursday that Minnesota absentee ballots that arrive after Election Day should be separated from other ballots in case they are later invalidated by a court.

The ruling doesn’t block Minnesota’s seven-day extension for counting absentee ballots outright — but it does order a lower court to issue a ruling to segregate the ballots so they can be “removed from vote totals in the event a final order is entered” that finds them unlawful.

The ruling orders Secretary of State Steve Simon to inform local election officials so they can comply, and sends the case back to the lower court for further proceedings. It also sets the stage for post-election litigation.

The decision is likely to create voter confusion, with people who haven’t returned their absentee ballots scrambling to make sure their votes count. People who are worried their absentee ballots may not arrive on time may drop off their ballots at a designated location, vote early at an early voting station, or vote in person on Election Day.

As of last Friday, more than 500,000 of some 2 million requested absentee ballots remained outstanding. The state was due to update totals on Friday.

“The consequences of this order are not lost on us. We acknowledge and understand the concerns over voter confusion, election administration issues, and public confidence in the election,” the majority wrote. But they said those problems were preferable to a post-election scenario where invalidated and valid votes are mixed.

Harris and Sanders get chummy in talk about $15 federal minimum wage

In a conversation centered around fighting for a $15 federal minimum wage, Bernie Sanders was joined by Kamala Harris to discuss how the Biden-Harris administration would tackle issues like paid family leave, student debt, affordable higher education and helping people decimated by the economic crisis.

A gaping hole in the conversation, was, unsurprisingly, health care, which he didn’t ask about. Sanders’ questions were almost in bullet point form, extremely blunt and short. It was less of a conversation and more of a pop quiz interview. Sanders ended their conversation essentially re-hashing the points Harris made, saying what kind of a difference it would make, calling their ideas a “big step” and “no small thing.”

“When we go to vote, I know we will be talking about Trump all the time. That's fine. It is another thing to talk about what we have to do to improve the lives of tens of millions of people today that are hurting,” he said.

Harris’ answers ran through her usual talking points and policy points on these topics, which was not new. But what was pretty interesting was her and Sanders’ compliments of each other at the top of the conversation.

“The thing about you, Bernie,” Harris said, “You decided to do it from inside the system. And to challenge everyone from inside. I do believe on that debate to stage you and I shared for almost a year in the primary, that the majority of those debates would not have been on the topic of health care in America if not for a discussion that you started and the way you challenged the status quo. And our thinking about what is possible and what the American people are prepared for and what they want.”

“I want to thank you for what you have done and continue to do. You really are a treasure,” Harris said.

Sanders’ response: “I don't want to make this a love fest.”

Biden rally in Tampa cut short due to downpour

Biden sped up his stump speech as fast as he could, but still got caught in a downpour. It was likely a good decision to run out of the rain in Tampa, which is considered the lightning capital of the world.

Kayleigh MacEnany on Trump campaign work: 'I have First Amendment rights'

 

How demographic change favors Biden

Four years ago, President Donald Trump rode strong support from non-college-educated whites to an upset Electoral College win. But changes in demographics suggest that might not be enough this year.

NBC News' Swing the Election analyzes how changes in turnout and candidate support could swing states. The tool, which accounts for demographic shifts since the 2016 election, finds that even if Blacks, whites, Latinos, Asians and other racial groups voted at the same rate they did four years, changes in the electorate since then would be enough to deliver the win to Joe Biden. To get past that, Trump would need non-college-educated whites to increase their turnout by 6 percentage points.

NBC News' Swing the Election analyzes how changes in turnout and candidate support could swing states.

Final debate off between Georgia Senate candidates Purdue and Ossoff

The final debate between Georgia senate candidates Republican Sen. David Perdue and Democratic hopeful John Ossoff is off.

Ossoff tweeted that Perdue cancelled their final debate, adding that at last night’s debate Perdue had, “no answers when I called him out on his record of blatant corruption, widespread disease, and economic devastation.”

Perdue’s spokesman John Burke confirms that the incumbent senator did cancel the debate, but says it’s because President Donald Trump will be in the state campaigning and Perdue intends to be by his side.

While it may look as though Perdue is prioritizing joining Trump at his rally over speaking to Georgians who might have watched the debate, his spokesman points out that “Senator Perdue has over 20 campaign stops planned for the closing days of this race.”

The two faced off on Wednesday night in a fiery debate where Ossoff accused Purdue of being a "crook" in a video clip that's gone viral.

 

Heat at Trump rally sends a dozen attendees to the hospital

A crowded Trump rally in steamy Tampa, Florida, on Thursday resulted in 17 attendees needing medical attention, with a dozen being taken to the hospital, fire officials told NBC News.

Trump spoke for just under an hour in 87-degree heat at the event outside of Raymond James Stadium to a largely mask-less group of supporters.

A fire truck at the rear of the rally sprayed water in the air to rain down on some rallygoers, but the heat was too much for some attendees, many of whom had been waiting for hours. Tampa Fire Rescue said one of the attendees fainted and another had a seizure. The other 10 who were taken to the hospital were just listed as "sick" with no other details.

 

The incident came two days after 30 rallygoers in Omaha, Nebraska, needed medical attention after transportation issues resulted in hundreds of attendees being stuck for hours in the freezing cold. Officials said seven were taken to area hospitals with a variety of ailments.

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