The United States presidential election is in 7 days.
Here is a summary of the top 5 political issues making headlines today.
1. Biden, Trump battle for every potential vote
One week before Election Day, U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden told supporters in Warm Springs, Georgia, it was time to vote out the “charlatans, the con men, the phony populists, who have sought to play to our fears, appeal to our worst appetites, and pick at the oldest scabs we have for their own political gain.”
His sharp attack on U.S. President Donald Trump and other Republicans came in a state that usually goes their way in a presidential race. But this year polls have Biden in a close battle with the president for Georgia’s 16 electoral votes.
“This election is about who we are as a nation, what we believe and, maybe most importantly, who we want to be,” Biden said Tuesday.
Trump on the same day continued his breathtaking pace in trying to cover as much ground as possible and catch up in the race’s closing moments. Polls have the president trailing Biden nationally and in most key battleground states.
In Michigan, Trump continued his battle with the state’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, accusing her of imposing too many restrictions to limit the spread of the coronavirus and saying she is “not a good governor.”
He smiled as his supporters chanted “lock her up,” the same chant Trump urged supporters to target Hillary Clinton within the 2016 presidential race.,
2. Analysts have Democrats taking control of U.S. Senate
There are 23 seats in the U.S. Senate held by Republicans on the November 3rd ballots across America while the Democrats have only 12 seats to defend.
Newsweek, other media outlets and analysts say that seven of the Republican-held seats could be won by Democrats next week.
They would need a net gain of four Senate seats to take control if fellow Democrat Joe Biden loses to U.S. President Donald Trump in the presidential race. If the Senate is a 50-50 split on legislation, the vice president casts the deciding vote.
On Tuesday, FiveThirtyEight, a must-follow view of the races, gives the Democrats a 73 percent chance of taking the Senate. It would be the first time they would be in charge since 2014.
“Democrats are likely to achieve a net gain of between one and eight seats with the most likely result a net gain of five seats, enough to give them a small Senate majority,” Alan Abramowitz of the University of Virginia Centre for Politics said.
3. 66 million have already voted in U.S. election
More than 66 million Americans have already voted in the November 3 presidential elections as of Tuesday morning. According to data from the United States Elections Project, that represents an increase of 8 million more early votes than were cast in all of 2016.
In Texas, a state that U.S. President Donald Trump cannot realistically afford to lose if he is still to have more than a slight chance of being reelected, 7.8 million people have already voted,
“There were many concerns about election officials’ ability to conduct an election during a pandemic,” said Michael McDonald, who runs the United States Elections Project. “Not only are people voting, but they are voting over a longer period of time, thereby spreading out the workload of election officials.”
“Many states made it easier to cast a ballot ahead of election day owing to the potential dangers of attending a crowded polling station at a time when the virus is spreading rampantly,” the Financial Times reports regarding covid-19, which has killed more than 225,000 Americans.
Who benefits the most from the before Election Day voting?
That might depend on how you view what McDonald told Reuters:
“People vote when they are decided, and we know that many people made up their minds a long time ago and already have a decision and an (opinion about) Trump,” he said.
4. Obama strikes back at Kushner race comment
Campaigning for his former vice president Joe Biden in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday, Barack Obama blasted Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and senior adviser of President Donald Trump, for implying that a lack of motivation among African-Americans is to blame for racial inequality in the United States.
Kushner had made the comments during an interview on “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning.
“Now (Trump’s) advisers are out there saying, including his son-in-law, his son-in-law says, Black folks have to want to be successful, that’s the problem,” the former U.S. president said.
“Who are these folks? What history books do they read?”
Trump has touted that his thriving U.S. economy before the coronavirus pandemic hit had done much to lift African-Americans’ incomes and reduce unemployment.
Obama responded to that in Orlando, saying: “He loves to talk about Black unemployment, look how low Black unemployment — well, you know what, unemployment was really high when I came in and we brought that unemployment low and it kept on going low,”
“And he wants to take credit for it, says he’s the best president for Black folks since Abe Lincoln. Man.”
b. Is Trump Really That Racist? – NPR
5. Facebook removes two foreign accounts
Facebook has removed two foreign accounts that tried to influence the discussions about the upcoming U.S. elections, a continuing concern of security officials.
One of the accounts was based in Iran and sent messages about the U.S. voting system being compromised. The other used fake identities to comment on social and political issues in both English and Spanish, including the U.S.. presidential election.
Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of security policy, told reporters Tuesday that the networks were intercepted before they could build a “significant audience.”
“We’ve seen consistently that as it gets harder for these actors to keep their networks undetected for long periods of time, they are trying to play on our collective expectation of widespread interference to create the perception that they’re more impactful than they in fact are,” Gleicher said.
During the 2016 campaign, Russians used the social network to spread fake news and misleading posts.
b. Russian media may be joining China and Iran in turning on Trump – The Conversation