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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.

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

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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. 

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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.

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."

FIRST READ: The 2020 campaign closes on the coronavirus

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.

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. 

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."