With just two weeks left until the presidential election, to say that things are heating up would be an understatement. Here is a look at what is dominating the headlines of the nation’s political landscape as the election day draws near.
New Rules for Thursday’s Debate: After the first contentious presidential debate at the end of September, it became obvious that there would need to be new rules in place for the next round. The second and final debate is scheduled for Thursday, October 22 at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. In this event, President Donald Trump will square off one last time against Democratic candidate Joe Biden.Read More »
The Trump campaign has also come out against the six announced topics of discussion of this debate, claiming that they are biased toward Biden and his strengths. The six official topics set by the commission are “Fighting COVID-19,” “American Families,” “Race in America,” “Climate Change,” “National Security,” and “Leadership.”
Record-Breaking Early Voting: While the outcome of the election is very much in doubt still, there is one thing that is for certain. Voter turnout is already breaking all types of records, pointing to a great amount of passion for this momentous election. As of Monday, more than 28 million Americans have already voted. This number accounts for almost 20% of the over 136 million total votes during the 2016 presidential election. Texas is leading the way with more than 4 million votes already cast. A large reason for this is that early voting was extended for a week, largely to deal with the constraints of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
What Does the Early Voting Say: It is difficult to deduce too much information through the early voting numbers. While most political experts say that this benefits the Democrats, it should be noted that Republicans typically wait until election day to cast their ballots.
What is known already is that there is a significant advantage afforded to the Democrats in the number of absentee ballots cast. For example, in North Carolina, 46% of absentee ballots have been cast by Democrats and only 25% with registered Republican voters. 28% of the votes came from individuals who do not identify with either party. Likewise, in the battleground state of Florida, 49% of the early ballots have been cast by registered Democrats. This is up from a figure of 41% in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump Visits Tucson in Hopes of Securing Arizona: Trump hit the road on Monday, paying a visit to Tucson, Arizona. While Arizona has a long history of voting red, recent polls show that Trump may be in trouble holding on to this state. Prior to the rally at the Tucson Jet Center at the Tucson International Airport, the president made a quick stop at the Prescott Regional Airport in Prescott.
Harris Back on Campaign Trail: After taking a few days off to quarantine due to a COVID-19 exposure, vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris is back on the campaign trail. Harris spent time speaking to a crowd in Jacksonville, Florida, on Monday as rain pelted the audience. This location was strategic as it was the first day of early voting in the state of Florida.
Obama Throwing His Hat in the Ring: The Biden and Harris campaign is sure to see a boost of energy on Wednesday when former President Barack Obama treks to Philadelphia in support of his former vice president and good friend. The event in Pennsylvania will be the first time that Obama has officially campaigned for Biden. Despite being out of office for nearly four years, Obama remains one of the most popular political figures in the party.
While Trump Distances from Fauci, Republican Senators Distance from Trump: Trump spent a good part of the day Monday speaking to those on his campaign staff about his dissatisfaction with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). In a call with his staff, Trump lamented that people are tired of COVID-19 and of “hearing Fauci and all these idiots.”
Meanwhile, while Trump moves further away from having Fauci on his team, some Republican senators are also distancing themselves from the president. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is signaling that he is not on board with all of Trump’s policies, namely the White House’s lax restrictions when dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Sen. Ben Hasse was caught on tape last week in a call with constituents saying that the president was damaging to the party and that he was going to bring down the Republican majority in the Senate when he loses the election.
As the nation closes in on the finish line of this heated election, things are bound to get more firey in the weeks to come.
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