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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.

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

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946d 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.

946d ago / 5:25 PM UTC

Trump appears to threaten retaliation against Pennsylvania governor


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. 

946d 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.

947d 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.

947d 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.

947d 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. 

947d 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. 

947d 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.

947d 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."

947d 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.

947d 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. 

947d 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."

947d 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.

947d ago / 1:16 PM UTC
947d 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.

Read the story.

947d ago / 11:39 AM UTC

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

947d 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.

Read the full story here

947d 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.  

947d 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.  

947d 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. 


947d ago / 9:42 AM UTC
947d ago / 9:42 AM UTC
947d ago / 9:41 AM UTC

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


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.

Read more here.

947d 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.

Read more here.

947d 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.

Read more here.