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Sunday, November 29, 2020

US Elections 2020 highlights: Battleground states see large turnout of early voters, says report

US Presidential Elections 2020 highlights: Voters are also turning out in large numbers in states that are more likely to favour Biden, such as California, New Jersey and Virginia.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 29, 2020 9:01:27 am
US Elections 2020 Live updates: Amy Coney Barrett sworn in as Supreme Court justicePresident Donald Trump watches as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas finishes administering the Constitutional Oath to Amy Coney Barrett on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, after Barrett was confirmed by the Senate earlier in the evening. (AP Photo)

With just a week left for the 2020 US Presidential election, more than 64 million Americans have cast their ballots, with large voter turnout seen in the key battleground states that will ultimately decide who between President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden wins the Electoral College and the US Presidency, according to a media report said on Tuesday.

Voters are also turning out in large numbers in states that are more likely to favour Biden, such as California, New Jersey and Virginia. These states together account for more than a third of the votes cast so far and with early voting just getting started in states like New York these numbers are likely to climb, the New York Times reported.

Over 64 million Americans have already voted in the elections. About half of these votes are in the over dozen competitive states that will ultimately decide who wins the Electoral College, the report said.

Meanwhile, Conservative Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in as the 115th justice of the US Supreme Court on Monday night, an hour after Republican-controlled Senate confirmed her nomination, handing president Donald Trump a landmark win just a week before the presidential polls.

The Senate confirmed Barrett’s nomination as the SC Judge by 52-48 votes, overcoming the unified opposition of Democrats.

With one week left until Election Day, Joe Biden is going on offense, heading Tuesday to Georgia — which hasn’t backed a Democrat for president since 1992 — and pushing into other territory where President Donald Trump was once expected to easily repeat his wins from four years ago.

Trump, meanwhile, is staying focused on the so-called “blue wall” states that he flipped in 2016: Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, where he’ll return on Tuesday to hit West Salem just three days after holding a Janesville rally.

Live Blog

Amy Barrett sworn in as 115th Justice of US Supreme Court; Donald Trump, Joe Biden hit battleground Pennsylvania; Over 60 million Americans cast early votes. Follow this space for highlights

23:05 (IST)27 Oct 2020
Worst place, worst time: Trump faces virus spike in Midwest

Gabe Loiacono is the kind of voter President Donald Trump can ill afford to lose. He lives in a pivotal county of a swing state that is among a handful that will decide the presidency.

A college history professor who last cast a ballot for a Democrat more than 20 years ago, Loiacono is voting for Democrat Joe Biden because he thinks Trump has utterly failed in his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

"President Trump still does not seem to be taking the pandemic seriously enough. I wish he would," said Loiacono.

He said he never thought of Trump as "all bad" but added, "There is still too much wishful thinking and not enough clear guidance." And now the virus is getting worse in states that the president needs the most, at the least opportune time. New infections are raging in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the upper Midwest. In Iowa, polls suggest Trump is in a toss-up race with Biden after carrying the state by 9.4 percentage points four years ago.(AP)

23:04 (IST)27 Oct 2020
Trump trade policy: 4 years of high drama, limited results

President Donald Trump spent four years upending seven decades of American trade policy.

In what became his defining economic act, Trump launched a trade war with China. On another front, he taxed the steel and aluminum of US allies. And he terrified America's own corporations by threatening to wreck $1.4 trillion in annual trade with Mexico and Canada.

He did it in typically combative, mercurial style - raising tariffs, hurling threats, walking them back, sometimes reopening conflicts that had seemed resolved.

All of it came wrapped in a singular message, delivered with a Trumpian roar: US had too long been exploited by horrendous deals forged by his predecessors. From now on, he proclaimed, America would come first, its trading partners a distant second.

Yet for all the drama that drove his confrontational policies for four years, it comes down to this: Not very much really changed. (AP)

23:03 (IST)27 Oct 2020
Battleground states see large turnout of early voters: Report

With just a week left for the 2020 US Presidential election, more than 64 million Americans have cast their ballots, with large voter turnout seen in the key battleground states that will ultimately decide who between President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden wins the Electoral College and the US Presidency, according to a media report said on Tuesday.

Voters are also turning out in large numbers in states that are more likely to favour Biden, such as California, New Jersey and Virginia. These states together account for more than a third of the votes cast so far and with early voting just getting started in states like New York these numbers are likely to climb, the New York Times reported. (AP)

18:56 (IST)27 Oct 2020
Biden goes on offense in Georgia while Trump targets Midwest

One week until Election Day, Joe Biden is going on offense, heading Tuesday to Georgia "which hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1992" and pushing into other territory where President Donald Trump was once expected to easily repeat his wins from four years ago.

The Democratic presidential nominee planned to travel to Iowa, which Trump took by 10 points in 2016, later in the week. His running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, is heading to Arizona and Texas, where Republicans haven't lost any statewide office since 1994-- the nation's longest political winning streak.

The aggressive schedule is a sign of confidence by the Biden team, which is trying to stretch the electoral map and open up more paths to 270 electoral college votes. But after Democrats flirted with GOP territory in 2016, only to lose those states as well as their traditional Midwestern strongholds, Biden's campaign is mindful of overreaching. The former vice president will also visit in the coming days Wisconsin, Michigan, and Florida.

14:34 (IST)27 Oct 2020
President Donald Trump ahead of Joe Biden by 5 points in Texas: Poll

US President Donald Trump is ahead of his rival Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden by over 5 points among the likely voters in Texas, according to a poll conducted to understand the two leaders' popularity.

The poll released on Monday by the Hobby School for Public Affairs at the University of Houston found that 50 per cent of the voters said they already have or will vote for President Trump while 44.7 per cent said they have or will vote for Biden.

"The poll conducted between October 13 and October 20 found 50 per cent of the voters saying they already have or will vote for Trump, while 44.7 per cent said they have or will vote for Biden," the poll outcome that was released after taking the opinions of over 1,000 registered voters stated.

13:29 (IST)27 Oct 2020
Contest looks tighter in battleground states; Trump, Biden focus on Pennsylvania

By Tuesday next week, either Donald Trump will continue to serve in the White House for four more years, or the United States will have Joe Biden as the new president.

With days to go before the elections, Donald Trump is doubling down on attacks against Joe Biden by targeting his son Hunterr more years, or the United States will have Joe Biden as the new president. Reuters reported that Trump and Biden are continuing to contend for votes in battleground states in this last week, with a focus on Pennsylvania, a state that is considered to be crucial for whichever candidate wins the elections.

12:49 (IST)27 Oct 2020
Trump celebrates at White House as Supreme Court nominee confirmed

President Donald Trump reveled in one of his signature achievements on Monday at a White House ceremony to celebrate U.S. Senate confirmation of his third Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, eight days before the election.

The made-for-TV prime-time event on the White House lawn mirrored one a month ago, when Barrett’s nomination was announced, which preceded a coronavirus outbreak among top Republicans including Trump himself.

Trump, who has been touting the appointment at campaign rallies to the cheers of his supporters, had pressed the Senate to confirm Barrett, 48, before the Nov. 3 election in which he trails Democrat Joe Biden in national opinion polls. No Supreme Court justice had ever been confirmed so close to a presidential election.

“The Barrett family has captured America’s heart. It is highly fitting that Justice Barrett fills the seat of a true pioneer for women, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” Trump said with a smiling Barrett at his side.

12:08 (IST)27 Oct 2020
‘Something wrong with her’, says Trump as he mocks Kamala Harris’ laughter

US President Donald Trump on Monday mocked Senator Kamala Harris and said her frequent bursts of laughter at serious questions suggests “there’s something wrong” with the Democratic vice presidential candidate.

Trump, 74, who is seeking his re-election, is campaigning intensely in Pennsylvania, a state that he narrowly won in 2016. On Monday, the president was scheduled to address three election rallies. The first two of them attracted thousands of crowd and for the third one, in rural Pennsylvania, thousands of his supporters had lined up hours before his address.
“(Joe) Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris… Did you see her last night on television with a laugh?” Trump asked his supporters at the rally in Allentown, Pennsylvania, a battleground and a must-win state for the president to remain in the White House for the next four years.

“Did anybody see 60 Minutes? Which is a total joke of a show… Did you see his (Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s) performance on that show? The only thing almost as bad was Kamala, with the laugh. Haha, that’s so funny. Hahaha. She kept laughing. I said, ‘Is there something wrong with her, too?’?” Trump quipped.

11:26 (IST)27 Oct 2020
Amy Barrett sworn in as Supreme Court justice

Conservative Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in as the 115th justice of the US Supreme Court on Monday night, an hour after Republican-controlled Senate confirmed her nomination, handing president Donald Trump a landmark win just a week before the presidential polls.

The Senate confirmed Barrett's nomination as the SC Judge by 52-48 votes, overcoming the unified opposition of Democrats. Barrett was administered the official constitutional oath by Justice Clarence Thomas on the South Lawn of the White House alongside President Trump.

"I stand here tonight, truly honoured and humbled," Barrett said shortly after she took the constitutional oath.

President Trump made his remarks on the occassion and said, "This is a momentous day for America, for the United States Constitution and for the fair and impartial rule of law."

Trump has so far nominated three of the nine Supreme Court Justices. In the US, a Supreme Court Justice is appointed for life and does not have a retirement age. Barrett's confirmation creates a 6-3 conservative majority on the court.

Amy Coney Barrett speaks after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administered the Constitutional Oath to her on the South Lawn of the White House White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (AP Photo)
10:09 (IST)27 Oct 2020
Senate confirms Amy Coney Barrett, delivering for Trump and reshaping court

Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative appeals court judge and protégée of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, was confirmed on Monday to the Supreme Court, capping a lightning-fast Senate approval that handed President Donald Trump a victory ahead of the election and promised to tip the court to the right for years to come.

Inside a Capitol mostly emptied by the resurgent coronavirus pandemic and an election looming in eight days, Republicans overcame unanimous opposition by Democrats to make Barrett the 115th justice of the Supreme Court and the fifth woman ever to sit on its bench. In a 52-48 vote, all but one Republican, Susan Collins of Maine, who herself is battling for reelection, supported her.

It was the first time in 151 years that a justice was confirmed without a single vote from the minority party, a sign of how bitter Washington’s decades-old war over judicial nominations has become. The vote concluded a brazen drive by Republicans, who moved to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg just six weeks before the election. They shredded their own past pronouncements and bypassed rules in the process, even as they stared down the potential loss of the White House and the Senate.

03:05 (IST)27 Oct 2020
Biden to hold campaign event in Iowa on Friday

Democrat Joe Biden plans to campaign in Iowa on Friday, making his first trip as the party’s presidential nominee just four days before the election to a state President Donald Trump carried easily in 2016.

Biden aides confirmed that the former vice president was expected to hold a morning campaign event Friday in central Iowa, though it was not clear exactly where he planned to campaign.Biden is campaigning this week in Pennsylvania and Florida, key swing states Trump won in 2016. Biden is also planning to campaign Tuesday in Georgia, where no Democrat has won since 1992.

It would be an ironic homecoming for Biden in Iowa. He was last in the state on Feb. 2, the eve of a unceremonious fourth-place finish in Iowa’s leadoff Democratic nominating caucuses. Biden staged a dramatic comeback beginning Feb. 29 by winning the South Carolina primary.Polls have shown the race to be very close in Iowa, where Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 by 9.4 percentage points, and winning in more than 30 counties carried in 2012 by Democrat Barack Obama. (AP_

20:21 (IST)26 Oct 2020
US early voting tops 60 million

More than 60 million Americans have cast ballots in the U.S. presidential election with eight days to go, a record-breaking pace that could lead to the highest voter turnout in over a century, according to data from the US Elections Project on Monday.

The tally is the latest sign of intense interest in the contest between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, as well as voters' desire to reduce their risk of exposure to COVID-19, which has killed about 225,000 people across the United States.

16:46 (IST)26 Oct 2020
Why US President poll matters to India

The US relationship is the most important of India’s bilateral ties, having grown in recent years on account of China’s belligerence. In the concluding part of a series on the US Presidential election, a look at how this relationship has evolved, and its highs and lows irrespective of whether the President has been a Democrat or a Republican. Click here to read our explainer.

15:48 (IST)26 Oct 2020
Times Square billboards with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner stir skirmish

In July, Ivanka Trump released a photo of herself cradling a can of Goya beans in an effort to support a Trump-friendly company facing a boycott. The photo raised concerns among ethics watchdogs that Trump had used her government position to market a consumer product. Click here to read the full report.

(Source: NYT)
15:01 (IST)26 Oct 2020
Joe Biden dismisses hunter Biden attacks as ‘smear campaign’

Joe Biden dismissed Republican questions about his son Hunter Biden’s business entanglements as a “smear campaign” and suggested the possibility that the release of documents allegedly belonging to the younger Biden was part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

“When you put the combination of Russia, Giuliani, the president, together — it’s just what it is,” Biden said, referring to President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani. “It’s a smear campaign because he has nothing he wants to talk about. What is he running on? What is he running on?” the Democratic presidential nominee said in an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

Read more

14:05 (IST)26 Oct 2020
Supporters chant 'Super Trump' at election rally

President Donald Trump's supporters have started calling him 'Super Trump' as he has fully recovered from the coronavirus and started addressing multiple election rallies a day. At an election rally in the battleground state of New Hampshire, which was attended by thousands of people, Trump said that he felt like superman upon being given an antibody treatment when he had COVID-19.

"I took something called Regeneron. Then the following morning, I felt so good. I felt like superman. I wanted to get back (to work). I did not want to cancel anything," Trump told his cheering supporters in the Londonderry city of New Hampshire. Soon, his supporters started chanting "Super Trump, Super Trump," to which the president acknowledged with a smile and said "Thank You". (PTI)

13:15 (IST)26 Oct 2020
Fire set in Boston ballot drop box; FBI asked to probe fire

A fire was set Sunday in a Boston ballot drop box holding more than 120 ballots in what appears to have been a 'deliberate attack,' Massachusetts election officials said. The state has asked the FBI to investigate the fire that was set around 4 a.m. in a ballot drop box outside the Boston Public Library downtown, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin's office said.

In a joint statement, Galvin and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh called it a 'disgrace to democracy, a disrespect to the voters fulfilling their civic duty, and a crime.' "Our first and foremost priority is maintaining the integrity of our elections process and ensuring transparency and trust with our voters, and any effort to undermine or tamper with that process must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," they said in the emailed statement. "We ask voters not to be intimidated by this bad act, and remain committed to making their voices heard in this and every election."

12:19 (IST)26 Oct 2020
Trump, Biden in final full week of campaigning as virus looms large

President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden on Monday are down to the final full week of campaigning before the Nov. 3 election, as surging coronavirus cases and a COVID-19 outbreak within Vice President Mike Pence’s staff keep the focus of the race on the pandemic. Trump claimed progress in combating the disease even as the United States set records in recent days for daily infections, while Pence forged ahead with campaigning on Sunday despite close aides testing positive. Read more here

12:01 (IST)26 Oct 2020
US Election Wrap: Coronavirus continues to be in focus as race for White House enters last leg

With just a week to go before November 3, the US elections are on their last leg. Considered to be one of the most contentious and divisive in US election history, it now seems that coronavirus has taken precedence over other issues that were in focus in the weeks before.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly stated that Democrat-run states had been shut down by state authorities following the outbreak of coronavirus, implying that restrictive lockdown rules were “like a prison”. Trump has been singling out states like New York, North Carolina, California, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan and has been doubling down on these claims since last week’s final presidential debate, in an attempt to criticise his opponents. CNN has a report that fact-checks the situation in each of these Democratic-run states.

Read the wrap here

11:25 (IST)26 Oct 2020
Over 58.7 million Americans have already voted, but wait for poll result could be long

More than 58.7 million Americans have voted in the 2020 presidential election so far, surpassing all early ballots cast in the 2016 polls, but an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots has given rise to the possibility that the result could be delayed as counting of votes may stretch beyond November 3, according to a media report. The report in CNN said that according to a survey of election officials in all 50 states and Washington DC conducted by the US-based network, Edison Research and Catalist, more than 58.7 million Americans have voted so far in the election, with still 9 days left for November 3. The report said in 2016, around 58.3 million pre-election ballots were cast, including ballots in the three vote-by-mail states that year. That early vote accounted for about 42 per cent of all ballots cast in the 2016 presidential election.

US Elections 2020 Live updates: Amy Coney Barrett sworn in as Supreme Court justice Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden holds up his face mask as he speaks to members of the media outside a voter service center, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Chester, Pennsylvania. (AP Photo)

Over than 60 million Americans have cast ballots in the US presidential election with eight days to go, a record-breaking pace that could lead to the highest voter turnout in over a century, according to data from the US Elections Project on Monday. The tally is the latest sign of intense interest in the contest between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, as well as voters' desire to reduce their risk of exposure to COVID-19, which has killed about 225,000 people across the United States.

Meanwhile, more than four in ten supporters of both President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, said they would not accept the result of the November election if their preferred candidate loses, Reuters/Ipsos poll found.

The survey, conducted from Oct. 13-20, shows 43% of Biden supporters would not accept a Trump victory, while 41% of Americans who want to re-elect Trump would not accept a win by Biden. Smaller portions would take action to make their displeasure known: 22% of Biden supporters and 16% of Trump supporters said they would engage in street protests or even violence if their preferred candidate loses.

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