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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

The campaign heated up on Saturday with multiple events scheduled for both the Trump and Biden campaign, as Election Day draws closer with just 10 days left. 

Mr Trump started his day by voting early in West Palm Beach, Florida. After he voted, the president claimed going to the polls was “much more secure” than mail-in voting. He’s used this rhetoric in the last couple of months to discourage Americans from choosing mail-in voting over going to the polls in person amid the coronavirus pandemic, claiming the method encourages fraud. 

Then Mr Trump stopped in the battleground state of North Carolina for an afternoon rally in Lumberton. During the rally, the president claimed he won the last presidential debate by 91 per cent to 9 per cent without citing a specific pollster. Polls by CNN, Politico, and YouGov all have Democratic challenger Joe Biden as the winner of the debate. 

After North Carolina, Mr Trump continued his tour of battleground states by stopping in Circleville, Ohio. He is scheduled to also speak in Wisconsin later this evening. 

All three of these states are currently hotspot locations for the coronavirus with cases and hospitalisations increasing. 

On Friday, the US hit the grim milestone of the most new coronavirus cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic. Mr Trump belittled the milestone by claiming both at his rallies and in tweets that only cases were increasing, but hospitalisations are also on the rise in at least 33 states. Experts warn the mortality rate could soon follow. 

Mr Biden was also on the campaign trail in Pennsylvania on Saturday. He held two rallies, and they involved him accusing the president of lying about the severity of the novel virus. 

The former vice president’s campaign got an added boost with President Barack Obama campaigning for him in Miami, Florida, and singer Jon Bon Jovi campaigning for him in Pennsylvania. 

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

Daisy Lester24 October 2020 08:30
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Trump rallies in Florida to win back haemorrhaging senior votes

President Donald Trump has returned to the campaign trail, holding a last-minute rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Trump’s visit to this historically red area came amid his struggle to hold on to older white voters, many of whom have grown uncomfortable with his rhetoric and response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Polling this year has shown an increasing number of elders abandoning Trump. An October NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed 62 per cent were supporting Biden and only 35 per cent the president.

Meanwhile, men 50 years and older moved to a one point advantage for Biden, compared to a 13 point advantage for Trump before the first presidential debate.

In 2016, Trump won the senior vote by seven points so even a slight drop in support among this cornerstone of his base, could have a huge impact on the outcome of the election.

Donald Trump holding a campaign rally at The Villages Polo Club in The Villages, Florida
Donald Trump holding a campaign rally at The Villages Polo Club in The Villages, Florida (Reuters)
Daisy Lester24 October 2020 09:38
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America on set for the highest election turnout since 1908

More than 52 million Americans have already cast their early voting ballots, according to the US Elections Project.

With 150 million ballots predicted to be cast, 65 per cent of eligible voters may be represented by 3 November.

Daisy Lester24 October 2020 09:50
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Which states will decide the election?

Battleground states, including Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, Nevada and Arizona, will decide the US presidential election, as Hilary Clinton found out in 2016 with many marginal losses.

Due to the electoral college system in America, votes in these states are critical.  A total of 538 electoral college votes are up for grabs, meaning a candidate needs 270 to win.

Polling shows Joe Biden has a lead in all battleground states, only trailing behind Trump in Florida and tied in Iowa.

The polls suggest Biden has big leads in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all industrial states that Trump captured by margins of less than 1 per cent in 2016.

In Pennsylvania, Biden leads with 51 per cent while Trump trails with 44 per cent. In Wisconsin, Biden is leading with 55 per cent and Trump is at 43 per cent.

In Iowa however, the nominees are tied in polling, in a Democrat leaning state that voted Trump in 2016 but Obama in 2012.

Daisy Lester24 October 2020 10:10
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Who actually won the Presidential debate?

Did either candidate come out on top after Thursday’s debate? Although a much more reserved affair, the nominees still clashed over topics including climate change, racism and coronavirus.

According to John Bennett, Washington Bureau Chief: “Joe Biden came out swinging tonight and Donald Trump never recovered.”

“The former vice president made a strong case that over 222,000 Americans have died from coronavirus, in large part, because of the Trump administration's response to the deadly disease.”

Who won the presidential debate?

Deciding who won the final 2020 election debate

Daisy Lester24 October 2020 10:30
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Trump and Biden clash over the industrial states 

Although roughly 1.3 million mail-in votes have already been cast in Pennsylvania, Trump hoped Joe Biden’s comment about the US achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions would damage his prospects in the industrial state.

During a section about climate change in Thursday’s debate, Biden said he “would transition away from the oil industry.”

Trump immediately jumped on the comment, “Basically, what he is saying is he is going to destroy the oil industry," Trump said. "Will you remember that, Texas? Will you remember that, Pennsylvania? Oklahoma? Ohio?"

In a Quinnipiac University Poll released on Thursday, the former vice president was seen to have a 10 point advantage over Trump.

With Biden’s strong lead in the state and a recent Pew Research Centre survey finding 79 per cent of respondents believed the US should prioritise alternative energy sources, it remains to be seen whether Biden’s comment is the gaff Trump’s team are portraying.  

APTOPIX Election 2020 Debate
APTOPIX Election 2020 Debate (2020 Getty Images)
Daisy Lester24 October 2020 10:50
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How soon will we know the results of the US election?

Though many factors make the upcoming election an unusual one – including an incumbent who has said he may not accept the results – it has become apparent that the election outcome may not be known for some time.

This year, an unprecedented number of Americans will cast their ballot via a postal vote due to covid concerns. This means many will be counted after the election deadline while socially distanced in-person voting and longer queues will slow down the counting process.

In three of the vital swing states, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, the counting of in-mail ballots is not permitted to begin until the day of the election.

When will the world know who wins the US election?

When we can expect 2020 election results and how to tell who has won

Daisy Lester24 October 2020 11:10
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Why women could decide the election

Trump has repeatedly begged suburban women to “please like me”, but it appears his plea is falling upon deaf ears.

In CNN national polling data, Biden is up by 25 points among female voters – the largest lead a candidate has ever had among women voters in the polling era.

On 17 October, Trump again pleaded with women, imploring in Michigan, “I saved your suburbs – women – suburban women, you’re supposed to love Trump.”

At rallies, Trump continues to claim his support among suburban women is far greater than polls suggest.

Meanwhile, polling by the New York Times showed Biden leading by 23 points with suburban women, regardless of race, in the battleground states.

Trump begs suburban women to ‘like me’ in plea at rally

At Pennsylvania rally, Trump predicts his support among suburban women is greater than polls suggest - as happened in 2016

Daisy Lester24 October 2020 11:30
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The polls after the final presidential debate

If who won the presidential debate is decided in polls, then Biden debated to a clear win on Thursday night in Nashville.

According to a CNN instant poll of debate watchers, 53 per cent said Biden won while 39 per cent claimed Trump came out on top.

Meanwhile, 73 per cent of watchers said Biden’s criticisms of Trump were fair.

In the first debate, Trump’s constant interruptions of the former vice president lost him support in subsequent opinion polls.

Coronavirus, the topic that polls suggest Americans care about the most, dominated much of the debate with Trump claiming a vaccine would be ready in “weeks” and Biden pointing out that 200,000 Americans have died of covid under the incumbent administration.

With Trump trailing in the polls, commentators signalled that the President needed a strong political moment during the debate to upend the race – a moment that failed to happen.

The final presidential debate didn’t go well for Trump — and it looks like he knows it

As Biden pointed out, the president seemed confused about who he was actually supposed to be debating

Daisy Lester24 October 2020 11:50
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Why Trump could still win the election

Though the events of 2016 have increased scepticism around polling, current projections by The New York Times cast Biden as a likely winner even if the state polls are as wrong as they turned out to be in 2016.

If current polling is correct – though not thought likely – Biden would win 357 electoral votes and a clear path to the White House.

Meanwhile, Nate Silver's Fivethirtyeight.com blog currently holds Biden with a 87 per cent chance of winning, while Decision Desk HQ puts him at 83.5 per cent.

However, pollsters admit they got it wrong in 2016, and vastly underestimated the small pockets of voters that turned out for Trump, including a number of white, non-college-educated voters.

Though important swing states such as Michigan and Wisconsin are seemingly safe for Biden, Trump may still win narrow margins in states such as Florida and gain enough electoral votes for a small win.

Polling guru Nate Silver gave a moderate warning, claiming while his model gives Trump a 12 per cent chance of victory, “12 per cent is not nothing.”

Daisy Lester24 October 2020 12:10

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