If your head is spinning after this week in politics, you are certainly not alone. With less than four weeks left until the presidential election, a slow news day simply does not exist anymore.
Next Week’s Presidential Debate Off the Table: After a few days of back and forth between President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden regarding the fate of next week’s debate, it appears as if a final decision has been made. The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced on Friday that it was canceling the second event, previously scheduled for October 15. The announcement came after Trump refused to do the debate in a virtual format. The Biden camp had previously approved a virtual debate in light of Trump’s recent COVID-19 diagnosis.Read More »
As a result, ABC News will be holding a town hall meeting with Biden on what should have been the evening of the debate. There are reports that the president is in talks with NBC News to do a similar event on the same night. The CPD is still planning on holding the last debate on October 22 in Nashville.
The president’s campaign tried to push through a new debate schedule, culminating in the last debate happening just days before the election. The Biden camp swiftly rejected this offer, stating that the CPD sets the debate schedule and not the president.
Most political pundits agree that this controversy and cancelation is a win for the Biden campaign. Because Biden is ahead in every respected national poll, the best thing that he can do now is to maintain the status quo. Trump arguably needed another debate to try to win over the remaining undecided voters and shake up the electorate.
Vice Presidential Debate Came to a Draw: While we may never get another presidential debate in this election, the nation was able to see the two vice-presidential candidates squared off at the University of Utah on Tuesday. By all accounts, both candidates stuck to their talking points and held their ground, making it challenging for any neutral observer to declare a winner. It should be noted that the bar was low after the previous week’s highly contentious and messy presidential debate.
Trump’s Roller Coaster Health: The dominant story in the headlines this week was Trump’s roller coaster health. White House doctors have been evasive about the president’s health, refusing to say when he had his last negative test. This evasiveness has only fueled the speculation that the president may still be contagious, despite going to work every day since Tuesday in the Oval Office.
Trump has spent his week making the media rounds, appearing on various conservative radio and television programs. What is confusing to many viewers is the conflicting information presented by the president’s doctor and the president himself. While Dr. Sean Conley has repeatedly said that the president is not showing any symptoms at this time, Trump has mentioned that he still has residual symptoms.
President Announces He Will Resume Rallies: Amidst all of this speculation about the president’s health, the White House announced that Trump will resume campaigning this week. Trump is scheduled to hold an event on Saturday at the White House South Lawn. The president’s team said that he will only appear on the balcony to speak and that all guests will be required to wear masks. All guests will also be subject to a rapid COVID-19 test prior to entrance to the White House grounds. According to reports, approximately 2,000 people have been invited to attend this event.
On Monday, the president is set to appear at a campaign rally at an airport hangar in Sanford, Florida, just outside of Orlando. There have not been details released about the rally at this time.
More than one dozen people in Trump’s inner circle have tested positive for the virus over the last week. The leading theory is that the September 26 introduction of Judge Amy Coney Barrett at the White House was the superspreader event that led to the multitude of infections.
Latest Poll Numbers: It was not a good week for Trump in the national polling picture. A poll released by CNN on Tuesday showed Biden leading Trump by 16 points in the national picture. A Sunday poll by NBC News put Biden on top with a 14-point lead. These polls took into account last week’s disastrous presidential debate.
However, as with any election, who emerges victorious on November 3 will come down to the key battleground states. Biden is widening his lead in Pennsylvania, especially when it comes to white suburban women voters. It is no surprise that Trump has chosen Florida as the location for his first rally after his COVID-19 diagnosis. The Sunshine State is in a statistical dead heat with Biden having a slight edge in most polls. Out on the West Coast, Biden is also pulling away in Nevada and Arizona.
The Week Ahead: While it is impossible to predict what will happen in the coming week, the top stories to watch for include Trump’s campaign resurgence and Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, slated to begin on Monday in the Senate.
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