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Trump's Pennsylvania push, Senate confirms Barrett to Supreme Court

The candidates are heading into their last full week of campaigning before Election Day.
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 heading into their last full week of campaigning before Election Day.

The candidates and their surrogates will spend the week in key battleground states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania. But Biden is also set for last-minute pushes in Georgia and Texas, historically Republican strongholds that could be in play this year, and Trump is visiting places with just a single Electoral College vote at stake, a sign that his campaign is anticipating a close race.

It's also a crucial day for one of the biggest issues of the election: the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. The Senate is expected to vote on to confirm Barrett at 7:30 p.m. ET after having advanced her nomination a day earlier.

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading election news from October 27, 2020.

—Latest polls from battleground states and more.

—Plan your vote here.

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

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832d ago / 3:31 AM UTC

Trump gives speech congratulating Barrett after Supreme Court confirmation

In a speech on the White House South Lawn after her Supreme Court confirmation vote, President Trump says Amy Coney Barrett is one of the “nations’ brilliant legal scholars.”

832d ago / 1:59 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 it and deadlines are extended. Experts worry rejection rates may be double or triple what they are in a normal election year.

832d ago / 1:48 AM UTC

Biden adds stop in battleground Michigan to campaign schedule

Joe Biden’s campaign said Monday it has added an event in Michigan on Saturday to the former vice president’s schedule in the final week before Election Day. He was last in Michigan on Oct. 16, when he made stops in Southfield and Detroit.

Polls show Biden leading President Trump in Michigan, a state Trump won four years ago.

Biden’s last week of campaigning hits several states that are in play. He heads to Georgia for two events on Tuesday and returns to the trail on Thursday with two events in Florida then travels to events in Iowa and Wisconsin on Friday.

832d ago / 1:32 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 Trump’s cash-strapped campaign, an unusual move in the final week before Election Day.  

“In order to provide some stimulus, Ivanka has graciously accepted an invitation for me to host a luncheon in her honor,” wrote Tom Barrack, a close ally of the Trump family, in an invitation to a luncheon at Spago, the flagship restaurant of chef Wolfgang Puck. The event 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." 

Los Angeles County health officials have issued strict protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19, barring gatherings of “of any size,” including for special events like baby showers, barbecues and cultural celebrations. 

The Trump re-election effort has been doing a substantial amount of fundraising in the closing stretch, with the president hosting a roundtable with supporters just hours before last week’s debate in Nashville, Tenn.  

The GOP operation has been outraised consistently by Democrats in the final months of the 2020 race, leaving the incumbent trailing Joe Biden and his allied committees a week from the election.

832d ago / 1:15 AM UTC

Murkowski explains Barrett vote: 'A lot of restless nights'

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WASHINGTON — Sen. Lisa Murkowski spoke to NBC News on Monday ahead of her vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett, which came as a surprise to some observers after the Alaska Republican repeatedly said she was against confirming a new justice so close to the November election.

"It doesn't fit neatly on a bumper sticker but I don't think that the position that I have taken is inconsistent in any way,” Murkowski told NBC News in an extensive interview before the vote on Monday. She announced her support for Barrett's confirmation on Saturday.

"I might not like where we are," she said, explaining how her previous opinions on the confirmation process shaped her decision this week. "I objected to where we are and how we got here but I lost on that procedural aspect of that and now I had to decide."

She added, "There've been a lot of restless nights and writing things down in the middle of the night just to process them in my head but there's a lot of considerations here."

Murkowski said she raised a number of issues with Barrett when they met following the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, including the possibility Barrett could side against Roe v. Wade or the Affordable Care Act. Murkowski was one of three Republicans who voted in 2017 to uphold the landmark health care legislation.

"There's a lot of concern that with the case coming up in early November, if this is going to be an opportunity to completely wipe out the ACA," she said. "And if I thought that was going to be the outcome, if I truly, truly believed that that was going to be the outcome, I think that might have influenced my outcome here."

832d ago / 12:55 AM UTC

Twitter flags Trump voting tweet as misleading

Twitter placed a warning label on a tweet President 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. 

832d ago / 12:19 AM UTC

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

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

Buy 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 filed lawsuits seeking to extend the deadline for accepting mail-in ballots. They said the flood of absentee ballots and problems arising from the 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 nearly filled to capacity.

Read more here.

832d ago / 11:11 PM UTC

Photo: Mini-Trump in Pennsylvania

Image: A child dressed as President Donald Trump waves during the president's campaign event in Martinsburg, Pa., on Oct. 26, 2020.
A child dressed as President Donald Trump waves during the president's campaign event in Martinsburg, Pa., on Monday.Leah Millis / Reuters
832d ago / 10:58 PM UTC

Trump continues to claim Covid-19 vaccine coming soon, promises 100M doses by year's end

President Trump continued his sprint across Pennsylvania, a crucial battleground state, on Monday, holding rallies to make his case to voters in the last week of the campaign. 

At his third rally in the state in the city of Martinsburg, Trump repeatedly hammered Biden over his promise to phase out fossil fuels, which he did at each of his rallies. He also promised to get the economy roaring and claimed that 100 million Covid-19 vaccines will be available in the U.S. by the end of the year. 

“And the vaccines are going to free,” he said. “We are going to deliver 100 million vaccines before the end of the year, maybe a little sooner than that, and seniors will be first in line,” Trump said. The president has repeated this claim multiple times during the campaign, however, public health experts say a vaccine will not be available to the general public until the middle of next year. 

Trump also boasted about his pick for the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett, calling her a “good choice” and a smart judge who he said he was glad he wasn't running against for president.

Barrett’s confirmation vote was to take place tonight and the White House scheduled an event to celebrate afterward, despite the outbreak of Covid-19 cases among White House and campaign staffers linked to the last event there celebrating the jurist.

832d ago / 9:09 PM UTC

Biden: Trump's 'not even trying to stop' the Covid-19 crisis

Joe Biden on Monday said White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’ statement over the weekend that “we're not going to control the pandemic” proved President Trump was “not even trying to stop” the Covid-19 crisis.

In brief remarks to voters and reporters in Chester, Pa., Biden added that the “bottom line is Donald Trump is the worst possible president, worst possible person to lead us through this pandemic.”

“Mr. President, you have to have a little bit of shame, a little bit, because people are dying,” Biden said.

Earlier in the day, Meadows had mocked Biden's use face masks, saying that, "the only person waving a white flag, along with this white mask, is Joe Biden."

Biden's remarks represented his latest pitch to voters in the key battleground of Pennsylvania. Biden held events in Bucks and Luzerne counties over the weekend, while Trump was holding several rallies across the state on Monday.

832d ago / 8:36 PM UTC

In Trump country, Biden supporters pooled money for a billboard. Then it was vandalized.

In a small, Western Pennsylvania town, a group of local Biden supporters sought to put an end to their stolen yard signs by pooling together their money and purchasing a billboard.

Now, that billboard has been vandalized, one of them told NBC News.

"Since Biden became the nominee, our yard signs have been stolen within 24 to 48 hours of being posted," Kara Illig of Ebensburg, Pa, told NBC News. "Because we don't feel represented, we decided to crowdfund a billboard. We had so much support that we crowdfunded two in under two hours."

"The billboards went up October 4th and people went crazy, threatening and harassing group members online and in person," she added. "Trump supporters held a little rally in front of one of the billboards yesterday, then overnight it was vandalized."

Her group is called "Huddle Ebensburg," which she said was formed shortly after Trump's 2016 election.

On Tuesday, Ebensburg Police Chief Terry Wyland told NBC News they are investigating the spray painting of the billboard in the early morning hours Monday, saying the act of vandalism caused $800 in damage.

"We have received several leads as to the actors," he said. "We have an active investigation going on. We have received reports from both Biden and Trump supporters that yard signs have been stolen in the past few weeks, but this happens with any election. The billboard is the first time that I can remember." 

Cambria County, which is home to Ebensburg, backed Trump by more than a 2-to-1 margin in 2016.

Trump on Monday held several campaign events in the state, including a late-afternoon rally in nearby Martinsburg.

832d ago / 8:29 PM UTC

Biden adds more in-person campaign stops in Iowa and Wisconsin

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.

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. 

However, Dr. Jill Biden has visited the state with Doug Emhoff and the campaign has ran ads there for several weeks. 

Biden was last in Wisconsin on Sept. 21 where he made two stops. The campaign wanted him to go more often since then, but the coronavirus cases spikes delayed the visit. 

832d ago / 8:26 PM UTC

Trump: If Biden loses, 'he should be ashamed of himself because he didn't work'

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President Trump on Monday knocked Joe Biden's lack of physical campaigning in the closing days of the election. 

"If he loses, and who knows what happens, it's called an election, he should be ashamed of himself because he didn't work," Trump told supporters at a rally in Lilitz, Pa. It was Trump's second rally of the day in the Keystone State, with a third scheduled for later in the afternoon. 

He noted that Biden initially had no announced campaign stops on Monday, although the Democratic presidential nominee later added one in Chester, Pennsylvania. Biden has also scheduled in-person appearances in Georgia, Iowa and Wisconsin for later this week.

Trump suggested Biden's advisers had forced him to go out while Trump painted himself as an eager campaigner and compared himself to an athlete who "left it all on the field."

832d ago / 7:52 PM UTC

Boston police arrest man suspected of setting fire to ballot box

Boston law enforcement officers arrested a man late Sunday who is suspected of setting fire to a ballot drop box, the police department confirmed in a statement.

Worldy Armand, 39, has been charged with willful and malicious burning, and he is expected to be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court. He was spotted by patrol officers at 10:50 p.m. Sunday.

It was not immediately clear why Armand, who lives in Boston, would have set fire to the ballot box.

The fire was set around 4 a.m. Sunday outside the Boston Public Library downtown, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin’s office has said, according to The Associated Press.

Firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze by filling the ballot box with water, according to the police department.

The box contained 122 ballots, 87 of which were still legible and able to be processed, Galvin's office said, according to the AP.

832d ago / 7:31 PM UTC

ANALYSIS: Trump hates Biden's stretch-run strategy. Biden loves Trump's.

Image: Americans Watch Final Presidential Debate Between Donald Trump And Joe Biden
The broadcast of the final presidential debate between Joe Biden and President Donald Trump at a watch party in San Antonio, Texas, on Oct. 22, 2020.Sergio Flores / Getty Images

Democrats have a counterintuitive plan for the final week of the presidential campaign: more Donald Trump, less Joe Biden.

As the president ramps up his barnstorming tour between now and next Tuesday's election, Biden's markedly lighter schedule looks like that of an incumbent congressman who has no opponent. The Democratic nominee took Monday off entirely, while Trump held rallies across Pennsylvania — in Allentown, Lancaster and Martinsburg.

If Trump wins, Biden will surely face recriminations from within his party for sitting on a lead. But Republicans seem more eager than Democrats to get Biden out on the trail, an indication that his four-corners strategy is perceived by both parties as a smart tack.

Read the analysis.

832d ago / 7:07 PM UTC

Voters who fall ill before Election Day must have a doctor's note to get mail-in ballot, court says

Voters in Texas who contract Covid-19 or another illness before Nov. 3 must provide a physician's note with their late absentee ballot application, a state appeals court ruled on Oct. 23. 

The note must show that the voter has a "sickness or physical condition" that prevents them from voting in person, according to the secretary of state's office. It must also show that the illness arose on or after the state's absentee ballot application deadline, which was the same day of the appeals court's ruling, 11 days before Election Day. 

In Texas, voters who request mail-in ballots before the deadline are able to check a box indicating whether they are seeking a ballot by mail because of a disability.

The ruling overturned an Oct. 16 lower court decision dismissing the longstanding doctor's note requirement, claiming the rule created an undue burden on the right to vote. The decision comes after the advocacy group MOVE sued the state, saying the requirement was especially onerous during the pandemic. 

832d ago / 6:52 PM UTC

Trump claims Biden called him 'George' during interview with George Lopez

Trump on Monday claimed that Biden had called the president "George" after several media outlets reported on what initially appeared to a verbal mishap during a recent interview.

The comments had come from an interview in which Biden was speaking with comedian George Lopez.

During that interview, Biden said: "Four more years of— George, uh, George — we are gonna find ourselves in a position where if Trump gets elected we're gonna be in a different world."

Some media outlets ran with headlines such as "Biden appears to confuse Trump with former President George W. Bush" and "Joe Biden seems to forget who he’s running against," and Trump seized on the issue.

Speaking at a rally in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Trump asked if the audience had heard "when [Biden] called me George?"

"No, no, not George," Trump said. "What a mess. What a mess. He called me George. I don't know if I should be insulted or happy about it. Sort of insulted. The first time that's happened to me in a long time."

Biden spokesman Andrew Bates later Monday clarified that the former VP "was addressing George Lopez, the interviewer" not speaking about the former presidents.

832d ago / 6:40 PM UTC

Pence 'not expected' to preside over Senate Supreme Court vote

Vice President Mike Pence is not expected to preside over Monday's scheduled Senate vote on Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation. After Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of the lone GOP holdouts on Barrett's nomination, announced her support over the weekend, it's unlikely that Pence would need to cast a tie-breaking vote.

Senate Democrats had urged Pence not to preside over the vote after several of his staffers tested positive for Covid-19.

Pence, who tested negative for the virus on Monday, will continue in-person campaign events this week.

833d ago / 6:22 PM UTC

Democrats hold big edge in Spanish-language TV and radio spending up and down ballot

Much has been made about the significant ad spending advantage enjoyed by Democrats this cycle, but the trend extends to Spanish-language ads too, up and down the ballot. 

Former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign has spent $17.3 million on Spanish-language television and radio ads, compared to the Trump campaign's $8.3 million through Sunday, according to Advertising Analytics. 

And that margin is even bigger when outside groups are taken into consideration — overall, Democratic groups have spent $51.6 million on Spanish-language presidential TV and radio ads to the GOP's $9.8 million, per Advertising Analytics. 

Read more here.

833d ago / 6:13 PM UTC
833d ago / 6:07 PM UTC

PHOTOS: Early voting line snakes around blocks in New York City

Voters wait in line to cast their ballot on day three of early voting in New York City on Oct. 26, 2020.
Voters wait in line to cast their ballot on day three of early voting in New York City on Oct. 26, 2020.
Image:Voters wait for hours on a long line to cast their ballot at Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School on day three of early voting on New York City's Upper West Side
Voters wait for hours on a long line to cast their ballot at Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School on day three of early voting on New York City's Upper West Side on Monday.Shahrzad Elghanayan / NBC News
833d ago / 5:28 PM UTC

Pro-Trump hearse seen driving around early voting sites in Texas

Voters in Texas have reported multiple sightings of a hearse decorated with signs suggesting Democrats engage in voter fraud by having dead people vote, an unsettling sight for some voters.

A hearse decorated with slogans about Democratic voters at a community center in Montgomery County, Texas, on Saturday.
A hearse decorated with slogans about Democratic voters at a community center in Montgomery County, Texas, on Saturday.Tricia Lowe

But hearse owner BJ Apgar said he created the “Hearse Trump Train” as a way to help President Trump gain more support among voters, and he did not intend to intimidate voters with the vehicle. 

“This was a personal way of getting more attention and talking to voters to get you know, get his name out there," Apgar said.

Among the slogans posted on the hearse were "collecting Democrat votes one dead stiff at a time" and "Official Democrat cemetery vote collector."

However, Tricia Lowe Danto, an early voter in Montgomery County, Texas, said “the sight of a hearse was chilling.”

“The fact that this was there displaying such animosity towards 'the other side' is not indicative of the values most in my town and this country believe in,” Lowe Danot said. 

One of the volunteers at the polling site, Aimee Pearce, told NBC News, “multiple voters expressed disgust, concern, and anger regarding the hearse to Democratic volunteers.” Volunteers then notified law enforcement. 

ProPublica ElectionLand provided initial editorial information contributing to this report.

833d ago / 5:25 PM UTC

Trump appears to threaten retaliation against Pennsylvania governor

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At the first of three rallies Monday in Pennsylvania, President Trump issued what appeared to be a threat against the state's governor, Tom Wolf, a Democrat. 

Speaking in Allentown, the president said Wolf's coronavirus restrictions had forced the campaign to shift the site of his rally. "I’ll remember it, Tom. I’m gonna remember it, Tom. 'Hello, Mr. President, this is Governor Wolf. I need help. I need help.' You know what? These people are bad. We go out of our way - regardless Republican, Democrat -  when they have a problem, but he shut us out," Trump said.

The crowd — people who would be affected if the governor wasn't able to get federal help for a disaster — cheered the remarks, and earlier also chanted of Wolf, "Lock him up!"

Trump also claimed falsely that Wolf had "the whole commonwealth shut down" and urged the governor to reopen churches, which he never ordered closed down during the pandemic. 

833d ago / 4:44 PM UTC

Dow falls more than 800 points as hope fades for stimulus talks

Wall Street took a dive Monday as hopes faded for a fresh round of fiscal aid and the number of new coronavirus cases surged.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by more than 800 points, just shy of a 3 percent drop. The S&P 500 was down 2.12 percent and the Nasdaq Composite was lower by 1.8 percent.

The stock slump comes amid stalled hopes for a final agreement on a new round of coronavirus relief for the millions of families affected by the pandemic.

Negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin "have certainly slowed down," White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CNBC on Monday morning. "We are close, but there are still important policy issues that separate us."

The economy remains a priority for both presidential candidates as they conclude their campaigns amid a backdrop of fast-rising economic uncertainty.

A growing number of Wall Street participants are concluding that a “blue wave” in November is the nation’s best shot at economic recovery. While markets generally favor the lower tax rates and regulatory rollbacks that are the hallmark of a Republican administration, the unprecedented job loss and economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic has left many market watchers concluding that a united government might be better equipped to provide the critical fiscal support a bitterly partisan Congress cannot.

833d ago / 4:18 PM UTC

Early voting could hit 100 million by Election Day

With eight days to go until Election Day, 58 million voters have cast ballots early, surpassing the total number in 2016 by more than 8 million, according to NBC News Decision Desk/Target Smart.

The number of early voters could hit 90 to 100 million before Nov. 3 — roughly twice the 50 million who did so in 2016, the Decision Desks projects.

In critical swing states, expanded early voting and vote-by-mail options have led to a large increase in pre-election voting. In battleground Pennsylvania, about 1.4 million have cast early or absentee votes so far, an increase of more than 1.2 million from the total early votes cast in the Keystone State in 2016.

Read more here.

833d ago / 4:06 PM UTC

NASA astronaut votes from space

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins’ early voting experience was truly out of this world.

Rubins, currently the only American astronaut aboard the International Space Station, cast her ballot from the orbiting outpost, voting inside a makeshift “ISS voting booth.”

“If we can do it from space, then I believe folks can do it from the ground, too,” she said in a NASA video.

Rubins also tweeted a photo of the event, saying: “From the International Space Station: I voted today.”

Rubins’ vote will be delivered electronically to Earth, according to NASA. Astronauts have been able to cast their ballots from space since 1997, and many are registered in Texas, where they train and work at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

833d ago / 4:05 PM UTC

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

Twitter said Monday it would 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.

“Election experts confirm that voting by mail is safe and secure, even with an increase in mail-in ballots,” one of the messages scheduled to go live Monday reads. “Even so, you might encounter unconfirmed claims that voting by mail leads to election fraud ahead of the 2020 US elections.” The message has a button to lead users to more information.

Continue reading. 

833d ago / 3:38 PM UTC

Poll: Biden's lead increases in three battleground states

Biden increased his lead in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to a poll released on Monday by the Election Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

More than 50 percent of voters in each of the three states support Biden, all seeing gains from September.

Biden's lead grew from 73 percent to 87 percent among voters who have already cast their ballots, throughout the three states. 

Trump won the three states in 2016 by narrow margins, and both candidates have spent time campaigning in the battleground states this year.

The poll also found that 86 percent of likely Trump voters and 55 percent of likely Biden voters intend to vote in person on Election Day.

The survey was conducted between Oct. 13 and Oct. 21 and had a margin of error of 3.98 percent in Michigan, 4.20 percent in Pennsylvania and 3.73 percent in Wisconsin. 

833d ago / 2:49 PM UTC

Bulldozer thief drove through Florida town allegedly digging up Biden-Harris campaign signs

One man's bulldozer rampage across a Central Florida town destroyed several front yards and multiple Biden-Harris campaign signs, according to Haines City Police.

James Blight, 26, was arrested and charged Saturday with grand theft auto and trespassing, with additional charges possible, Mike Ferguson, public information officer for the Haines City Police, said in an email Monday.

"Blight told police that he had been drinking whiskey all day and did not remember most of the day," Ferguson wrote. "He said that he couldn’t help but hit the Joe Biden signs and acknowledged to taking down a fence in the process. Blight said he did not know how to operate the equipment."

Read the story.

833d ago / 2:19 PM UTC

Mark Meadows mocks Biden for wearing masks

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows mocked Biden's face masks on Monday, after the Democrat said the Trump administration had "given up" on trying to control the pandemic. 

“The only person waving a white flag, along with this white mask, is Joe Biden," Meadows told reporters outside the West Wing. "We're going to defeat the virus; we're not going to control it."

Meadows' said that the Trump administration is not able to "control" the pandemic, in a heated CNN interview on Sunday.

"This wasn't a slip by Meadows," Biden said in a statement in response. "It was a candid acknowledgement of what President Trump's strategy has clearly been from the beginning of this crisis: to wave the white flag of defeat and hope that by ignoring it, the virus would simply go away. It hasn't, and it won't."

833d ago / 2:09 PM UTC

FIRST READ: The 2020 campaign closes on the coronavirus

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Image: President Donald Trump takes his mask off before speaking from the South Portico of the White House.
President Donald Trump takes his mask off before speaking from the South Portico of the White House.Mandel Ngan / AFP - Getty Images file

The October surprise in this presidential election hasn’t been the Supreme Court vacancy. Or Hunter Biden. Or what Joe Biden said at Thursday’s debate about transitioning away from oil.

Instead, it’s been the coronavirus.

The month began with President Trump testing positive and being flown by helicopter to Walter Reed.

It included a canceled debate (because organizers wanted the town-hall component to be held virtually after Trump’s positive case), as well as the president’s return to the campaign trail.

And the month ends with the United States setting new record-highs in coronavirus cases, with top staffers for Vice President Mike Pence testing positive, and with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows admitting the administration can’t control the virus.

Get more of First Read.

833d ago / 1:46 PM UTC

Poll: Biden's advantage among young people increases to 63 percent

Biden holds an advantage among voters younger than 30 years old, with 63 percent supporting him, compared to 25 percent backing Trump, according to a Harvard Youth poll released Monday

The poll found 63 percent of young voters indicate that they will "definitely be voting" in this election. 

In 2016, 47 percent of those in that age bracket voted. The poll asked the same question of young voters that year and found 63 percent said that they would be voting then. The 18-29 age bracket participation in 2008 was the highest since 1984. 

The current poll also found that 55 percent of young Democratic voters plan to vote by mail while only 28 percent of young Republican voters plan to vote using that method. 

The poll of 2,026 voters age 18-29 was conducted Sept. 23 to Oct. 11 and had a margin of error of 2.18 percentage points. 

833d ago / 1:26 PM UTC

Trumps gains one hip-hop endorsement, loses another

Trump has gained the endorsement of social media personality and rapper Lil Pump, who posted a picture and video to Instagram explaining his support. 

Pump appears to be a single-issue voter.

"F--- I look like paying an extra 33 in taxes for Biden?" Pump said in a video on Instagram, an apparent reference to Biden's plan to raise taxes on the wealthy. 

Pump's comments echo those of 50 Cent, another rapper who recently went public with support for Trump over Biden's tax policy. 50 Cent, however, appears to have had some change of heart, recently posting on Instagram "F--- Donald Trump."

833d ago / 1:18 PM UTC

GOP bets Democrats won't expand Supreme Court. Progressives say: Call their bluff.

Image: Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell arrives at the Capitol on Oct. 25 as Republicans work during a rare weekend session to advance the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.J. Scott Applewhite / AP

When Senate Republicans voted on a rainy Sunday to put Amy Coney Barrett on a glide path to a lifetime Supreme Court appointment one week before Election Day, they were making a bet that Democrats wouldn't retaliate and erase conservative gains.

“A lot of what we’ve done over the last four years will be undone, sooner or later, by the next election,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Sunday after the 51-48 procedural vote against Democratic objections. “But they won’t be able to do much about this for a long time to come.”

The remarks contradicted recent claims by McConnell and politically vulnerable Republicans, like Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, who are telling voters in their re-election bids that Democrats will “pack” the Supreme Court if they win.

And progressive activists saw it as a dare to Democrats, who are projected in some polls to win the White House and Congress in the election, enabling them to add seats to the high court with a legislative majority if they're willing to cast aside norms.

Read the story.

833d ago / 1:16 PM UTC
833d ago / 12:56 PM UTC

The world watches the U.S. vote: Why the election matters everywhere

Image: Donald Trump, Narendra Modi, Melania Trump
President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrive for a "Namaste Trump," event at Sardar Patel Stadium, on Feb. 24, 2020, in Ahmedabad, India.Alex Brandon / AP

It is not only Americans who have a lot at stake in this year’s presidential election. Countries around the world are watching the race and trying to determine what the outcome will mean for them.

For some, President Donald Trump has ushered in a new type of politics that they fully support. For others, a Joe Biden victory would be warmly welcomed.

In Europe in particular, Trump is extremely unpopular in most countries. In Britain, just 13 percent of respondents said they wanted the president to win the election, compared to 61 percent rooting for Biden, according to a YouGov poll published in October. 

Countries like Saudi ArabiaChina and North Korea could find that a Biden victory would mean closer scrutiny of their human rights records and military actions. In Iran, many are probably hoping for a Biden victory, a new nuclear deal and relief from the crippling sanctions that Trump introduced.

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833d ago / 11:39 AM UTC

Trump tweets that Biden 'couldn't remember my name'

833d ago / 11:12 AM UTC

Progressives push for Warren as Treasury secretary, signaling bigger ideological battle if Biden wins

Progressives are pushing hard to see Elizabeth Warren lead the Treasury Department in an opening salvo of an ideological struggle for control of key government posts if Joe Biden wins the presidency.

Donors, activists and leaders on the left want Warren, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, as Treasury secretary, more than a half-dozen of them said. And people Warren has spoken to are under the impression that she wants the job if she is offered it.

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833d ago / 11:05 AM UTC

Poll: Deadlocked races in Georgia between Biden and Trump, Senate candidates

Biden and Trump are deadlocked in Georgia, a state that a Democrat hasn't carried since 1992, according to a poll released Monday by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The poll found 47 percent of likely voters support Biden while 46 percent back Trump. The Senate race between GOP incumbent Sen. David Perdue and his Democratic challenger, Jon Ossoff is also close, with 45 percent backing Perdue and 46 percent supporting Ossoff. 

In the state's other Senate race involving 21 candidates seeking the seat of GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler, Democrat Raphael Warnock has opened up a large lead ahead of other Republican candidates with 34 percent supporting him, up from 22 percent a month ago.

The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.  

833d ago / 10:56 AM UTC

Cher: When Trump said McCain wasn't a hero, 'I wanted to put my foot to his mouth'

At a Biden campaign event in Arizona Sunday night, Cher bashed Trump for attacking veterans, including the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Cher said that the president's comments bothered her because they are heroes. 

"It's like when he said John McCain was not a hero. I wanted to put my foot to his mouth," she said. 

She performed for an invite-only gathering of about 50 people in a predominately minority community in Maricopa County. Cher sang "Walking in Memphis" and "Believe" at the Coronado Ranch, an outdoor venue, where people wore masks and sat in socially distant chairs.  

833d ago / 10:50 AM UTC

Feds investigating attempted arson of ballot box in Boston

Federal officials said Sunday that they are investigating attempted arson of a ballot box in Boston. 

The Boston Police Department said that at 4:11 a.m., officers responded to a request for a response in the area of 700 Boylston Street. 

"On arrival, officers observed Boston Fire on scene tending to smoke coming from an early voting ballot box. The ballot box appeared to be on fire, but the firefighters were unable to determine if the fire was burning inside of the box. Eventually, crews were able to extinguish the fire by filling the ballot box with water," the department said in a statement. 

"For the next several weeks, it is a top priority of our offices to help maintain the integrity of the election process in Massachusetts by aggressively enforcing federal election laws," U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and FBI Special Agent in Charge Joseph R. Bonavolonta said in a statement. 

 

833d ago / 9:42 AM UTC
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833d ago / 9:41 AM UTC

Arizona voters have Covid-19 top of mind. That could spell trouble for Trump.

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PHOENIX — Larry Vroom, a 79-year-old Republican who has voted for the GOP candidate in every presidential election of his life, says he will cast his ballot for Joe Biden this year because of President Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus.

"He's not accepting responsibility," said Vroom, who lives in Sun City, Arizona, outside Phoenix.

Vroom's thoughts underscore a major problem for Trump in Arizona, a battleground state that a Democratic presidential candidate hasn't carried since Bill Clinton in 1996, where polling reveals voters overall have an unfavorable view of the president's handling of the pandemic.

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833d ago / 9:39 AM UTC

Sens. Collins and Ernst split on Barrett confirmation in tough re-election bids

Two Republican senators, hailing from different parts of the country and with different ideological positions and levels of experience, are facing similar challenges as they seek re-election with just over a week until Election Day.

Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst and Maine Sen. Susan Collins have both broken barriers: Ernst is the first woman to serve in federal elected office from the Hawkeye state, and Collins has risen to become the most senior Republican woman in the Senate.

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833d ago / 9:37 AM UTC

Trump travel anticipates a race potentially decided by a single Electoral College vote

President Trump is spending precious time in the final days of the 2020 campaign in places with just a single Electoral College vote at stake — a sign of just how close an election his campaign is expecting.

With nine days to go, Trump traveled Sunday to Maine, and planned to go to Nebraska on Tuesday. Unlike most states, which tend to utilize a winner-takes-all system, Maine and Nebraska divide up their Electoral College votes, giving two to the winner of the statewide vote and one vote to the winner of each congressional district.

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