The United States presidential election is in 8 days.
Here is a summary of the top 5 political issues making headlines today.
1. U.S. ‘not going to control pandemic,’ top White House official says
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Sunday that the United States is “not going to control” the coronavirus pandemic as nearly 225,000 Americans have died from covid-19 and a record one-day number of cases — more than 83,000 on Friday — was recorded, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
“We are not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas,” Meadows told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
With at least three people on the staff of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence testing positive for the virus, including his chief of staff, Tapper also grilled Meadows on U.S. President Donald Trump’s claim “we are rounding the corner” and whether Pence should continue on the campaign trail without quarantining for 14 days as health officials recommend if he might have been exposed to the virus.
Trump tested positive for the virus at the beginning of October and was treated at a Washington area hospital and is now back campaigning. Pence and second lady Karen Pence each tested negative for coronavirus on Sunday, a White House official said.
Pence campaigned in Kinston, North Carolina, Sunday, with the White House calling him an “an essential worker.” to justify his public appearances.
The state’s 15 electoral votes are considered in play. The well-respected FiveThirtyEight has Biden with a four percentage point lead in the state as of Friday.
b. ‘Essential worker’ Pence stays on campaign trail after COVID-19 outbreak on his staff – The News & Observer
2. Harris hits Michigan, Trump in U.S. Northeast
Leading comfortably in most national polls, U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden knows it is winning in the battleground states and capturing their electoral votes that will determine whether he becomes the next U.S. president or Donald Trump serves four more years.
Biden made another pitch to voters in Pennsylvania on Saturday.
On Sunday, it was Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, doing the same with voters in Michigan.
Trump won Michigan in 2016 by a margin of 10,704 votes and Pennsylvania by 44,292.
Thus, Harris said Sunday at the Local 59 IBEW in Detroit: “You all are very likely going to make the decision about who is the next president of the United States.”
Trump followed up Saturday’s four-state swing with a rally in New Hampshire, where he called Biden’s economic proposals a “missile aimed at the heart of the middle class.”
The president also visited Maine and asserted that the state’s lobster industry had benefited from his trade war with China.
Real Clear Politics’ latest poll has Biden nearly already all but assured of 232 of the 270 electoral votes he needs to win the presidency.
3. Despite bluster, most Americans say they will accept election results
Threats of an armed insurrection have surfaced in recent months like never before regarding the outcome of a U.S. presidential election, but the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll found that a significant majority of Americans will accept the results no matter who wins.
The latest survey, conducted October. 13-20, shows that 79% of all Americans, including 59% of those who want U.S. President Donald Trump to be reelected, will accept a win by his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden.
Sixteen percent of those who said they would not accept a Biden victory told the pollsters “they would do something to challenge a Democratic win such as protesting in public or resorting to violence.”
According to the survey, 73% of Americans, including 57% of Biden supporters, would accept a Trump victory. Among those who said they would not accept a Trump win, 22% said they would take action to challenge the result.
Trump also has repeatedly questioned the integrity of U.S. elections, arguing that the process is “rigged” against him.
Donald Green, a political scientist at Columbia University, warned that if the election is close or one candidate can make a credible accusation of voter fraud, it could spark wider discontent and protests than the poll suggests.
“This is why many people who oppose Trump are holding their breath and hoping for a lopsided outcome that is not up for grabs,” Green told Reuters.
4. Pelosi seeks to remain House speaker
Nancy Pelosi is 80 years old, but the Democratic speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives has no intention of slowing down. She told CNN on Sunday she plans to seek to retain her position if her party continues in the majority, which it is overwhelmingly favored to do after the November 3 elections. Democrats now hold a 232-197 majority over Republicans and are expected to gain seats.
A small but vocal group of Democrats has pushed for a change in leadership to make way for a younger generation, but no challenger stands out at the moment to Pelosi, who has been in Congress 33 years.
Pelosi’s has what seems to be a minor challenge just to continue to remain in Congress from a fellow Democrat, Shahid Buttar, a public interest advocate, writer, and artist who finished a distant second to Pelosi in the March primary for her California district seat, representing much of San Francisco.
In California, the November general election for most offices is a runoff between the top two finishers, regardless of party, in the primary.
Control of the Republican-led Senate is also at stake in the November 3 contest, and Pelosi on Sunday acknowledged the need for Democrats to also win back control of the Senate in order to pursue their agenda.
“We have to win the Senate,” Pelosi told CNN.
a. Nancy Pelosi’s election challenger says she’s not progressive enough. She’s ignoring him – San Francisco Chronicle
5. Barrett nomination moves forward for a full Senate vote
The U.S. Senate advanced the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court in a key procedural vote Sunday, setting the stage for a final confirmation vote, likely to take place Monday evening.
Republicans have pushed ahead with one of the quickest nomination proceedings in modern times following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on September 18.
The confirmation battle regarding a conservative judge, who refused to discuss controversial issues that might come before the court during her confirmation hearings, has played out in a bitterly divided Senate.
Liberals see Barrett’s potential vote on the Supreme Court as a threat to the Affordable Care Act and healthcare for millions of Americans. A case involving it is set to come before the court one week after the U.S. elections.
All Democrats are expected to vote against the nomination. But Republicans hold a 53-47 majority, and Monday’s vote is seen as a done deal.