Blog: On campaign trail Biden hit Georgia; Trump visited ‘Blue Wall’ Midwest states


CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – America will elect a president in one week.

Also decided on November 3 are all 435 U.S. House seats, 35 U.S. Senate seats, and 11 gubernatorial races.

Early voting runs through November 2 in Ohio, and the numbers show more people than ever have been taking advantage of the opportunity to cast their ballot before Election Day.

In the most recent data released a week ago from the Secretary of State’s Office, 1.1 million people had already voted in Ohio.

The U.S. Elections Project estimates that number is now upwards of 2.1 million.

That is the trend around the nation. NPR reports 62-million people have already voted with several days of early voting left.

10 p.m. headlines:

WARM SPRINGS, Ga. (AP) — Joe Biden traveled Tuesday to the hot springs town where Franklin Delano Roosevelt coped with polio to declare the U.S. is not too politically diseased to overcome its health and economic crises, pledging to be the unifying force who can “restore our soul and save this country.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Del., on March 12, 2020, left, and President Donald Trump speaks at the White House in Washington on April 5, 2020. (AP Photo, File)

The Democratic presidential nominee offered his closing argument with Election Day just one week away while attempting to go on the political offensive in Georgia, which hasn’t backed a Democrat for the White House since 1992. He promised to be a president for all Americans regardless of party, even as he said that “anger and suspicion is growing and our wounds are getting deeper.”

“Has the heart of this nation turned to stone? I don’t think so,” Biden said. “I refuse to believe it.”

While Biden worked to expand the electoral map in the South, President Donald Trump focused on the Democrats’ “blue wall” states that he flipped in 2016 — Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — and maintained a far busier travel schedule taking him to much more of the country.

At a cold, rain-soaked rally in the Michigan capital of Lansing, Trump said Biden supported the North American Free Trade Agreement and China’s entry into the World Trade Organization, both of which he said hurt the auto industry and other manufacturing in the state.

“This election is a matter of economic survival for Michigan,” the president said, arguing that the state’s economy was strong before the coronavirus pandemic hit. “Look what I’ve done.”

Trump also cheered Senate candidate John James — who may ultimately have a better chance of winning the state than the president — while attacking Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for moving aggressively to shut down much of the state’s economy to slow the virus’ spread. He even seemed to cast doubt on federal authorities breaking up what they said was a plot to kidnap her, which Whitmer has argued Trump’s “violent rhetoric” helped spark.

7:35 p.m. headlines:

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democrats and Republicans in the battleground state of Wisconsin were pushing Tuesday to get 320,000 outstanding absentee ballots returned by the close of polls on Election Day, after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to extend the deadline to receive and count ballots as Democrats had wanted.

FILE – In this Sept. 3, 2020, file photo, workers prepare absentee ballots for mailing at the Wake County Board of Elections in Raleigh, N.C. The coronavirus pandemic is forcing millions of American voters worried about their health to scramble to vote by mail for the first time. But a requirement in a handful of states, including presidential battleground North Carolina and Wisconsin, that a witness or notary public sign a ballot envelope is tripping up some voters early. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

“This is an all-hands-on-deck final push,” said Ben Wikler, who chairs the Wisconsin Democratic Party, which has been advocating absentee voting more aggressively than Republicans.

But the message is the same for Republicans who decided to mail in their ballots amid a surge in coronavirus cases in Wisconsin.

“If you do it absentee, do it now, do it quickly,” said Andrew Hitt, chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party.

Democrats argued in a federal lawsuit that more time should be allotted for ballots to arrive by mail and be counted because of the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Republicans countered that voters had plenty of options to vote on time and that the rules shouldn’t be changed so close to the election. The Supreme Court, in a 5-3 decision Monday along ideological lines, affirmed an appellate court ruling that had blocked the extended count.

It’s not clear if the ruling will benefit one side or the other in Wisconsin, which President Donald Trump won by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016, said Barry Burden, a University of Wisconsin-Madison political science professor and the director of the Elections Research Project.

Trump campaigned in Wisconsin today and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden is scheduled to visit the state on Friday.

6:30 p.m. headlines:

(AP) — President Donald Trump has a new message to suburban women as he campaigns in Michigan: “We’re getting your husbands back to work.”

Trump, who polls show has diminishing support from suburban women, also criticized the restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Trump told the women in the crowd of thousands in Lansing: “We’re getting your husbands back to work, and everybody wants it and the cure can never be worse than the problem itself.”

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Capital Region International Airport, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The comments came as part of criticism of the state’s governor, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer. The crowd also chanted, “Lock her up!”

Trump took credit for the actions of federal law enforcement in disrupting an alleged plot to kidnap Whitmer, while seemingly raising questions about the seriousness of the threat.

“It was our people that helped her out with her problem,” Trump says. “And we’ll have to see if it’s a problem. Right? People are entitled to say, ‘Maybe it was a problem, maybe it wasn’t.’”

5:10 p.m. headlines:

ATGLEN, Pa. (AP) — Melania Trump lined up squarely with her husband Tuesday on her first solo trip of the 2020 campaign, slamming Joe Biden, Democrats and the media as she pushed the president’s reeelection message in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.

The first lady defended Donald Trump’s record on COVID-19 even as he continues to play down the threat of a virus that has killed more than 226,000 Americans. She sought to shift the blame to Democrats, who she said tried to “put their own agendas ahead of the American people’s well-being” and focused on a “sham impeachment” instead of the coronavirus.

Mrs. Trump also denounced what she called Biden’s “socialist agenda” and criticized media coverage of “idle gossip and palace intrigue” in the White House.

Biden’s “policies and socialist agenda will only serve to destroy America and all that has been built in the past four years,” she said. “We must keep Donald in the White House so he can finish what he’s started and our country can continue to flourish.”

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 23: First lady Melania Trump attends a meeting of the President’s Task Force on Protecting Native American Children in the Indian Health System in the State Dining Room of the White House on July 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Task Force is charged with investigating breakdowns that failed to prevent a predatory pediatrician from sexually assaulting children while working as a doctor in the Indian Health Service. The pediatrician left the agency in 2016 and is now in Federal prison. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The first lady, who recently recovered from what she has described as a mild case of COVID-19, appeared on a day when Pennsylvania health authorities reported a recording-shattering 2,751 new virus infections statewide. COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations in Pennsylvania have more than doubled since the beginning of October.

Mrs. Trump also struck an empathetic tone on the virus, calling herself a “worried mother and wife” who knows “there are many people who have lost loved ones or know people who have been forever impacted by this silent enemy.”

But she defended her husband’s handling of the virus and said his administration “chooses to keep moving forward during this pandemic, not backward,” insisting that schools, restaurants and businesses have learned to operate safely during the pandemic.

“We don’t close down and hide in fear. We get to work to find real and lasting solutions,” she said.

The first lady’s event 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of Philadelphia drew a couple of hundred supporters who piled into a converted barn typically used for wedding receptions. Two large doors at the rear were opened to allow fresh air into the building. The overwhelming majority of those in attendance wore masks, but there was little social distancing.

4:30 p.m. headlines:

(WJW) — Secretary of State Frank LaRose also reported today that 2.2 million Ohioans have already cast ballots in the election that will be decided on Nov. 3. His office also noted that 841,000 absentee ballots have yet to be returned.

2:20 p.m. headlines:

(WJW) — Speaking during a press conference with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, the Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced that 3.2 million people have requested an absentee ballot in Ohio. The new numbers were as of today, LaRose said, and at this same time four years ago, only 1.6 million had requested absentee ballots.

LaRose also said that 1.5 million voters have already returned their absentee ballots for this elections.

“It’s clear that Ohioans are enthusiastic about early voting,” he said.

Watch part of his speech below:

1pm headline:

(WJW)– People once again are lining up at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections for early in-person voting. It began Oct. 6 and goes until Nov. 2.

11:45 a.m. headlines

  • (WJW) – President Trump’s daughter and Senior Adviser to the President, Ivanka Trump announced she will be holding a campaign event in Sarasota Tuesday.
  • (WJW) – First Lady Melania Trump will be returning to Pennsylvania to campaign a second day.
  • (WJW) – Chief Justice John Roberts has formally sworn-in Amy Coney Barrett as the Supreme Court’s ninth justice.
In this image provided by the Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., right, administers the Judicial Oath to Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the East Conference Room of the Supreme Court Building, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Washington as Judge Barrett’s husband, Jesse M. Barrett, holds the Bible. (Fred Schilling/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States via AP)

11 a.m. headlines

9:30 a.m. headlines

(AP) – President Donald Trump has his eye on hosting an election night party at his own hotel in the nation’s capital. Over the weekend, the campaign pushed out fundraising emails in the president’s name offering donors the chance to enter a drawing “to join Team Trump at the Election Night Party in my favorite hotel.” 

FILE – In this Jan. 23, 2019, file photo, the Trump International Hotel near sunset in Washington. Trump has his eye on hosting an election night party at his own hotel in the nation’s capital. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

(AP) – Newly confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s first votes on the Supreme Court could include two big topics affecting the man who nominated her. The court is weighing a plea from Trump to prevent the Manhattan district attorney from acquiring his tax returns as well as appeals from the Trump campaign and Republicans to shorten the deadline for receiving and counting absentee ballots in the battleground states of North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

(AP) – The Supreme Court is siding with Republicans to prevent Wisconsin from counting mailed ballots that are received after Election Day. Democrats argued that the flood of absentee ballots and other challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic makes it necessary to extend the deadline.

Absentee ballots in Ohio have to be postmarked by Nov. 2.

6 a.m. headlines

(WJW) – President Donald Trump is scheduled to hold rallies in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nebraska Tuesday.

He’ll end the day in Las Vegas. Vice President Mike Pence has events scheduled in North and South Carolina.

Former Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Georgia. Vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris has events planned in Nevada.

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