Election live updates: Donald Trump says he's not nervous: 'I've been here before'

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President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden are in the home stretch of this presidential campaign with just hours to go before Election Day on Tuesday. Biden, running mate Kamala Harris, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence all target key battleground states Monday. Tuesday’s election will may result in changes in Congress, where Democrats want to regain control of the Republican-led Senate and Democrats hope to expand their advantage in the House. Meanwhile, Americans obliterated early voting records, with 93 million having already cast ballots for the general election. 

Millions of first-time voters are casting their vote in the 2020 election
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Refresh this blog all day for updates as the candidates make their final pushes.

Twitter labels Trump tweet on Pennsylvania voting as misleading 

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President Donald Trump drew another warning label from Twitter after it deemed a tweet about a Supreme Court decision on absentee ballots to possibly be misleading.

Trump had tweeted on election eve that the decision could lead to “rampant” cheating and “violence in the streets. 

Trump has blasted the decision by the court that allows some absentee ballots received after election day to be counted up to three days after the election. 

–John Fritze and Courtney Subramanian

Donald Trump has microphone troubles in Kenosha

President Donald Trump gave his standard stump speech during his fourth stop of the day Monday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, with one notable exception.

Microphone troubles.

Aides had to switch out a faulty mic and Trump frequently complained about the size and quality of the replacement

“I don’t like to pay bills when people do a bad job,” he said before relenting that he would foot the bill because the company is Kenosha-based. “They come from Kenosha so I’m going to pay the bill anyway, what the hell.”

The president appeared irritated by the change in his regular programming as repeatedly complained about it during his remarks.

“Can you actually hear me?” he asked the crowd. “Because it’s the worst microphone I’ve ever used in my life.”

“Don’t pay ’em! Do you hear that, Johnny?” Trump yelled at an aide at one point. “Don’t pay the damn bill, will you please? A piece of garbage, they gave me.”

David Jackson and Courtney Subramanian

Trump ramps it up on Twitter in closing days

President Donald Trump embarked on a whirlwind tour of four states Monday as he made a final argument to supporters on the eve of the election.

But no argument from the president would be complete without a virtual accompaniment on the social media site that brought him to national political prominence in the first place: Twitter.

Trump has ramped up his Twitter presence as he has shuttled between Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida and other battleground states in recent days.

In the week beginning Oct. 19, Trump tweeted an average of 37 times a day, according to a USA TODAY analysis. In the past seven days, by contrast, he has nearly doubled that frequency, to about 64 tweets per day.

As always, some of those tweets have been controversial. On Monday, Trump reiterated criticism of a Supreme Court decision allowing some ballots to be received after Election Day in Pennsylvania. His tweet, which asserted without evidence that the decision could lead to “rampant” cheating and “violence,” triggered a warning label from Twitter.

Most of his tweets have corresponded with his campaign stops and have echoed his stump speech. Trump blasted Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s desire to increase refugee admissions. He posted videos and photos of the large crowds turning out to his last-minute rallies. He touted his recent endorsement from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“If I don’t sound like a typical Washington politician, it’s because I’m NOT a politician,” he tweeted Monday, reprising a line he has been using recently on the campaign trail. “If I don’t always play by the rules of the Washington Establishment, it’s because I was elected to fight for YOU.”

Of course, for Trump, those fights have often played out on Twitter.

As Air Force One touched down in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for Trump’s fourth election eve rally, the president posted his 71st tweet of the day. He still had one more rally, and two-and-a-half hours to go.

John Fritze and Courtney Subramanian 

National Committee of Asian American Republicans endorses Biden

The National Committee of Asian American Republicans, a GOP group that endorsed Trump four years ago, is encouraging its members to vote for Biden.

“It is OK that you voted for Trump in 2016, most conservatives did,” the group said in a press release. “We wanted an outsider to rattle the system. But he is destroying the whole building.”

“We don’t need a smart-pants president who knows everything including the best medicine curing COVID-19, who empowers only his base to run over political opposition,” the group wrote. “We need a president with empathy, integrity, and broadness capable of bringing all sides to the table to find common ground, and work together overcoming serious challenges ahead.”

The group endorsed Jeb Bush in the 2016 primaries and has been historically supportive of Republican candidates.

Asian Americans make up 4% of eligible voters, and are the fastest-growing electorate in the country.

–Savannah Behrmann

Donald Trump says he’s not nervous: ‘I’ve been here before’

President Donald Trump says he’s not nervous about Election Day, despite his underdog status.

“Well, I’ve been here before,” Trump told reporters en route to a campaign rally in Kenosha, WIsc. “I think we’re in a much stronger position than before.”

Trump did say he was “very concerned” about Pennsylvania, and he again criticized the state Supreme Court for allowing election officials in that state to accept mail-in ballots for up to three days after Tuesday.

Having tweeted earlier that the court’s decision is “dangerous” and could “induce violence in the streets, Trump told reporters: “It’s a mistake. It allows cheating.”

Trump also announced a possible addition to his otherwise light schedule for Election Day: He said he would “probably” visit his re-election headquarters in suburban Arlington, Va.

As he prepared for his ninth rally in two days – and he has a tenth later Monday in Grand Rapids, Mich. – Trump said: “It’s been an amazing day, an amazing two days.”

Courtney Subramanian, David Jackson

Former RNC communications director who worked during Trump administration votes for Biden

Former RNC communications director Ryan Mahoney tweeted on Monday that he voted for Biden, showing a picture of his ballot.

“Proud to vote country over party,” he tweeted.

Mahoney served as the communications director for two years during the Trump administration, from 2017 to 2019.

He joins a long list of prominent Republicans who have publicly supported Biden over their party’s incumbent.

Savannah Behrmann

Biden campaigns says ‘no scenario’ for Trump to win race on election night

The Joe Biden campaign Monday pushed back at any attempts of President Donald Trump to prematurely claim victory on election night before all votes are counted and said they “aren’t worried” about Trump’s threat to dispatch lawyers to Pennsylvania.

“Under no scenario will Donald Trump be declared a victor on election night,” Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said during a Zoom press briefing.

Even if Trump sweeps three battleground states in the South – Florida, Georgia and North Carolina – expected to have their results finalized earlier, she said, the president would still be short of 270 electoral votes. He would likely need to win one or even two of three Midwest states, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, that could take several days to count their massive volume of absentee ballots.

“We know those states, in particular, are coming in a little later, but we think we’re going to win those states,” O’Malley Dillon said. “That is our clearest path to victory.”

Michigan and Pennsylvania do not allow the processing of absentee ballots to begin until Election Day, while Michigan started only Monday. O’Malley recalled Pennsylvania wasn’t called for Trump until around 1:30 a.m. in the 2016 election. She said she expects it to “probably be later than that” this year.

“When Donald Trump says that ballots counted after midnight should be invalidated, he’s just making that up,” she said. “Basically there is no historical precedent that any of our elections have ever run and been counted and completely verified on election night.”

Trump has denied a report in Axios that he planned to declare victory if he is ahead in Pennsylvania and enough other states on Election Day, even if the counting of mail-in ballots is ongoing. But he’s said it would be unfair for Pennsylvania and other states to count ballots after Tuesday, as they plan to do.

“As soon as that election’s over, we’re going in with our lawyers,” Trump told reporters Sunday, referring to Pennsylvania.

Bob Bauer, senior adviser for the Biden campaign and former White House counsel for Barack Obama, said they are “fully prepared for any legal hijinks of one kind or another” but “aren’t worried about it.”

More: Democrats led early voting after Trump’s attacks on mail-in ballots. Now Trump needs to dominate Election Day

Biden holds a lead among ballots cast heading into Election Day, both nationally and in battleground states, because of mail-in voting that heavily favored the former vice president.

O’Malley Dillon said Biden has votes from 53% of people who have voted so far in North Carolina, 58% in Wisconsin, and 53% in Arizona, heading into Tuesday. To win those states, she said Trump would need 62% of the in-person Election Day votes cast in North Carolina, 61.5% in Wisconsin and 60% in Arizona.

“It is certainly not impossible,” she said. “But it important to say that we come into Election Day with a significant advantage.”

Joey Garrison

Poll: Biden up 5 in Fla., 4 in Ohio and 11 nationally

The final 2020 election poll from Quinnipiac University finds Democratic nominee Joe Biden with an 11-point advantage nationally over President Donald Trump among likely voters, 50%-39%.

The survey also found Biden with a 47%-42% lead among likely voters in Florida, a state that would almost ensure a Biden victory if the Democratic candidate is able to flip it.

“Florida, Florida, Florida. There is some confidence that the votes will be counted in time to declare a winner Tuesday night. As the hottest summer in years lingers, both sides sweat out a final tally that, if it goes Biden’s way, could make the rest of the vote count all but irrelevant,” said Quinnipiac analyst Tim Malloy.

Quinnipiac had more potential bad news for Trump in Ohio, which no Republican has ever won the White House without, finding Biden up 47%-43% among likely voters in the Buckeye State.

“In a state that’s picked the winner of every presidential race since 1964, Ohio is a close race on the eve of Election Day 2020. Donald Trump easily won the state in 2016, but is losing some ground in the final stretch to Joe Biden,” said Quinnipiac analyst Mary Snow

The polls were conducted from Oct. 28-Nov . The margin of error nationally was 2.5 percentage points; for Florida it was 2.4 points and for Ohio it was 2.6.

William Cummings 

Donald Trump again attacks mail-in voting system in Pennsylvania

President Donald Trump, who has threatened legal action against Pennsylvania’s plans to count mail-in ballots after Election Day, again attacked the idea during his rally Monday in the Keystone State.

“Make sure your governor doesn’t cheat,” Trump told supporters during a rally at Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport, referring to Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor, Tom Wolf.

Wolf and other state officials said Trump is the one trying to cheat by blocking votes from people who want to mail ballots because of concern about the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, citing voter protections in the state constitution, recently ruled that election officials can count mailed ballots that are received in the three days after Election Day on Tuesday.

During his rally at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton airport – part of a four-state tour on Monday – Trump blasted the Pennsylvania high court’s decision as a “very dangerous situation, and I mean, dangerous physically.” His attacks came a day after Trump said he has lawyers poised to take action in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

“As soon as that election’s over, we’re going in with our lawyers,” Trump told reporters before a campaign rally in North Carolina.

Trump, who narrowly won Pennsylvania four years ago, probably has to win the state this week if he is to prevail over Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

In Pennsylvania, and other states, Trump is expected to do well with voters who cast their ballots on Election Day itself; Biden is expected to pick up support as mail-in ballots are counted in the days going forward.

State officials said that’s the reason Trump wants to stop the counting of mail-in votes, and they have lawyers ready to defeat any legal challenge.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Sunday on Twitter that “our elections are over when all the votes are counted.”

Citing previous legal victories over the Republicans, Shapiro tweeted at Trump: “But if your lawyers want to try us, we’d be happy to defeat you in court one more time.”

Courtney Subramanian, David Jackson

Trump, Biden rally voters in election-eve push

President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden traded insults Monday in the final hours of campaigning before Election Day.

Both campaigns find themselves focusing their efforts on key swing states – Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania among them – in the final days of the campaign. The contests could determine the outcome of the presidential election. 

“Tomorrow we can put an end to a presidency that has divided this nation,” Biden told supporters in Cleveland, before heading to several events in Pennsylvania. “Tomorrow we can put an end to a presidency that has failed to protect this nation. Tomorrow we can put an end to a presidency that has fanned the flames of hate across this nation.”

Trump repeated his complaints about Biden, 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, the investigation into Russian interference in that campaign and polls during a rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

“If I didn’t have social media, I wouldn’t be here,” said Trump. “It’s the only way I could defend myself.”

Biden planned to finish the day with a rally in Pittsburgh with Lady Gaga. Trump was headed to Avoca, Pennsylvania; Traverse City, Michigan; Kenosha, Wisconsin; and Grand Rapids, Michigan, before returning to the White House after midnight.

– Bart Jansen

Trump, Biden rally voters on final Monday

President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden traded insults Monday on the second-to-last day of campaigning.

“Tomorrow we can put an end to a presidency that has divided this nation,” Biden told supporters in Cleveland, before heading to several events in Pennsylvania. “Tomorrow we can put an end to a presidency that has failed to protect this nation. Tomorrow we can put an end to a presidency that has fanned the flames of hate across this nation.”

Trump repeated his complaints about Biden, 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, the investigation into Russian interference in that campaign and polls during a rally in Fayetteville, N.C.

“If I didn’t have social media, I wouldn’t be here,” said Trump, who called the Russia probe “fake news.” “It’s the only way I could defend myself.”

Biden planned to finish the day with a rally in Pittsburgh with Lady Gaga. Trump was headed to Avoca, Pa.; Traverse City, Mich.; Kenosha, Wisconsin; and Grand Rapids, Michigan, before returning to the White House after midnight.

–Bart Jansen

Some Pennsylvania counties won’t count mail ballots until after Tuesday

At least five counties in Pennsylvania will not be counting absentee and mail-in ballots on election night and will wait until the next day to do so.

Cumberland County in central Pennsylvania issued a news release saying it plans to start counting the mail-in and absentee ballots at 9 a.m. EST Wednesday. On Election Day, the county will focus on the smooth operation of its polling places.

“Due to available resources and the COVID-19 pandemic, this will allow the county to give equal weight to in-person and mail-in and absentee ballots,” the release states.

– Teresa Boeckel (York Daily Record)

‘I’m not working all night’: Some Pennsylvania counties won’t count mail ballots until after Nov. 3

Trump issues false tweet about the FBI 

President Donald Trump began his last day of campaigning Monday with a false tweet about an FBI investigation into Trump supporters surrounding a Joe Biden campaign bus in Texas.

A caravan of vehicles displaying Trump campaign flags and signs swarmed the Biden bus between San Antonio and Austin on Friday. Democrats on board, who said the Trump vehicles tried to slow down the bus and even run if off the road, contacted authorities.

Retweeting a CNN report about the FBI investigation, Trump said “this story is FALSE.” But that is not true. An FBI spokesperson said the incident was being investigated, and declined to elaborate.

Election 2020: FBI says it’s reviewing Biden bus swarmed by ‘Trump train’ caravan, contrary to Trump tweet

Echoing a tweet he issued Sunday, Trump also said his supporters “did nothing wrong. But the ANTIFA Anarchists, Rioters and Looters, who have caused so much harm and destruction in Democrat run cities, are being seriously looked at!”

There is no evidence that the FBI is investigating “anarchists.”

– David Jackson

Election 2020: These gay voters are backing Trump. Here’s why.

Poll finds Biden with 5-7 point lead in Pennsylvania, depending on turnout

Democratic nominee Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump in the critical state of Pennsylvania heading into Election Day, according to the final Monmouth University poll on the 2020 race in the Keystone State.

In a model reflecting high voter turnout, the survey found Biden leading Trump 51%-44% among likely voters in states. If turnout is low, the model showed Biden ahead 50%-45%.

The silver lining for Trump is that those numbers reflect an improvement for him from a Monmouth poll last month. That poll found Biden ahead among likely Pennsylvania voters 11% and 8% in high and low turnout scenarios, respectively.

Both candidates have visited the state multiple times in the final days of the campaign.

“Pennsylvania voters may have responded more than most to key events, such as the conventions and the debates. This potential for movement is one reason why both campaigns have spent so much time there,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

The survey was conducted from Wednesday to Sunday, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

– William Cummings

© Jim Watson, AFP via Getty Images Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at a drive-in get out the vote event at Burke Lakefront Airport on November 2, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Forecaster shifts outlook on House races as Democrats poised to expand majority

The nonpartisan analysts at the Cook Political Report shifted eight House races towards Democrats Monday morning and forecast a net gain of about 10-15 seats for House Democrats in this year’s elections.

Three of the eight races are in Texas, though President Donald Trump won those suburban districts in 2016. Another two won by Trump in 2016 are in New Jersey, one outside of New York City and another in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Democrats won a majority in the House of Representatives in 2018, and the chamber is currently split 232-197 between Democrats and Republicans. President Donald Trump has repeatedly predicted Republicans would win the House. Asked in a USA TODAY/Suffolk poll from Oct. 23 to Oct. 27 whether they would vote for a Democrat or Republican in Congress, voters gave Democrats a 10-point lead, with 49% of voters picking a Democrat and 39% a Republican. Control of the Senate, on the other hand, is still a toss-up between both parties. 

– Nicholas Wu

How will the lack of COVID stimulus affect the election? 

Voters watched with anticipation for months as congressional leaders and the White House bickered over another coronavirus stimulus package, one they hoped would provide another round of $1,200 stimulus checks and a more generous weekly unemployment payment to help weather the global pandemic.

But a deal never materialized even as millions found themselves unemployed, COVID-19 case totals climbed and benefits expired. Democrats faulted Republicans after President Donald Trump pulled out of negotiations and then reversed course. Republicans similarly said Democrats were responsible for refusing to cut down the size of their package. The merry-go-round of negotiations, filled with moments of hope then dismay as both sides deadlocked, played out as voters made decisions on who they would back in the election.

Polling shows voters have COVID-19 and the economy at the top of mind, ranking them as the top two issues in a recent USA TODAY/Suffolk poll. And political experts and analysts from both parties told USA TODAY the bickering could hurt both parties, including the president, as the dysfunction in Washington feeds into an anti-incumbent narratives.

Here’s what we know about how the lack of stimulus is playing out in the election. 

– Nicholas Wu and Christal Hayes

COVID stimulus: Democrats, White House spent months bickering over a coronavirus stimulus bill that never happened. Will it affect voters at the ballot box?

The final hours: Trump hits 4 battleground states Monday headed into Election Day

President Donald Trump’s last full day of campaigning Monday carries him to five rallies in four important states, and probably won’t end until the wee hours of Election Day itself.

The president travels to North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, including two rallies in that last state. He is scheduled to return to the White House at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.

As for Monday’s schedule, polls in Michigan and Wisconsin show Trump trailing Democratic challenger Joe Biden by healthy margins. Things are closer in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, both of which Trump probably needs to win if he is to prevail over Biden in the Electoral College.

“We’re doing tremendous numbers,” Trump told reporters during another marathon day of campaigning on Sunday in Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

Trump’s stops Monday include Kenosha, Wisconsin, the site of civil unrest after a police killing of a Black man in August.

The final rally, just before midnight Monday, is in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the same city where Trump ended his presidential campaign in 2016.

As of now, Trump is scheduled to spend Election Day itself at the White House.

– Courtney Subramanian and David Jackson

The swing states: All eyes will be on these 6 states on Election Day. Here’s what we know.

Tomorrow is Election Day

Voting in the 2020 election comes to a close Tuesday, nine months after the first primary ballots were cast in the Iowa Caucuses, but not before voters in several states get one more day to add to the already record-shattering early vote totals.

According to the U.S. Election Project, more than 93 million Americans have already cast their ballots ahead of Election Day on Tuesday, about 68% of the entire turnout in the 2016 election. 

But there is a good chance the end of the voting won’t mean the end of the election battle between President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, if the result isn’t clear as Tuesday’s vote count draws to a close.

Though ballots are counted after Election Day in every election – particularly mailed-in or absentee ballots – Trump has insisted the final tally must be in on Tuesday.

Stimulus: Democrats, White House spent months bickering over a coronavirus stimulus bill that never happened. Will it affect voters at the ballot box?

On Sunday, Trump said it wasn’t “fair” that voters would likely have to wait on the result in Pennsylvania as mailed-in ballots were counted, and his senior campaign adviser Jason Miller baselessly implied any change to the count after Election Day constituted an attempt to “steal” the election. 

“As soon as that election’s over, we’re going in with our lawyers,” Trump told reporters while discussing the possibility of a prolonged vote count in Pennsylvania. 

Trump’s and Miller’s comments came amid speculation that Trump was preparing to declare victory if he appeared ahead on election night, before all the presumably Democratic-friendly mailed votes were counted. 

– William Cummings 

Where are the candidates? 

President Donald Trump has another long day on the campaign trail Monday with stops planned in North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. 

Vice President Mike Pence is slated to appear in Erie, Pennsylvania, at 2 p.m. 

Democratic nominee Joe Biden, his running mate, Kamala Harris, and their spouses are slated to “barnstorm Pennsylvania and fan out across all four corners of the state.” Biden will visit Pittsburgh and Harris will head to Philadelphia, the campaign said.

Biden is also scheduled to stop in Cleveland, as polls indicate a tight race in Ohio, a state Trump won by more than 8 percentage points in 2016. 

‘Clear but unspoken preference’: As America votes, the world is watching with bated breath

Voting updates 

  • More than 93 million Americans have cast their ballots in early voting, shattering previous records. The number represents about 68% of all the ballots cast in 2016. 
  • Michael McDonald, the University of Florida professor behind the U.S. Elections Project, for months has been estimating that 150 million people will vote. But he has upped the ante in recent days, predicting a total turnout rate of 160.2 million votes, or a roughly 67% turnout rate. 
  • The Texas Supreme Court on Sunday rejected a GOP bid to toss out almost 127,000 votes cast in drive-thru lanes in the emerging Democratic stronghold of Harris County. A federal judge will hold an emergency hearing Monday morning – less than 21 hours before polls open on Election Day. 
  • The final Detroit Free Press poll of 2020 finds Trump down 7 percentage points, 41%-48%, to Biden in Michigan. And St. Cloud State University’s Annual Fall Statewide Survey finds Trump down 15 points to Biden in Minnesota. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Election live updates: Donald Trump says he’s not nervous: ‘I’ve been here before’

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