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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

US Elections 2020 highlights: Trump heads to Arizona; Melania slams Biden, Democrats in first solo stop

US Presidential Election 2020: More than 70 million people have cast early in-person and mail ballots, according to US Elections Project at the University of Florida.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 29, 2020 9:03:34 am
US Elections 2020 Live updates: Trump heads to Arizona; Melania slams Biden, Democrats in first solo stopPresident Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally at Eppley Airfield, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Omaha, Nebraska. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

US Presidential Elections 2020 highlights: With the race for the White House heading into its final six-day stretch, president Donald Trump will hold two campaign rallies on Wednesday in the battleground state of Arizona, where polls show him narrowly trailing Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Biden, meanwhile, will be briefed by public health experts and deliver a speech near his house in Delaware on his plans to combat Covid-19 and protect Americans with pre-existing health conditions, his campaign said.

National opinion polls show Biden comfortably leading Trump. More than 70 million people have cast early in-person and mail ballots, according to US Elections Project at the University of Florida.

The huge numbers of mail ballots, at over 46.8 million, could take days or weeks to tally, say experts, meaning that a winner might not be declared on the night of November 3, when the polls close.

Trump has repeatedly criticized mail-in voting as prone to fraud even though experts say that is rare, and questioned the integrity of the process on Tuesday, saying it would be “inappropriate” to take extra time to count mail ballots. “It would be very, very proper and very nice if a winner were declared on Nov. 3, instead of counting ballots for two weeks, which is totally inappropriate and I don’t believe that that’s by our laws,” he added.

Meanwhile, in her first solo trip of the 2020 campaign, Melania Trump slammed Joe Biden, Democrats and the media as she pushed the president’s re-election message in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.

The first lady defended Donald Trump’s record on COVID-19 even as he continues to play down the threat of a virus that has killed more than 226,000 Americans.

She sought to shift the blame to Democrats, who she said tried to “put their own agendas ahead of the American people’s well-being” and focused on a “sham impeachment” instead of the coronavirus.

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Donald Trump to hold two rallies in Arizona, Joe Biden to speak on plans to combat Covid-19 in Delaware; Over 70 million Americans have cast early votes. Follow this space for highlights

17:02 (IST)28 Oct 2020
'Remarkable shift' in Sikh community's support for Trump: Community leaders

There has been a "remarkable shift" in the Sikh community's support for President Donald Trump, mainly because of his policies that helped small businesses in America and to strengthen the India-US relationship, according to the community leaders.

Trump, a Republican is seeking re-election to the White House in the November 3 presidential election. A significant number of Sikhs are based in some of the battle ground States of Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida and Pennsylvania. "Most of us in the Midwest are business people. And they are all for President Trump," Darshan Singh Dhaliwal, a successful entrepreneur and prominent Sikh leader from the Milwaukee area of Wisconsin told PTI.

He said that Sikhs nationally and particularly in the region are supporting Trump because of his efforts to strengthen relations with India and his friendship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"This cannot be said about (Senator) Kamala Harris," Dhaliwal said. (PTI)

15:53 (IST)28 Oct 2020
Trump slams media for 'blocking' alleged graft cases against Biden

US President Donald Trump has slammed the mainstream American media and big tech companies for blocking the alleged corruption charges against his opponent Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

They have accused each other of serious corruption charges during the election campaigning, with the president alleging that Biden got USD 3.5 million from Russia and it came through Russian President Vladimir Putin because he was very friendly with the former mayor of Moscow.

Biden has denied the allegations. (AP)

14:38 (IST)28 Oct 2020
Trump wants to Pick off Nevada. But Biden is holding a lead: Report

Joe Biden has a steady lead over President Donald Trump in Nevada, a state that has been shading blue in recent elections but that Trump is hoping to flip, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll released Tuesday.

Biden, the Democratic nominee, leads Trump 49% to 43% among likely voters in Nevada, with 4% undecided or declining to state a preference. The poll was taken after the presidential debate last week, one of Trump’s last opportunities to change the trajectory of the race.

The results are virtually unchanged from another Times/Siena poll in the state conducted this month after Trump announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus, which found Biden leading Trump 48% to 42% among likely voters.

With just a week until Election Day and little time for Trump to make up any ground, the results underscore the challenges he faces in diverse battleground states that once seemed attainable, if not downright winnable, for an incumbent Republican president. Polls have also shown Trump trailing Biden in neighboring Arizona, a state that has not voted for a Democrat for president since 1996.

14:32 (IST)28 Oct 2020
Trump questions counting late ballots; Biden preaches unity in Georgia

President Donald Trump questioned the integrity of the US election again on Tuesday, and said it would be 'inappropriate' to take extra time to count the tens of millions of ballots case by mail in his race against Democratic rival Joe Biden, reported Reuters.

While Trump, who trails in national opinion polls, cast doubts on mail-in votes, Biden offered a message of unity in two rallies in Georgia.

Before leaving for campaign rallies in three states, Trump told reporters at the White House, "It would be very, very proper and very nice if a winner were declared on Nov. 3, instead of counting ballots for two weeks, which is totally inappropriate and I don't believe that that's by our laws."

Trump has repeatedly and without evidence suggested that an increase in mail voting will lead to an increase in fraud, although experts say that is rare in US elections.

Biden's visit to Georgia was a show of optimism that his campaign can end Trump's presidency. Georgia has not supported a Democrat in US presidential elections since 1992. "I'm running as a proud Democrat, but I will govern as an American president. I'll work with Democrats and Republicans. I'll work as hard for those who don't support me as for those who do," Biden said in Warm Springs, Georgia.

14:09 (IST)28 Oct 2020
US election wrap, Oct 28: Trump casts doubts on mail-in votes; US likely to see highest voter turnout

With less than a week to go for Election Day on November 3 in the United States, Reuters reports that more than 70 million Americans have cast ballots this year, a number that is more than half the total turnout of that in 2016. The numbers” could lead to the highest voter turnout in percentage terms in more than a century” in the US. 

The Reuters report indicates that coronavirus is one reason why early voting has occurred in large numbers this year. 

The next US president will be announced next week but Donald Trump has once again questioned the integrity of the US elections, casting doubts on mail-in votes, a Reuters report says. “It would be very, very proper and very nice if a winner were declared on Nov. 3, instead of counting ballots for two weeks, which is totally inappropriate and I don’t believe that that’s by our laws,” the report quoted Trump saying at the White House.

13:36 (IST)28 Oct 2020
US elections: Social media CEOs to face grilling from Republican senators

Less than a week before Election Day, the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google are set to be grilled by Republican senators making unfounded allegations that the tech giants show anti-conservative bias. Democrats want to expand the discussion to include issues such as the companies’ impact on local news.

The Senate Commerce Committee has summoned Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai to testify for a hearing Wednesday. The executives have agreed to appear remotely after being threatened with subpoenas.

With the election looming, Republicans led by President Donald Trump have thrown a barrage of grievances at Big Tech’s social media platforms, which they accuse without evidence of deliberately suppressing conservative, religious and anti-abortion views.

12:46 (IST)28 Oct 2020
US hospitals are reeling under a 45% spike in COVID-19 patients

Hospitals around the United States are reeling from the rampaging spread of the coronavirus, many of them in parts of the country that initially had been spared the worst.

Approaching the eve of the election, President Donald Trump has downplayed the steep rise in cases, attributing much of it to increased testing. But the number of people hospitalized for the virus tells a different story, climbing an estimated 46% from a month ago and raising fears about the capacity of regional health care systems to respond to overwhelming demand.

The exploding case numbers point to a volatile new phase in the pandemic, coming after earlier waves hit large cities such as New York, then Sun Belt states like Florida and Arizona. While some of those places have begun to bring the virus under control, the surge of hospitalizations is crippling some cities with fewer resources.

11:54 (IST)28 Oct 2020
Biden faces challenges in quickly combating the pandemic

If Joe Biden wins next week’s election, he says he'll immediately call Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert. He’ll work with governors and local officials to institute a nationwide mask-wearing mandate and ask Congress to pass a sweeping spending bill by the end of January to address the coronavirus and its fallout.

That alone would mark a significant shift from President Donald Trump, who has feuded with scientists struggled to broker a new stimulus deal and reacted to the recent surge in US virus cases by insisting the country is rounding the turn.

But Biden would still face significant political challenges in combating the worst public health crisis in a century. He will encounter the limits of federal powers when it comes to mask requirements and is sure to face resistance from Republicans who may buck additional spending.

US Elections 2020 Live updates: Trump heads to Arizona; Melania slams Biden, Democrats in first solo stop Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a drive-in rally at Cellairis Amphitheatre in Atlanta, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Arizona has emerged as a top battleground in the White House race after Trump won it by 3.5 percentage points over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll from Oct 14-21 showed Biden with a 3-point edge on Trump, within the survey's credibility interval.

A Biden win in Arizona, which has 11 electoral votes, would be the first for a Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton carried it in 1996.

After an overnight stay in Las Vegas, Nevada, Trump will hold airport rallies in Bullhead City, Arizona, in the state's northwestern corner near Nevada, and in Goodyear, outside Phoenix, the state's biggest city. On Tuesday, Trump covered three states - Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska - and Biden made two campaign stops in the emerging battleground state of Georgia.

Biden has focused on what he calls Trump's mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic in the closing weeks of his campaign, including criticisms that Trump played down the threat, failed to listen to his health experts and never developed a plan to contain it.

Americans trust Biden more than Trump to contain coronavirus, according to polls, and record numbers of new US Covid-19 cases in recent days have given Biden repeated opportunities to remind voters of the Trump administration's mismanagement of the pandemic.

He has also used the pandemic to remind voters of Trump's efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Healthcare is another issue that polls have found Americans trust Biden more than Trump to handle.

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