Trump, Biden campaign after final debate

The South was a lost cause for Democrats. Now eight key Senate seats are in play.

Karen Ashley has walked with a handful of older Black men, residents of a low-income housing development, to the State Farm Arena each day early voting has been available in Georgia.

These strolls, which she called “wheelchairs and walkers to the polls,” are the culmination of months of work, including candidate forums and debate watch parties she held at the apartment building.

As the director of resident services at Friendship Towers, Ashley, 59, said she aimed to get all 106 residents — many of whom did not complete high school and had never voted before — to cast their ballots.

“I had the thought one time when I was looking at all of the negative back and forth between this group and that,” she said while accompanying some residents back to their homes. “And I said, ‘They don’t even consider this population.’ I said, ‘Guys, this is what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna register, we’re gonna vote and your voice will be counted.’”

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The states Trump can’t afford to lose

It will take at least 270 electoral votes to win the 2020 election. Steve Kornacki looks at the battleground polling to determine which states Donald Trump can’t afford to lose.

Trump wraps up second rally in Florida to (mostly) maskless crowd as U.S. sets Covid record

President Donald Trump dances at the end of a campaign rally at Pensacola International Airport.Mandel Ngan / AFP – Getty Images

President Trump wrapped up his second rally of the day on Friday, speaking to a mostly maskless, tightly packed crowd as the U.S. set a daily record for coronavirus cases for the second day in a row.

Friday’s 77,993 cases and counting, as tallied by NBC News, topped Thursday’s 77,640. The previous high of 75,723 was set on July 29. The virus has killed more than 225,000 people in the U.S., according to the latest tally.

Trump continued to hammer rival Joe Biden over his policy agenda after Thursday’s debate, seizing on the Democratic nominee’s remarks about the oil industry to a crowd in Pensacola as he did earlier in the day speaking to seniors in the battleground state. 

Despite the record number of Covid-19 cases reported on Friday, Trump reiterated his claim that the country is “rounding the turn” of the pandemic “with our without” a vaccine. Trump also used the rally to do outreach to women, where polls show him trailing Biden. 

“I said one thing the other day, I said, ‘Suburban women, please love me. Please. Please.’ Because you see suburban women, I have saved Suburbia, I’ve gotten rid of the worst regulation,” he said. 

The president plans to vote early tomorrow in Florida and will travel to events in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin. 

More women than men embracing early voting

As Americans are opting to vote early — either via in-person or mail-in ballots — at a record rate, a shift likely fueled by the pandemic, it’s women who are embracing the early vote more than men. 

Of the 68.6 million early ballots requested, 52 percent were requests made by women, according to data compiled by TargetSmart. 

And women were more likely to have returned their ballots, with 54 percent of those mailed in or cast early in person coming from women. 

Women are returning more early voting ballots or voting in person than men.


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In the home stretch, signs Trump’s hard-sell seniors pitch may be falling short

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Eleven days out from the election, President Donald Trump held a last-minute campaign event in one of the most reliably red areas of Florida, whose voters have become a question mark hanging over his campaign — one that could help make or break his re-election bid.

The Villages, a sprawling retirement community home to one of the whitest and oldest populations in the country, has consistently supported Republican candidates for years, breaking for Trump by nearly 40 percentage points in 2016.

But the president’s decision to campaign here came amid his struggle to hold on to older white voters, like the ones he addressed at this Friday stop, who have grown uncomfortable with his rhetoric and his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Polling this year has shown an increasing number of seniors abandoning Trump. An October NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed that trend accelerating: Trump was hemorrhaging support among registered senior voters, with 62 percent supporting Biden and only 35 percent supporting the president.

Trump won the senior vote by 7 points in 2016, so even a slight drop in support among older white voters, a cornerstone of his base, could have an enormous impact on the outcome of his re-election.

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Young Latino voters in Florida could play crucial role in presidential election

While Joe Biden has a huge lead in national polls over President Trump among Latino voters, some young Latinos in the pivotal state of Florida say they see growing enthusiasm for the president there.

Pop phenom Lizzo campaigns for Biden in Michigan, urges young people to vote

Pop star Lizzo hit the campaign trail for Joe Biden on Friday in her home state of Michigan, a pivotal state in the 2020 presidential election. 

“I don’t think in terms of red and blue, I think in terms of right and wrong,” Lizzo, a Detroit native, told community members in Harper Woods, stressing the importance of voting.  “If you don’t like how things are going, you can vote that person out.” 

Biden has robust support from Black Americans as a whole but is struggling in polls with younger Black voters.  

Lizzo said that she does not take voting for granted because of the sacrifices previous generations made during the Civil Rights movement. The Grammy-winning singer also said that experience of being an American in recent years has been “traumatic” for and made the case for more laws that push for equality. 

“Your vote is literally your political voice,” she said. 

Trump hammers Biden over oil industry comments at campaign stop in Florida

President Trump hammered Joe Biden at a campaign stop in Florida on Friday, seizing on comments the Democratic nominee made at last night’s debate about the future of fossil fuels. 

Biden promised Thursday night that he would “transition” the country away from oil and natural gas, which Trump saw as a major gaffe. 

In Florida, an important battleground state in which Biden is leading the president in polls, Trump argued that “Biden proved last night he’s not capable of being president.” He spoke at the massive The Villages retirement community, a strategic move since Trump is also struggling with seniors. 

“Biden admitted that he wants to abolish the oil industry. That wasn’t too good,” Trump said. “I said, ‘Whoa, this is the big point of the evening.’”

Trump said Biden’s comments on energy could be “one of the worst mistakes in presidential debate history.” He attacked Biden for focusing too much on the pandemic. “All he talks about is Covid, Covid, Covid,” Trump said, and claimed that the country is rounding the corner “beautifully.”


TV ratings down for final Trump-Biden debate

About 63 million people tuned in to watch Thursday night’s final presidential debate between President Trump and Joe Biden on television, according to ratings data from Nielsen, down about 10 million viewers from their first one.

Ratings were down from the first presidential debate, which drew about 73.1 million viewers. The single vice presidential debate between Sen. Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence had about 57.9 million people tuning in, making it the second-most-watched vice presidential debate.

Viewership was measured across 15 networks that carried the debate live as well as some digital streaming. Neither the 2016 nor the 2020 figures account for viewership on digital platforms like Facebook and YouTube. Nielsen only measures connected television and streaming viewership of programs that carry linear advertising so there’s no widely accepted metric that accounts for all the ways the debate could have been streamed.

The ratings drop follows similar declines for this year’s Republican and Democratic conventions. While viewership for the first presidential debate was higher, it was also down from 2016’s first debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton, which had a record 84 million viewers.

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So that would make it bigger than Biden’s?

President Trump mocked Reuters White House reporter Jeff Mason on Friday for wearing “the biggest mask I’ve ever seen” during a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before a mostly maskless audience in the Oval Office.

Trump mocked Joe Biden in their first debate for wearing, at the time, the biggest mask he had ever seen.

Trump had Netanyahu on the phone to announce a U.S.-brokered deal normalizing relations between Israel and Sudan and asked the Israeli leader if he thought “Sleepy Joe” could have made such a deal. Netanyahu declined to offer an opinion.

It’s Joe Biden: The concert

The Biden campaign will host an eclectic star-studded virtual concert on Sunday night, with performers including A$AP Ferg, Cher, Jon Bon Jovi, Pink, Foo Fighters, Black Eyed Peas & Jennifer Hudson, Dave Matthews and Ciara.

The price of a ticket to the virtual “I Will Vote Concert” is any size donation to the campaign, according to the its website.

The event will also feature appearances by Biden, running mate Sen. Kamala Harris and their spouses, as well as an equally eclectic mix of “special guests” including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Amy Schumer, La La Anthony and Helen Mirren. It’s being hosted by comedian George Lopez and Ana Navarro.