WASHINGTON — With less than two weeks until the Nov. 3 election, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is leading President Donald Trump by 7 percentage points in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania, according to a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll.
Nearly half (49%) of likely Pennsylvania voters said they support Biden, while 42% said they support Trump, the poll released Wednesday found.
“I feel safe with Joe Biden, it’s like having your dad watching over,” said Lisa Laws, 61, who answered the poll and lives in Strafford. “I think he can get this country back on track because we’ve got to change.”
Laws, who is Black, said she has seen divisiveness grow under the Trump administration and feels like the country has gone backwards. Laws said she was the first Black person at herelementary school, and eventually went on to be the first Black person and first woman paralegal at her law firm.
“It’s things like that that I see going backwards, not forward,” she said. “This president is turning it on.”
Trump won the Keystone State against Democrat Hillary Clinton by less than one percentage point in 2016. Pennsylvania has long been a swing state in presidential elections, choosing 20 of the last 25 presidents.
David Black, 61, of Chalfont, said that he supports the president because “he has done everything he says, whether you like it or you don’t like it.”
” … And he’s for America first and I like that,” said Black, who responded to the poll and voted for Trump in 2016.
While the majority of likely voters (57%) said the country is on the wrong track, 51% also said they are better off than they were four years ago. About one-third (32%) said the country is on the right track. And 30% said they are worse off than they were four years ago.
Who is seen more favorably?
Biden is also seen more favorably than Trump by likely Pennsylvania voters.
Forty-nine percent have a favorable view of Biden, while 44% have an unfavorable view. Trump is underwater with his favorable-unfavorable numbers, with more likely voters (52%) having an unfavorable view of him than those who have a favorable view (42%).
Autumn Sonnet, 35, of Pittsburgh, said while Biden was not her first choice, she said “now it seems like it’s imperative that he is elected.”
“I think Donald Trump is a dangerous man,” Sonnet said, adding that COVID-19, systemic racism and the economy have been some of her top concerns due to the Trump presidency.
The USA TODAY/Suffolk Poll surveyed a total of 500 likely voters via cell phone and landlines between Oct. 15 and Oct. 19. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
When asked what their top issue in the election was, 26% of likely voters said bringing the country together, which led all other issues. It was followed by jobs and the economy at 23% and COVID-19 at 22%.
The Supreme Court has also been a key topic in recent weeks following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Days after Ginsburg’s death, Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Confirmation hearings were held for Barrett last week and a vote is expected in the coming days.
A majority of likely Pennsylvania voters (58%) said that Trump choosing to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court made no difference in whether they support the president. Comparatively, 23% said that it made them less likely to support Trump for reelection, while 18% said it made them more likely.
Barrett’s confirmation could mean conservative dominance for decades in the Supreme Court, with Republican appointees holding a 6-3 advantage. Since Barrett’s nomination, some Democrats have called for expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court.
Adding justices to the Supreme Court?
According to the poll, 58% of likely Pennsylvania voters said they do not support adding justices to the Supreme Court, while 27% say they do.
Biden throughout the past several weeks has not made his position clear on so-called court packing, but has said he is “not a fan” of it. When asked about Biden’s comments about not being a fan of packing the court, nearly half of voters (47%) said they viewed them favorably while 36% viewed them unfavorably.
Black is one of the voters who said he does not support adding justices to the Supreme Court.
“You start creating more justices to get the opinions you want,” he said. “It’s almost like ‘well I gotta win and I’m just gonna create new facts.’ “
But Laws said that she supports adding justices to the Supreme Court, adding that it shouldn’t be called court packing.
“I believe it should be called court evening,” Laws said. She said that she believes that the “minority shouldn’t be ruling the majority,” adding that the “the majority of the country is pro choice.”
About six months before Donald Trump was elected president, Abigail Culverhouse was raped. She was 17, one month shy of the minimum voting age.
Culverhouse describes herself then as a bit of “a nerd,” and her perpetrator as a popular boy who paid her the kind of attention that began as flattering, drifted into unsettling and ended in violence. She reported the sexual assault to law enforcement and they effectively shrugged: It’s “he said, she said,” they told her.
In the aftermath of her horror, the bullying began. In her suburban Virginia high school, her perpetrator’s friends taunted her in class and terrorized her online. One girl, she said, chased her around the school parking lot in her car, following on her heels, then speeding up as if she were going to run her over.
Culverhouse, like so many women who experience sexual violence, not only survived her rape, but everything that came after. The vilification, the post traumatic stress disorder, the nightmares, the 2016 presidential election. She survived as the number of women accusing Donald Trump of non-consensual physical contact grew to 19. She survived while watching Christine Blasey Ford be torn apart for testifying that Brett Kavanaugh tried to rape her. Culverhouse listened as family members discredited the women who came forward.
Now, in the first election in which she is old enough to vote, Culverhouse has had to survive something else: A choice between Trump, accused of a history of predatory behavior including multiple sexual assaults, his challenger Joe Biden, accused by seven women of inappropriate touching and by one of sexual assault, and Jo Jorgensen, the Libertarian candidate with no shot of winning the election.
“I cried,” she said. “I really thought about what is going to be most beneficial for the country and how can I vote in a way that makes me feel like I’m making a difference. And I did vote for Biden, and I don’t feel good about it. It’s a literal lesser of the two evils … which shouldn’t be the election, but is.”
Gender violence goes unmentioned in debates, in polls, on the trail
In the United States, one in three women experiences some form of sexual violence in her lifetime,according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – those are millions of survivors who have watched as the first presidential election post-Me Too has rendered them largely invisible.
Outside of a handful of headlines, this month’s anniversary of Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood tape, in which he bragged about grabbing women by the genitals, came and went. Trump’s latest accuser, Amy Dorris, sparked little outrage when she spoke out in The Guardian last month. Media coverage of Tara Reade, who has accused Biden of sexual assault, has been inconsistent.
“The fact that the topic doesn’t come up, or that even more significantly that the topic feels clearly off limits and is maybe even perceived as a distraction, that’s sending a message to survivors that is very disempowering,” said Laura Palumbo of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. “It’s almost as if survivors are once again hearing that there’s only room for their experiences to be seen and acknowledged on terms other people are comfortable with.”
The election, gender experts say, is emblematic of the frustrating and often painful choices survivors are forced to make.
“When it comes to choosing a presidential candidate, we constantly have to take the violence that we have experienced and set it aside for the greater good,” said C.J. Pascoe, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Oregon who plans to vote for Biden. “And I will do that, but it means that women’s experiences are still seen as our own individual problems that we have to deal with, not as a social problem that we need to reckon with.”
Trump and Biden: Allegations that matter, but are unequal in scope
While Trump and Biden both stand accused of sexual assault, the allegations against Trump outnumber those against his Democratic challenger.
At least 19 women have come forward with allegations against Trump that include sexual assault and rape. Last year prominent writer E. Jean Carroll publicly accused Trump of raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the mid-1990s and brought a defamation case against him after he allegedly slandered her in denying her claims. On Wednesday, oral arguments begin in Carroll’s case.
Trump has repeatedly denied the accusations against him, often insulted the women who have come forward and claimed he did not know them even when there was photographic or video evidence to the contrary. He has also mocked the Me Too movement at his rallies.
During the second presidential debate in 2016, Anderson Cooper addressed the Access Hollywood tape: “What you said was locker room banter – kissing women without consent, grabbing their genitals – that is sexual assault. You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women.”
Trump stood firm: “I don’t think you understood. This was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I apologize to my family. To the American people. Certainly, I’m not proud of it. But this is locker room talk.”
However, some women say it’s not just talk.
“When he says that thing, ‘Grab them in the pussy,’ that hits me hard because when he grabbed me and pulled me into the tapestry, that’s where he grabbed me ― he grabbed me there in my front and pulled me in,” Karen Johnson, a Mar-a-Lago party guest, told journalists in 2019.
Until April, accusations against Biden involved him touching women in ways that made them uncomfortable. In response, Biden said that “social norms have begun to change” and he would be “more mindful and respectful of people’s personal space.”
But in April Reade, a former Biden staffer when he was a senator, accused him of sexually assaulting her in the basement of a Capitol Hill office building in the spring of 1993. Biden’s campaign denied the allegations.
Records on women’s issues
The credibility of accusations is not the only thing survivors are weighing. They’re looking at the candidates’ records, which diverge sharply.
Under the Trump administration, Title IX protections for survivors on college campuses have been weakened. Biden has said he would reverse Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ rule bolstering protections for those accused of campus sexual assault.
However, supporters of Trump will point to his hiring of women in his businesses. Supporters of Biden will point to his support for the Violence Against Women Act.
National polls show Biden consistently leading Trump among women voters. A Washington Post/ABC News poll from Oct. 6-9, finds Biden has a 23 point lead among women. Currently, women favor Biden by a 53%-40% margin, according to Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP poll out Monday.
A post-Me Too disappointment
Valuing survivors would mean making sexual violence a part of the national dialogue even when it may seem politically inconvenient, Palumbo said. Survivors come forward because they want to end cycles of abuse, harm and silence. They aren’t just soundbites. They aren’t political footballs, she said.
Angela Unterbrink, 45, of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, a survivor of domestic violence, says she has been appalled by the Trump administration’s treatment of women.
“It perpetuates the [idea] that that type of behavior is widely accepted,” she said.
Unterbrink said watching Trump during the presidential debate last month was triggering.
“It was a very narcissistic, visceral feel of a man purely out to intimidate and devalue and abuse somebody who he feels is a lesser human being. That was the bottom line,” she said. “It was not, ‘OK, I have these amazing policies and I have an exalted viewpoint of how I’m going to fix the world and bring change to a nation that needs it.’ It was, ‘I’m a bully, I am going to exert my manliness and authority over this person that I perceive is weaker than me and I’m going to do that by devaluing them in any capacity that I can.'”
When the Access Hollywood tape leaked four years ago, many Americans thought it would sink Trump’s candidacy.
In the years since, more and more women have come forward to accuse powerful men of sexual violence, risking their reputations, forfeiting their privacy and rehashing their traumas. A year after the election, the social media movement Me Too exploded, demanding that people pay attention, insisting that survivors be recognized by the public, political leaders, co-workers, friends, neighbors and even family.
But women who took part in or bore witness to the initial burst of energy have faced repeated disappointments at critical moments.
Culverhouse said she was horrified by the public’s treatment of Ford, who in 2018 came forward with allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when she was 15 and he was 17. Kavanaugh denies the attack and the FBI reported it found “no corroboration of the allegations.”
Ford faced doxxing and death threats. She and her family were forced to move and she was unable to go back to her job as a psychology professor at Palo Alto University.
“The person who hurt me wasn’t found guilty either, but I still know they did it,” Culverhouse said. “If you’re sexually assaulted, and you’re not beaten black and blue and holding on for dear life, it didn’t happen. I know people who were also sexually assaulted, and like myself, didn’t come out beaten. We just did what we had to do to get through a terrible moment, just to get out. I know personally it was like an out-of-body experience. Just get through it and then leave and don’t die.”
Ford said when Kavanaugh was assaulting her, he covered her mouth and she thought he “would accidentally kill me.”
More people may be paying attention to sexual violence than before the last election, but experts say the nation is not behaving in ways that show it’s willing to change how it treats those who survive that violence. The start of the primary season included a number of highly qualified female candidates, but in the end came down to two men who have both been accused of sexual assault.
For survivors, a lifetime of difficult choices
Survivors always face difficult choices, sexual violence experts say. Whether to report or not, whether to disclose or not. The election is just another example of the difficult decisions survivors must make.
“This is a part of survivors’ experiences that is often not recognized, because people think about there being a few discrete decisions that a survivor has to make in … the immediate aftermath of a sexual assault. But in reality, it’s that they have an experience that fundamentally impacts them as a person, and their future, and their way of being in the world,” Palumbo said. “Everyday decisions, as well as those significant turning points that we all have in our lives – they’re shaped as well by their experience of being a survivor.”
Culverhouse, now 21 and a senior at James Madison University, co-founded Students Against Sexual Violence, an advocacy group for survivors. She says she wants to be a voice for survivors who can’t use theirs. Or who simply haven’t found them yet.
“All of these women who are saying, ‘hey, the president, this Supreme Court nominee, this man in power did something to me and abused his power and hurt me,’ and then they’re just brushed off … I personally feel it,” she said. “I’m not just somebody’s sister. I’m not just somebody’s girlfriend. I am a whole person. I have myself together and it’s despite the fact that someone decided my body was their play thing. … And I will do everything in my power to make sure it doesn’t happen to someone else.”
Senate to vote on $500 billion coronavirus stimulus bill
The Republican-run Senate is set to take up a $500 billion coronavirus stimulus package Wednesday as Congress remains gridlocked over COVID-19 relief. The bill’s price is much lower than the $1.8 trillion package the White House is negotiating and the $2.2 trillion plan Democrats have offered. Since it’s not expected to pass into law, the legislation will largely serve as a messaging tool for Republicans. Congress passed a comprehensive package in March but has since been unable to resolve major policy differences on testing, liability protections and school funding.
DOJ seeks to intervene in defamation case against Trump
Writer E. Jean Carroll said last year that President Donald Trump had raped her in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s and later brought a defamation case against Trump after he allegedly slandered her in denying her claims. On Wednesday, oral arguments are set to begin over whether the Department of Justice can move forward with the federal government, rather than Trump, being listed as defendant . A USA TODAY review of 19 women’s allegations — the number who allege non-consensual physical contact — as well as more than 4,000 words that Trump has spoken, tweeted or released in written statements since 2016 addressing their allegations, show patterns in both the allegations and Trump’s reactions to them.
Coming to you live (not virtual), it’s the Billboard Latin Music Awards
Most of this year’s big TV awards ceremonies have gone virtual due to the coronavirus, but that’s not the case with Wednesday’s Billboard Latin Music Awards. The ceremony, rescheduled from April, is set to air live on Telemundo at 8 p.m. ET from the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. Out of caution, Billboard and NBCUniversal have constructed five separate stages. Everyone involved with the show is subject to routine temperature checks and testing. Venezuelan actress Gaby Espino, star of Jugar con Fuego (“Playing with Fire”) will host, with Nastassja Bolivar from “Latinx Now!” offering behind-the-scenes coverage. Bad Bunny and Ozuna lead the pack with 14 nominations each.
Tropical Storm Epsilon could become a hurricane near Bermuda
Tropical Storm Epsilon, now spinning hundreds of miles out in the Atlantic Ocean, could be at or near hurricane strength when it approaches Bermuda later this week. Gale or tropical storm winds could begin late Wednesday night into Thursday, according to the Bermuda Weather Service. Although it’s still too early to tell what the storm’s track and intensity will be, the National Hurricane Center said there is a risk of direct impacts from wind, rainfall and storm surge. Epsilon is the 26th named storm of the extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.
U.S. Army officials announced Tuesday that Vanessa Guillén, the 20-year-old Fort Hood soldier who went missing in April, died “in the line of duty.”
“The Army conducts a line of duty determination for all Soldier deaths,” Fort Hood officials said in a statement.
The line-of-duty determination means that Guillén’s family will receive Army benefits, such as compensation for expenses, the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance, allowances and a funeral with full military honors.
Guillén was last seen April 22 at the base near Killeen, Texas, and her remains were found three months later. Army officials identified 20-year-old Spc. Aaron David Robinson of Illinois as a suspect in her disappearance and killing.
Robinson ran from his post after reports that partial human remains had been found near the Leon River in Bell County, officials said. He later shot himself when police tried to arrest him.
U.S. Department of Justice officials also identified Cecily Anne Aguilar, a 22-year-old Killeen resident, as a second suspect. Aguilar, Robinson’s girlfriend, was arrested on federal charges of tampering with evidence. She pleaded not guilty in July and is scheduled to make her next court appearance on Nov. 30.
If convicted, Aguilar could face up to 20 years in prison with a maximum fine of $250,000.
Contributing: Heather Osbourne and Kelsey Bradshaw, Austin (Texas) American-Statesman; Wyatte Grantham-Philips; USA TODAY.
A uniformed police officer who was photographed wearing a “Trump 2020” mask at a Florida early voting site could face suspension.
Miami-Dade County Democratic Chairman Steve Simeonidis said a photo of the armed officer in the mask was “city funded voter intimidation” in a Tuesday tweet. About an hour later, the Miami Police Department condemned the behavior and promised to address the situation.
The officer, photographed while in line to vote, violated department and polling place policy by promoting a political candidate, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said at a Tuesday press conference. The situation would have been “much more serious” had the officer not been voting, Suarez said.
“There were people claiming it was voter intimidation,” Suarez said. “Officers have a responsibility … to protect our residents and they have to do that in an impartial manner and they can’t be making political statements or making political stances while they are wearing a uniform.”
Suarez said officers are allowed to vote while in uniform. It’s unknown if the officer was on duty at the time.
Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina described the officer’s behavior as “unacceptable” and a violation of departmental policy in Tuesday statement. He said the action was being “addressed immediately.”
Tommy Reyes, president of the officer’s union, said in a statement that police officers have free-speech rights under the U.S. Constitution, and state law allows officers to vote in uniform. Reyes also pointed out that the union, Fraternal Order of Police, has endorsed Donald Trump’s reelection bid at the national level.
And the Los Angeles Dodgers, rollicked, laughed and danced all night, routing the Tampa Bay Rays, 8-3, in Game 1 of the World Series in front of a subdued, and social-distancing crowd of 11,388 at Globe Life Field.
It was the smallest crowd at a World Series game since Game 6 of the 1909 World Series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers, with Honus Wagner and Ty Cobb as the featured stars.
It may have not sounded like the usual 56,000 screaming fans at Dodger Stadium, but with their all-round performance this night, you could almost hear them all the way from Los Angeles, believing this is finally the year their World Series drought ends.
Can they possibly be beat?
“If we play at our best, no,’’ Kershaw flatly said. “I think we are the best team. I think our clubhouse believes that.
“There’s going to be certain times we get beat, but as a collective group, if everybody is doing and playing like it’s supposed to, I don’t know how that can happen.’’
Certainly, if Kershaw pitches like he did Tuesday, conquering his October demons by yielding two hits and striking out eight in six innings, who can blame him for already dreaming of the Dodgers’ first World Series title since 1988.
“It’s hard,’’ Kershaw said, “not to think about what that might feel like. This is a great opportunity.’’
Kershaw, the greatest pitcher of his generation with three Cy Young awards and a career 2.43 ERA, has had his future Hall of Fame career scarred only by the ordinariness of his postseason. He had made 35 postseason appearances in his career, including 28 starts, but was just 11-12 with a 4.31 ERA, and a 5.40 ERA in five World Series appearances.
Then, along came this night. His slider, which had abandoned him in the biggest moments, was back. His fastball had life. His curveball was breaking. The Rays swung and missed 19 times against him, with the 50% strikeout rate the highest in any start of his career. The last 18 batters he faced, he retired 17 of them, with only Kevin Kiermaier’s solo homer the only blemish. He joined Justin Verlander as the only pitchers in postseason history to strike out 200 batters.
Funny how pitching for the most talented team in baseball — only the fourth in the divisional era to have three former MVPs on a World Series team — can relax a pitcher. He no longer has the burden of having to carry the entire team.
Simply, he can just go back to being himself, and watch his teammates work their magic, with the Dodgers becoming only the second team to score eight or more runs against the Ray since Aug. 14.
“When you’re on a great team,’’ Kershaw said, “it makes it easier to have success.’’
The gift that keeps on giving for the Dodgers continued to put on a show. Betts, acquired in February in a heist from the Red Sox, became the first player to homer, steal two bases and score two runs in a World Series game. He joined Babe Ruth as the only players in World Series history to steal two bases and draw a walk in the same inning.
Betts, who signed a 12-year, $365 million extension before opening day in July, was so spectacular that his teammates had trouble even identifying their favorite moment. Was it his opposite-field homer? His steal of third base? His steal of second base? His break to home on a ground ball to score a run?
“I like winning,’’ Betts said. “We’re here to win, man. You can tell.”
Bellinger, who told the doctors he wasn’t interested in a brace, let alone even tape, forgot all about his sore shoulder and let it rip in the fourth inning, hitting Rays starter Tyler Glasnow’s 98-mph fastball into the right-field seats.
When he crossed home plate, he pointed towards his shoulder, reminding his teammates he had to tame down the celebration. So, he played footsies, tapping his foot with each of his teammates, keeping his shoulder to his side, and laughing along the way.
“The toe tap, I think I’ll continue to do that,’’ Bellinger said, “maybe my whole career, who knows?”
Maybe it will become the next fad in baseball, with the B&B Boys (Bellinger and Betts) resurrecting memories of some of the greatest MVP tandems in postseason. They were only the fifth pair of former MVP winners to homer in the same World Series game.
“It’s why we’re all here,’’ Betts said, “and that’s to win a World Series.’’
The Dodgers certainly made that statement Tuesday — loud and clear.
Law enforcement and election officials are investigating threatening emails sent to voters in multiple Florida counties pressuring them to vote for President Donald Trump and claiming to be from a far-right group with a history of violent confrontations.
The emails, which appeared to be sent from “email@example.com,” said the group had obtained contact information about the voter and threatened to “come after” the person if they don’t vote for Trump
“No, it wasn’t us. The people (who sent the emails) used a spoofing email that pretended to be us,” Enrique Tarrio, international chairman of the Proud Boys, told USA TODAY. “Whoever did this should be in prison for a long time.”
Email spoofing is a technique commonly used by scammers to fool victims by making them believe the email comes from a source other than the scammer.
Tarrio said the emails in this case showed signs they were spoofed and said he is working with law enforcement to address the issue. “It is voter intimidation, no matter if it came from us or it didn’t — which it didn’t.”
“Hi (name) We are in possession of all your information You are currently registered as a Democrat and we know this because we have gained access into the entire voting infrastructure. You will vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you. Change your party affiliation to Republican to let us know you received our message and will comply. We will know which candidate you voted for. I would take this seriously if I were you. (Voter’s address)”
Election officials said Tuesday they’d heard of dozens of the emails, but were unsure of whether they were solely sent to registered Democrats.
Donald Schwinn, 85, a snowbird registered to vote in Melbourne Beach, received one, telling FLORIDA TODAY, part of the USA TODAY Network, that “they’re trying to scare people into voting for Trump.”
Local officials were scrambling to get on top of the situation on Tuesday.
Kimberly Boelzner, spokesperson for Brevard Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott, said their office had received several reports of such emails and were awaiting guidance from the state division of elections.
“We’re advising voters to report it to local law enforcement,” she said.
By 6 p.m., Boelzner said her office had received about a dozen emails and a dozen calls about the matter. Scott has been in touch with the FBI and other authorities, she said.
Stacey Patel, chair of the Brevard Democrats, said she received at least five such emails from voters Tuesday and had notified the elections supervisor’s office.
“We’ve not seen this kind of voter intimidation in the past and it’s obviously really troubling,” she said. In a follow-up text, she said she advises recipients of the email to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI and the Florida Democratic Party Voter Protection team at 1-833-VOTE-FLA.
The end of the 2020 presidential campaign is near. With just two weeks until Election Day, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are making final appeals to voters key to winning what has been a contentious contest.
Trump holds a rally Tuesday in Erie, Pennsylvania, as both he and Biden fight for the Keystone State. The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Pennsylvania absentee ballots can be received up to three days after Election Day.
We will update this article throughout the day. You can follow all of USA TODAY’s politics reporters on Twitter or subscribe to our daily On Politics newsletter.
Trump: ‘I wasn’t coming to Erie’ without COVID-19
President Donald Trump told a rally crowd in battleground Pennsylvania on Tuesday that he wouldn’t have to campaign so much for reelection were it not for the coronavirus pandemic.
“Before the plague came in, I had it made. I wasn’t coming to Erie. I mean, I have to be honest: There’s no way I was coming….I would have called you and said, ‘Hey, Erie, you know, if you have a chance get out and vote,’” Trump said to laughter from the audience.
“We had this thing won,” Trump asserted about the election, “and then we got hit with the plague and I had to go back to work. ‘Hello, Erie, may I please have your vote?’”
Trump joked about the cold weather and spent less time on stage than usual, just about an hour. He’s made similar remarks about the weather as he has stepped up his schedule considerably in recent days, telling a rally audience in Wisconsin this weekend that he wasn’t speaking on a “freezing night with 45 degree winds” because it was fun.
“What do you think?” he asked. “Think I’m doing this for my health?”
Polls show Trump is running slightly behind in battleground states such as Pennsylvania. Nationally, 58% of voters disapprove of how Trump has handled the virus, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll earlier this month, a figure that has been essentially unchanged since the summer.
Even if the virus had not struck the U.S. as hard as it has and raised questions about his administration’s response, Trump almost certainly would have campaigned in Pennsylvania. He held one of his first rallies there after becoming president in 2017 and held at least four political events in the state in 2018.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will vote on Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court on Monday, likely allowing Barrett to take her place as the ninth justice just days before Election Day.
The Kentucky Republican outlined a schedule at his weekly news conference Tuesday that would mean the Senate would remain in session this weekend to debate her confirmation before voting on Monday.
“We’ll be voting to confirm justice to-be Barrett next Monday,” McConnell said. “And I think that will be another signature accomplishment in our effort to put on the courts, the federal courts, men and women who believe in a quaint notion that maybe the job of a judge is to actually follow the law.”
Barrett has sailed through the confirmation process. After four days of hearings and hours of questioning by senators last week, a vote on her nomination is set to be taken up by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. The hearings were largely without controversy or drama, allowing Barrett to retain enough Republican support that is likely to lead to her confirmation.
McConnell plans to take up her confirmation on Friday, setting up two days of debate over the weekend and a final vote by the chamber on Monday – eight days before the election.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seemed to back away from a Tuesday deadline to reach a deal on a COVID-19 stimulus plan before the election.
Pelosi said in an interview with Bloomberg her Tuesday ultimatum was not actually a deadline to have a deal but in fact “the day where we would have our terms on the table, to be able to go to the next step.”
Asked how a bill could come together, Pelosi left open the possibility a bill might not be passed until after the election, saying “we could still continue the negotiations. It might not be finished by Election Day.”
Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill said Monday the speaker hoped she would “have clarity on whether we will be able to pass a bill before the election” by the end of Tuesday.
The bill reauthorizes another round of the small business loans but is likely to be blocked by Democrats, who have opposed standalone relief bills.
Meanwhile, Congress and the White House face a Tuesday deadline to reach a deal before the election. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi set the deadline for both sides to reach a deal to restore urgently needed benefits before Nov. 3.
President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Attorney General William Barr should “appoint somebody” to investigate immediately Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
“We’ve gotta get the attorney general to act,” Trump said during an interview on “Fox & Friends.” “He’s gotta act. And he’s gotta act fast.”
The comments echo the president’s past demands that Barr take action against members of the Barack Obama administration – including the former vice president – for investigating the Trump campaign team over Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.
This time, Trump wants an investigation into a laptop computer and alleged emails regarding Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and China. Trump and his supporters claim the emails show Joe Biden’s involvement in his son’s business affairs, but there is no evidence of a direct connection.
There is also concern about the origins of the emails and the laptop that was provided to the New York Post by Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer who has been conducting his own investigation of the Bidens.
Federal authorities are investigating whether the material may be tied to a Russian disinformation aimed at undercutting the Democratic nominee, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Biden backers said Trump is trying to use the investigative powers of the federal government to dump dirt right before Election Day.
“With the election 14 days away we wake up to trump shouting for bill barr to arrest his political opponent’s family,” tweeted Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., D-N.J.
A Shelby County, Tennessee, poll worker was fired Friday after election officials learned that he had turned away voters who were wearing masks and T-shirts that said Black Lives Matter.
“What he did was patently wrong, and he was fired,” said Suzanne Thompson, spokeswoman for the Shelby County Election Commission.
State law prohibits people from wearing items with the name of a political party or candidate currently on the ballot while in a polling place, but statements like “Black Lives Matter” or “I Can’t Breathe” are not violations of that law.
A manager of operations went to the Dave Wells Community Center in Memphis during early voting and fired the worker on the spot after confirming the reports, Thompson said.
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said Monday that recently published emails purporting to document the business dealings of Hunter Biden are not connected to a Russian disinformation effort, even as federal authorities continued to review whether the material was part of such a campaign.
Ratcliffe, in an interview with Fox Business, did not elaborate on the basis of his conclusion, though he acknowledged knowing “little” about the material published by the New York Post.
The FBI, according to a person familiar with the matter, has been investigating at least in part whether the material, allegedly drawn from a laptop owned by Biden and provided to the newspaper by Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, may be tied to a Russian influence operation aimed at undercutting Biden’s father and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
And the Los Angeles Dodgers, rollicked, laughed and danced all night, routing the Tampa Bay Rays, 8-3, in Game 1 of the World Series in front of a subdued, and social-distancing crowd of 11,388 at Globe Life Field.
It was the smallest crowd at a World Series game — highest of this “bubble” postseason — since Game 6 of the 1909 World Series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers, with Honus Wagner and Ty Cobb as the featured stars.
Kershaw, whose Hall of Fame resume is scarred only by his October demons, conquered them in fashion, completely overwhelming the Rays. He permitted two hits and a run with eight strikeouts in six innings.
The Rays were helpless against him. Kershaw, with his slider biting as well as it ever has in his career, retired 17 of the last 18 batters he faced. The Rays swung and missed 19 times against him, with the 50% strikeout rate the highest in any start of his career.
Betts, the gift that keeps on giving from the Boston Red Sox, brought back bitter, painful memories of trading away Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees.
Betts, acquired in February in a trade from the Red Sox, became the first player to ever hit a homer, steal two bases and score two runs in a World Series game. He joined Ruth as the only players in World Series history to steal two bases and draw a walk in the same inning.
“We’re here to win, man,” Betts said. “You can tell. You can tell.”
Bellinger, who told the doctors he wasn’t interested in a brace, let alone even tape, stepped up to the plate and in the fourth inning and calmly ripped Tyler Glasnow’s 98-mph fastball into the right-field seats. Bellinger pointed to the Dodgers’ fans in the stands, waved to his parents, and when he crossed home plate, reminded his teammates about his shoulder.
Yet, even with all of the heroes on stage, this night belonged to Kershaw, putting on his most dominant postseason performance of his career, in front of his friends and family near his hometown of Dallas.
Kershaw, the greatest pitcher of his generation with his three Cy Young awards and career 2.43 ERA, has been relegated to almost ordinariness in the postseason. He had made 35 postseason appearances, and 28 starts, but was just 11-12 with a 4.31 ERA, and a gruesome 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA in five World Series appearances.
And then, along came this night, the 11th Game 1 postseason start of his career, and his first Series opener since the 2018 World Series. He had been just 4-5 with a 5.86 ERA in the previous nine starts, with the Dodgers losing three of his last four starts in 2017 and 2018.
“Winning the World Series is going to be special,’’ Kershaw said before the game. “I was throwing simulated games in May, June, July, wondering if we were even going to be playing. Is this going to be a wasted year?
“To be able to win a World Series after all this would be just as special as any other one for sure.”
For the second time in three years, Mookie Betts has won free tacos for America.
Taco Bell’s annual “Steal a Base, Steal a Taco” promotion has been a great success through the years, setting Twitter ablaze anticipating the first stolen base of the World Series – which earns everyone a free Doritos Locos taco.
The Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder stole second base in the fifth inning of Game 1 against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, two years after his steal in the 2018 World Series triggered the freebie. Betts was then a member of the Boston Red Sox, facing the Dodgers.
An inning earlier, fans – and the announcers – thought the tacos were in the bag when the Dodgers’ Chris Taylor slid safely ahead of a tag into second base. However, it was deemed a wild pitch rather than a stolen base.
Betts would go on to swipe third base in the inning as the lead runner in a double steal with Corey Seager. With that, the Dodgers became the first team to steal three bases in an inning of a World Series game since 1912.
The free tacos will be available in restaurants on Oct. 28.