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2020 election polls: Biden smashes ad spend record as GOP pollster says ‘impossible’ for Trump to be re-elected after debate

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Pence dodges questions on coronavirus during 60 Minutes interview

Joe Biden came away from the second and last presidential debate with a dominant lead in snap polling, which showed him with a double-digit advantage over Donald Trump.

Despite the Republican president’s more reserved approach to Thursday night’s clash in Nashville - which was far less chaotic and acrimonious than their previous encounter in Cleveland on 29 September - Mr Trump still came under attack on issues such as the coronavirus, race and climate change.  

Veteran GOP pollster Frank Luntz said that Trump may have won the battle of the last debate, but Biden has won the war. He says it's "impossible" for the president turning around voter sentiment this late in the election cycle.

Trump is also up against a campaign that has broken all records for its spend on television and digital advertising in a presidential election, with still more than a week to go before polls close

Despite promising to dig into his own war chest to make up the campaign funding shortfall, Trump is yet to donate his own cash to the last stage of the campaign.

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Hello and welcome to The Independent’s rolling coverage of the latest 2020 election polling. 

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Obama calls on Americans to 'vote like never before and leave no doubt’

Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States, gave a rousing speech in support of his former deputy Joe Biden in Philadelphia on Wednesday, tearing into Donald Trump for “fraying the fabric of society”, for his disastrous response to the coronavirus pandemic, for having no vision for the country, for his Chinese bank account and for pushing bogus conspiracy theories on social media.

Obama also used his platform at yesterday’s socially distanced drive-in rally to encourage a high voter turnout on 3 November, urging young people in particular to “give this a shot”.

“We cannot be complacent, I don't care about the polls," he said, dismissing Biden’s double-digit lead in most national polls.

“We can’t abandon people who are hurting right now," Obama continued.

"We can’t just imagine a better future, we have to fight for it, we have to outwork the other side, we have to out-hustle the other side. Vote like never before and leave no doubt."

Graeme Massie has more on this.

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Biden closes in on Trump in Texas as candidates tied

While Obama is absolutely right t warn against complacency in response to the polls, they’re certainly worth a peek.

The latest Quinnipiac University survey finds Biden leading by 8 percentage points in Pennsylvania, his home state and a crucial battleground. The Democrat also appears to be making significant gains in Texas, a Republican stronghold, with Quinnipiac placing the two candidates level on 47 percentage points each.

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Biden and Trump to face-off in final debate in Nashville this evening

The candidates are in Tennessee tonight for a second and final Q&A where NBC have the power to mute their microphones to avoid the ugly bickering and interruptions that derailed their first encounter in Ohio last month.

Trump has been laying the groundwork for excusing his inevitable trouncing by spending the week attacking moderator Kristen Welker, accusing her of bias and saying she is “terrible”.

According to the experts, he faces a no-win situation.

Here’s Graig Graziosi to explain.

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Do presidential debates actually matter?

An interesting question! While there are plenty of undecided voters out there, it’s hard to imagine last month’s argument in which Trump shouted incoherently over an exasperated Biden while Chris Wallace failed to keep order could have helped anyone make up their mind (although it could certainly have put them off politics altogether).

Statista has the answer.

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Can Obama send Biden to White House?

The 44th president was on exceptional form in Philadelphia yesterday but will it be enough to send his former deputy to the Oval Office? Is he just preaching to the converted?

Alex Woodward reads the room.

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Iran and Russia using stolen data to target voters with threatening emails as part of election interference, FBI says

Trump’s director of national intelligence John Ratcliffe and FBI director Christopher Wray held a late press conference on Wednesday to accuse the two countries of attempting to sway public opinion ahead of the election, using stolen voter registration details to send intimidating emails.

“They hope they will cause confusion, sow chaos, and undermine your confidence in American democracy,” Ratcliffe said, characterising the interference as an attempt to damange the president’s re-election bid and as “desperate attempts by desperate adversaries”.

According to The Washington Post, the emails were sent by individuals posing as far-right US fringe group the Proud Boys (whom Trump refused to denounce at the aforementioned first debate, you will remember) and told their recepients: “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.”

That would rather undermine Ratcliffe’s claim this was the work of Trump enemies, seeing as their efforts would seemingly benefit him and hurt Biden.

Speaking to MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff was highly sceptical, not least because of the timing of the announcement, which rather echoes the agency’s election-shaking letter to Congress on 28 October 2016 announcing it had reopened an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Ratcliffe is also hardly the most reliable of narrators…

Justin Vallejo has more details.

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Do voters think Donald Trump deserves a second term?

…The short answer to that question, is no. 

According to pollsters Gallup, when voters where asked whether or not the Republican president was worthy of another term in office, 43 per cent said he was - and 56 per cent said he was not. 

The responses proved even more damning for “most members of Congress”, with only 29 per cent of those polled saying they believed lawmakers deserved re-election in less than two weeks time.   

When the same poll was carried-out in January, some 50 per cent of voters said Mr Trump deserved reelection to a second term. 

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Biden ahead in three states Trump won in 2016

In three states that turned for Donald Trump four years ago, at least three currently poll in favour of the Democratic nominee, Joe Biden. 

According to the latest Fox News poll, Mr Biden was 12 points ahead in Michigan (52-40 per cent), 5 points ahead in Pennsylvania (50-45 per cent), and 5 points ahead in  Wisconsin (49-44 per cent).

Mr Trump, meanwhile, has a slim 3 point lead in Ohio (45-48 per cent), which he won by 8 percentage points in 2016. 

The poll, like many others at this stage, point to tight races in a swathe of states that are expected to deliver either candidate the presidency after 3 November. 

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Biden’s transition preparation

If Joe Biden defeats President Donald Trump next month, he'll quickly face a new challenge: standing up a new administration to lead a divided nation through a series of historic crises.

After making Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic a centrepiece of his campaign, Biden will have to show that his team can better handle the public health crisis. 

“This will be one of the most important, most difficult and yes most costly transitions in modern American history," Chris Korge, the Democratic National Committee's finance chair, warned donors in a recent letter obtained by The Associated Press. “There is so much work to do.”

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