That’s all we have for you today everyone but I’ll be back bright and early tomorrow morning with another US election blog.
In case you missed our live streams from the Trump and Biden campaigns today here is a video from each:
Rick Perry was worried. It was Wednesday morning, exactly one week until the US election, and the former Texas governor had just learnt that billionaire Mike Bloomberg was about to pump millions of dollars into Joe Biden’s ambitious bid to win Texas.
Bloomberg’s advertising blitz was announced shortly after word had spread that Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris would be touring suburbs across Houston, Fort Worth and McAllen today, to shore up more support from voters.
It was yet another sign that the Republican stronghold of Texas – home of cowboy conservatism, big oil, and George W Bush – could be at risk. Perry, who used to also be Donald Trump’s energy secretary, fired off an immediate warning to GOP supporters in the Lone Star state.
“Texas is and always will be the last line of defence for Republicans and the stakes could not be higher,” he wrote this week. “We must stop them.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called on all three Supreme Court judges appointed by President Donald Trump to recuse themselves from election cases while Trump is reportedly planning to host post-election campaign rallies if the result is disputed.
The Huffington Post published an interview with Pelosi on Saturday AEDT in which the speaker called on all three judges to recuse themselves following a court decision this week to ban Wisconsin from counting mail-in votes that arrive after election day.
New associate justice Amy Coney-Barrett didn’t sit on the Wisconsin case due to not being across the full case and it needing a speedy resolution.
“I don’t trust the Supreme Court one bit,” Pelosi told Huffington Post.
“Even the court cases they have decided in our favour, they said they will revisit, and it’s just appalling.”
The Trump campaign is also reportedly preparing to continue campaigning after the election should the result be disputed.
Politico reported the Trump campaign has told some of its surrogates, who appear on behalf of Trump, to keep their schedules flexible in case they are needed.
“Don’t miscount the fact that Trump will continue to do rallies while they’re still counting votes,” one adviser to the Trump campaign told Politico.
“There’s been discussions about travel opportunities for Trump and his family if we don’t have a result on election day, but nothing definitive on where he would go or how many people we would deploy,” one campaign aide said.
“If we still don’t have results in Michigan and North Carolina or Pennsylvania and Nevada on November 4, he might hit those states individually.”
McAllen, Texas: Texas’ surprising status as a battleground came into clearer focus on Friday as Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris devoted one of the race’s final days to campaigning across America’s largest red state and early voter turnout zoomed past 9 million — already more than the total number of ballots cast during the entire 2016 election.
Harris visited three cities, including McAllen in the Rio Grande Valley along the Mexican border, which has been ravaged this summer by the coronavirus. By showing up closer to Election Day than anyone on a Democratic presidential ticket has in years, the California senator in some ways fulfilled weeks of pleas by Texas Democrats for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign to take their chances here more seriously.
“Texas has been turning it out,” Harris told a McAllen drive-in rally. "You’ve been standing in line. You’ve been organising. You’ve been making a huge difference.”
But Biden himself hasn’t come to Texas, and the campaign has made relatively little investment in advertising and staff.
Texas’ heavily Latino border routinely ranks among the nation’s lowest in turnout, meanwhile, and although early voting numbers were up sharply, residents here haven’t stampeded to the polls like voters have elsewhere.
Texas is approaching 18,000 confirmed deaths from COVID-19. Nearly 1 in 5 are occurring in the Rio Grande Valley, which in recent months became so overwhelmed that one hospital transferred coronavirus patients hundreds of miles away by helicopter almost daily. The virus is now even raging hundreds of miles west along the border, in El Paso. There, officials on Thursday ordered a two-week shutdown of non-essential activities — though not polling places.
Harris’ Rio Grande Valley rally also was not far from where top Trump administration officials a day earlier announced they had completely nearly 400 miles (643 kilometres) of border wall — a late attempt to show progress on perhaps the president’s best-known campaign promise four years ago. The area is the border’s economic engine, with a population about 90 per cent Mexican American and represents one of Texas’ youngest and fastest-growing areas.
Texas’ early votes exceeded the 8.9-plus million overall votes four years ago by Friday morning, according to an Associated Press tally. This year’s numbers were aided by Democratic activists challenging in court for, and winning, the right to extend early voting by one week amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Hawaii also surpassed its 2016 voter turnout according to the AP tally, while Georgia and Washington state were also closing in.
Voters statewide don’t register by party affiliation. Turnout has also been inflated by Texas’ booming population. More than 16.9 million people are registered to vote in 2020, 1.8 million more than 2016′s about 15.1-plus million. The number of early votes so far accounts for only about 53 per cent of statewide registered voters.
Still, the fact that the state exceeded its entire vote total for the past presidential cycle hours before the early voting period ended Friday evening — and prior to millions more likely being cast on Election Day — hints at a potential electoral sea change, Democrats say.
For the party, anything different is likely positive. The party hasn’t won a state office in Texas since 1994 — the nation’s longest political losing streak. It now believes it has a chance to seize control of the state House, flip as many as six congressional seats and a Senate seat.
President Donald Trump carried Texas against Hillary Clinton in 2016 by 9 points, but that was the smallest margin of Republican presidential victory since 1996.
This is quite the graph shared by Centre for Global Development economist Justin Sandefur is predicting President Donald Trump could hold a 16-point lead in Pennsylvania by the end of election night but still lose the state if and when all the mail-in votes are counted.
He’s also predicting there will be ‘insane’ pressure from Republicans to shut down the count as soon as possible whether all mail-in votes have been counted or not.
The graph is from presidential forecasts by respected website fivethirtyeight.com
Miami, Florida: US President Donald Trump will end the US election campaign with 13 rallies packed into three days as America braces itself for potentially violent unrest in the case of a close and contested result on November 3.
Businesses in some of America’s biggest cities – including Washington D.C, New York and Chicago – are boarding up their shopfronts in anticipation of potential damage on election day.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden has also increased his travel schedule and will campaign alongside former president Barack Obama and music icon Stevie Wonder in Detroit an effort to drive up turnout from the Democratic base.
Trump’s sprint to the finish line includes rallies across seven battleground states, with the pivotal state of Pennsylvania receiving the most visits.
On Monday (AEDT) Trump will hold rallies in five different states: Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida, with the final rally scheduled for just before midnight local time.
Bruce Springsteen has been America’s great chronicler, the singer songwriter more than any other who has charted his country’s ups and downs.
So what does he do, at 71, on the eve of one of the most consequential elections in US history? Return to the studio of course.
His new album, Letter to You, is accompanied by a doco of the same name that is streaming on Apple+.
David Leser has written a beautiful piece about his late life love of The Boss, about the way his life and songs have been entwined with American history, and about how a one hour one-on-one interview with Springsteen turned into a group Zoom with about 16 journalists.
A really beautiful part story part essay that is timed to run only days before the US election.
Former vice-president Joe Biden has hit back at President Donald Trump’s claims that US doctors are deliberately misdiagnosing deaths as COVID-19 because ‘they get paid more’ to do it.
Trump has made the baseless claim for several days and cited no evidence to back it up, he repeated it on Saturday AEDT during campaign stops in the midwest.
Biden responded to it while speaking in Milwaukee, Wisconsin later on Saturday AEDT.
"Our doctors are putting their lives on the line, busting their necks,” Biden said in part.
"He said they’re making up deaths from COVID-19 because they get more money – my lord.”
Former vice-president Joe Biden will have a little extra help Saturday, local time, when he tries to get Michigan voters to sign, seal and deliver their ballots — from R&B icon Stevie Wonder.
Wonder will perform at Biden’s drive-in rally in Detroit, where the Democrat is slated to appear alongside former President Barack Obama as part of a two-event day to get out the vote in Michigan.
Earlier on Saturday, Biden and Obama will campaign in Flint. The trip will mark their first day campaigning together of the campaign.
Wonder is a perennial performer at Democratic campaign functions — he performed at a number of Obama events in 2008 and 2012, including the 2008 Democratic Convention, and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” became an anthem of sorts for the Obama campaign that year.
He also performed for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
CHICAGO: More than 92,000 coronavirus infections were reported across the United States on Friday, setting the single-day record for cases as the nation’s outbreak spiralled further out of control.
The previous record had been set only a day earlier, providing a sense of how quickly the current surge is mounting.
"The cases continue to increase, the hospitalizations continue to increase, and the deaths continue to increase,” said Dr Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, as more than 8000 new cases, a record, were announced statewide Friday and as the governor imposed business restrictions in more counties.
The national case total, which was certain to grow through the evening as more states and counties reported data, was but one sign of the country’s extraordinarily bleak outlook.
Through Thursday, 24 states had reported more cases in the previous week than in any other seven-day stretch. At least 12 states set single-day case records Friday. And deaths, though still far below their spring peak, have started to rise again, now exceeding 800 a day on average.
"The virus is raging throughout the state, and there is no place to hide,” Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio said this week. Nearly 20,000 cases have been identified in Ohio since last Friday, a stretch that includes the state’s four worst daily totals of the pandemic.
With cases rising in 42 states and relatively flat in the other eight, an uptick that started weeks ago in the Upper Midwest and the Rocky Mountains has now reached every region.
Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin continue to report new infections at the highest rates in the country, with none of them showing real signs of improvement. But Alaska, Kentucky, New Mexico, Tennessee and West Virginia are among those now also struggling.
"Remember,” Governor Andy Beshear of Kentucky said Friday, "the more cases, the more people in the hospital, the more people in the ICU, and the more people who die.”
The New York Times