The United States presidential election is in 13 days.
Here is a summary of the top 5 political issues making headlines today.
1. Trump: Biden would make America a ‘socialist hellhole’
U.S. President Donald Trump campaigned again in the battleground state of Pennsylvania on Tuesday while Democratic nominee Joe Biden focused on preparations for his final debate with Trump in Nashville on Thursday.
On Monday, the Commission on Presidential Debates said it would mute Trump’s and Biden’s microphones during parts of the upcoming debate to try to ensure more orderly exchanges than took place in Cleveland during the first debate on September 29.
During an interview with “Fox & Friends” Tuesday, Trump said voters faced a choice between the “American Dream” and a “socialist hellhole.”
“So many individual things,” Trump said, “whether it’s Second Amendment or energy or all of these things — they want to raise your taxes, I want to lower your taxes, regulations, all of that. But the bottom line: the American Dream. The great American Dream versus being a socialist hellhole.”
Trump also rallied about most of the media not fully covering the foreign business interests of Biden’s son Hunter and their money trail.
Trump called it “major corruption that needs to be known about before the election.”
a. The Trump Rallies Don’t Pack the Media Punch They Used To – National Review
2. Tens of millions of Americans have already voted
Tens of millions of ballots have already been cast for the November 3rd elections across the United States.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, more voters than ever are allowed to cast ballots by mail. According to the Post report, battleground states such as Wisconsin, Arizona and Iowa have greatly expanded mail-in voting and join nine other states that now mail absentee applications to everyone registered.
By the end of September, requests for absentee ballots had surpassed 2016 levels in nearly every state.
While many see this as beneficial, U.S. President Donald Trump has said the result of the shift to mail-in voting is “going to be a fraud like you have never seen.”
3. Pelosi ‘on path’ to coronavirus stimulus deal with White House
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and she were “on a path” to a coronavirus relief deal.
Pelosi, a California Republican, had previously set Tuesday as a deadline for a second stimulus bill to aid millions of Americans and businesses affected by the pandemic. More than 220,o00 Americans have died from covid-19.
But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, dismissed the negotiations and has urged the White House not to negotiate with Pelosi on a new relief package before the election.
Politico reported that most Republicans and many Democrats say it is unlikely that Pelosi and Mnuchin “will be able to shepherd a relief package through Congress in the coming weeks — because of both resistance in the GOP-controlled Senate as well as lingering differences between Pelosi and Mnuchin.”
4. Judiciary committee to vote on Barrett nomination
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote Thursday on Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
With Republicans holding a 12-10 majority in the committee, they are expected to forward the nomination for the full Senate to confirm Barrett before the November 3 election.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said Tuesday that such a vote will take place next Monday.
A slim 51% majority of Americans support Barrett to fill the high court seat left vacant by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death in September.
The Gallup Poll released Tuesday showed that 46% of U.S. adults do not want Barrett to be seated, and 3% do not yet have an opinion of her nomination.
If confirmed, Barrett will join U.S. President Donald Trump’s two other appointees to the court — Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — in giving it six conservative justices among its nine members.
Only one Republican senator, Susan Collins of Maine, has said she would vote against Barrett because she does not believe a full Senate vote should take place before the election.
d. An Open Letter to Judge Amy Coney Barrett From Your Notre Dame Colleagues – Teacher-Scholar-Activist
5. Presidential race in North Carolina a dead heat
The latest Washington Post-ABC poll has the presidential race between U.S. President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden in a dead heat in North Carolina with Biden at 49 percent and Trump at 48 percent among likely voters.
Trump won the state by four percentage points in 2016.
Voters in North Carolina, which has 15 electoral votes, are also having to weigh the ramifications of a sextexting scandal and alleged affair involving Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham, who is married with two children.
Cunningham, who is a member of the Army Reserves, has apologized to voters about the romantic texts sent to a married woman and said he is cooperating with a U.S. Army investigation into his behavior.
Cunnigham is battling incumbent Republican Senator Thom Tillis in a race Politico now calls a toss-up.
The races in the state are among those considered potentially crucial to both Trump’s and Senate Republicans’ hopes of staying in power. Republicans now hold a 53-47 Senate majority, with Democrats counting two independents who caucus with them.
“If the Republicans don’t win North Carolina, it suggests the GOP stranglehold of the South is lessening and may be gone,” a political expert told CNBC.