2020 Election Live Updates: Trump and Biden make final push in swing states
Trump tells Pennsylvania crowd he signed an executive order protecting fracking
President Trump announced at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, that he signed an executive order protecting fracking, calling it “great news” for the state. While Mr. Trump said he signed it on the way to the rally from the airport, the White House has not yet provided any additional details.
“If one of these maniacs comes along and they say, ‘We’re going to end fracking, we’re going to destroy the commonwealth of Pennsylvania,’ you can say, ‘Sorry about that,'” Mr. Trump said Saturday.
Mr. Trump has tried to turn fracking into a campaign issue, falsely claiming his Democratic opponent supports a ban on it. Pennsylvania, 2020’s key swing state, has benefited from fracking and the industry surrounding it more than most states. According to the Energy Information Administration, it produces more dry natural gas than every state except Texas. After the 2008 economic crisis, its economy rebounded partially due to an influx of fracking.
President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a campaign rally at Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport on October 31, 2020 in Butler, Pennsylvania.
Jeff Swensen / Getty Images
Des Moines Register poll gives Trump and Ernst solid leads in Iowa
In a Des Moines Register poll released the Saturday night before Election Day, President Trump had opened up a 7 point lead over Joe Biden in the state, 48% to 41%. A poll by the Des Moines Register in September had the two tied.
Mr. Trump won Iowa by nearly 10 points in 2016, but Democrats have been hoping to recapture the state this year. Biden campaigned in Iowa on Friday, while Mr. Trump was there earlier this month and will hold a rally on Sunday in Dubuque.
According to the Des Moines Register poll, though, Mr. Trump has gained an edge over Biden with independents and Biden has lost some of his edge with women.
The poll of 814 likely Iowa voters was conducted by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines from October 26-29. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.
The Des Moines Register poll also had incumbent Republican Senator Joni Ernst pulling ahead of Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield 46% to 42%. It’s the first Iowa poll that has had Ernst in the lead.
“It’s really both a matter of Ernst rising and Greenfield fading a little bit,” said J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co. “There’s sort of an equilibrium in terms of what’s happening.”
7:43 PM / October 31, 2020
Obama jokes that in three days “we’re going to restart the system” after mic goes out at campaign event
Former President Obama has wrapped his second event in Michigan on Saturday with his former vice president, Joe BIden. At one point in his speech, Mr. Obama’s mic cut out, requiring the audio system to be restarted. When he heard what happened, he joked “That’s what we’re going to do in three days! Restart the system!”
Mr. Obama made small talk with the crowd while his mic was dead.
Biden’s digital campaign director later tweeted a video of Mr. Obama at a gym sinking a three-point shot. “That’s what I do!” he shouted.
so this was absolutely insane pic.twitter.com/W4JL6LQZxq
— Olivia Raisner (@OliviaRaisner) October 31, 2020
In Detroit, both Mr. Obama and Biden stuck to similar versions of their remarks in Flint. Biden said that in three days, it will be “time for Donald Trump to pack his bags and go home.”
7:00 PM / October 31, 2020
Police declare unlawful assembly at pro-Trump rally in Beverly Hills
An unlawful assembly was declared on Saturday afternoon in response to a weekly pro-Trump rally in Beverly Hills, CBS Los Angeles reports.
Supporters of President Trump planned to have the rally every weekend leading up to Election Day, so this event marked what is expected to be the last of such rallies.
Beverly Hills Police said in a tweet that residents should avoid the area near the Beverly Hills sign until further notice.
ADVISORY: Unlawful assembly has been declared near the Beverly Hills Sign. Avoid the area. https://t.co/k1o5cQ54ch
— Beverly Hills Police (@BeverlyHillsPD) October 31, 2020
6:15 PM / October 31, 2020
Trump says in Pennsylvania: “If we win Pennsylvania, it’s over”
President Trump on Saturday campaigned throughout Pennsylvania, saying “if we win Pennsylvania, it’s over.” The state narrowly flipped red in 2016, but Joe Biden currently holds a 7 point lead, according to the CBS News Battleground Tracker.
“You know what’s looking good?” Mr. Trump said. “Pennsylvania’s looking good. Really good. That great red wave is going to be beautiful to watch.”
A flag flies from a crane as President Donald Trump addresses supporters during a rally on October 31, 2020 in Newtown, Pennsylvania.
Mark Makela / Getty Images
Mr. Trump also took a swipe at Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, saying “that should never be your first woman president.”
Both Mr. Trump and Biden are aggressively campaigning in Pennsylvania over the last few days before Election Day. On Monday, Biden, Jill Biden, Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, will barnstorm the state.
5:01 PM / October 31, 2020
Harris: I think there is going to a “decisive decision” on Election Night
While campaigning in Florida on Saturday, Kamala Harris said “I think that there’s going to be a decisive decision on Election Night.”
Harris spoke to reporters in Palm Beach State College Lake Worth ahead of her last stop in Florida. When asked about what could happen if President Trump declares victory early Tuesday, she said “I really do believe that the American people have a line that they will be unwilling to cross.”
Americans “want a peaceful transfer of power and they will stand for our democracy, whoever they voted for,” she said.
3:24 PM / October 31, 2020
Biden to deliver remarks on Election Night
Biden “will address the nation on Election Night,” his campaign announced on Saturday. He will be joined by his running mate, Kamala Harris, and their spouses. Biden will deliver the remarks in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.
3:08 PM / October 31, 2020
Obama: Biden’s “got the character and the experience to make us a better country”
At a drive-in rally in Flint, Michigan, Mr. Obama told the crowd that there were only “three days until the most important election of our lifetimes.” He called Biden his “brother,” and said his former running mate “will be a great president.”
“He made me a better president. He’s got the character and the experience to make us a better country,” Mr. Obama said.
Obama joins Biden on trail
Mr. Obama also slammed President Trump for his response to the coronavirus pandemic, and mocked Mr. Trump for being preoccupied with crowd size at his campaign events.
“Does he have nothing better to worry about? Did no one come to his birthday party when he was a kid? What’s with the crowd size?” Mr. Obama wondered.
The former president also urged people to vote, saying “we got a little complacent in the last election.” Mr. Obama talked about the importance of down ballot races, from congressional races to local district attorney races.
“That’s what voting’s about. Not making things perfect, but making things better,” Mr. Obama said.
After Biden took the stage, he praised Mr. Obama and also urged Michiganders to vote.
“There’s nothing that he can do to stop the people of this nation from voting in overwhelming numbers and taking back our democracy,” Biden said, referring to efforts by Mr. Trump to cast doubts about the outcome of the election.
Former US President Barack Obama (L) joins Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden at a campaign event in Flint, Michigan, on October 31, 2020.
JIM WATSON/Getty Images
2:25 PM / October 31, 2020
Stanford researchers link summer Trump rallies to 30,000 COVID-19 cases
A study out of Stanford University has linked Trump campaign rallies to 30,000 COVID-19 cases, and 700 deaths.
The study, published Friday, looked at 18 Trump rallies held between June 20th and September 30th, 2020. Researchers analyzed COVID-19 contagion in the communities where rallies were held for up to ten week after the rally took place.
Researchers concluded that the rallies increased confirmed COVID-19 cases “by more than 250 per 100,000 residents,” meaning that upwards of 30,000 cases can be linked to the campaign events.
“Extrapolating this figure to the entire sample, we conclude that these eighteen rallies ultimately resulted in more than 30,000 incremental confirmed cases of COVID-19,” reads the study abstract. Adding, “applying county specific post-event death rates, we conclude that the rallies likely led to more than 700 deaths (not necessarily among attendees).”
Rallies are held outdoors, typically at airport hangers, but supporters stand close together, many without masks, ignoring guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“At least through September 2020, the degree of compliance with guidelines concerning the use of masks and social distancing was low… in part because the Trump campaign downplayed the risk of infection,” reads the study. “This feature heightens the risk that a rally could become a ‘super spreader event.'”
In response to the study, the Biden campaign called the events “super spreader rallies that only serve (Trump’s) own ego.”
“How many more empty seats are there at kitchen tables across America because of Donald Trump’s ego?” said Andrew Bates, director of Biden’s rapid response, in a statement. “Joe Biden knows the presidency is the duty to care and to fight for all Americans, regardless of their politics. Donald Trump doesn’t even care about the very lives of his strongest supporters.”
Trump continues to hold packed in-person events while COVID-19 infections are on the rise in 47 states. Cases are at an all-time high in 16 states, with nearly 100,000 new cases reported on Friday alone. The death toll nationwide is approaching 230,000.
The president has held more than two dozen rallies since his own COVID-19 diagnosis on October 2. Numerous physicians told CBS News they would have advised the president against returning to the campaign trail after a COVID-19 diagnosis.
Updated 12:47 PM / October 31, 2020
What role do lawn signs play in the 2020 election?
Lawn signs — the cardboard rectangles that populate Americans’ front yards every election cycle — may not be a scientific gauge of political support. In fact, it is hard to say if they prove anything about the direction of an election.
However, the shows of partisan support are impossible to ignore, and give both supporters of a candidate and their operatives a sense of optimism — or concern.
“We had a smaller sign in 2016. It’s 2020, we have a big sign,” New Hampshire resident Jeane Chase told CBS News’ Brook Silva-Braga, adding that she had only been using political lawn signs “since the 2016 election.”
Her motivation? It was “the candidate and his story.”
Read more here
What are lawn signs’ role in an election?
12:17 PM / October 31, 2020
90 million Americans have voted
Ninety million Americans have already voted, according to the U.S. Elections Project’s early voting data. That’s just over 65% of the total votes cast in 2016.
Two states, Hawaii and Texas, have already passed their entire 2016 totals. An additional 10 states have passed 80% of their 2016 turnouts, including Nevada (+88%), Georgia (+87%), Arizona (+86%), North Carolina (+85%) and Florida (+81%).
Some experts project the final 2020 turnout will pass 150 million votes, which would be the highest percentage of turnout in modern American history.
With early voting surging, it’s very possible that day-of turnout on Election Day could be the lowest ever as so many have chosen to vote by mail or early in-person. Twenty states report early voting totals along with party registration data. From those states, which include Arizona, Iowa, North Carolina, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, we know that registered Democrats make up 45.9% of the early vote turnout. Republicans are just above 30% and Independents are at 23.3%.
Updated 12:04 PM / October 31, 2020
Control of House and Senate at stake in 2020 election
While much national attention has been focused on the heated presidential race between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, control of the House and Senate are also on the ballot.
The Hill editor-in-chief Bob Cusack joined “CBS This Morning: Saturday” to analyze what’s at stake:
Could Democrats win the House and Senate?
11:40 AM / October 31, 2020
Trump tweets support for slew of Republican candidates
President Trump sent a slew of tweets on Saturday morning voicing support for Republican candidates across the country, mostly House candidates.
He endorsed congressional candidates in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.
He also offered endorsements for Jim O’Neill to be attorney general of North Carolina and Jim Justice to be reelected as governor of West Virginia.
11:34 AM / October 31, 2020
A look at NBA arenas transformed into voting centers
Over two dozen NBA arenas and stadiums across the country have opened up to voters this election, thanks to superstar LeBron James and his fellow NBA players.
During the racial unrest that gripped the summer, NBA players halted the playoffs to demand action on systemic racism. One of their goals was to increase access to voting locations amid the pandemic.
Caitlin Huey-Burns takes a look at the experience – Watch her report here:
NBA stadiums transform into voting centers
11:26 AM / October 31, 2020
Arizona could be one of the first swing states called on Election Day
Although many states can’t begin counting mail-in ballots until Election Day, that is not the case in the critical swing state of Arizona. 60 Minutes cameras show the process by which much of Arizona’s mail-in vote is already processed and counted, with the ballot counts stored in a secure server not connected to the internet.
John Dickerson’s report shows a traditionally Republican state in political flux whose presidential pick might be among the first swing states to be called and might be a new bellwether. It will be broadcast on 60 Minutes, Sunday, November 1 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
Arizona started counting and tabulating a record number of early votes on October 20 – 14 days before the election. It will be ahead of the pack, says the state’s chief election officer and Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. ”
That’s a huge advantage, particularly over states that are seeing a huge increase in the volume of voting by mail and statutorily aren’t able to start processing ballots until that day. We’re certainly going to be ahead of them.”
Read more here
11:23 AM / October 31, 2020
Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida and Georgia on Election Day
Former President Barack Obama will campaign on behalf of Joe Biden in Florida and Georgia on Election Day, the Biden campaign announced.
Mr. Obama will also be campaigning to support Democratic Georgia Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock – both locked in tight races against Republican incumbents.
10:27 AM / October 31, 2020
Biden and Obama to campaign together for first time
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is appearing with his former boss, former President Barack Obama, in two drive-in rallies in Michigan on Saturday as his campaign makes its final appeal to Black voters ahead of Election Day. This marks the first time Obama and Biden are campaigning together in the 2020 election.
Biden and Mr. Obama will appear together at a rally in Flint in the early afternoon, followed by an event in Detroit later in the day. Musician Stevie Wonder will perform at the event in Detroit.
In 2016, the counties that include Flint and Detroit saw a significant drop in turnout, MI Live reported. The overall Black voter turnout that year decreased for the first time in 20 years, according to the Pew Research Center.
A New York Times/Siena College poll released this week showed Biden up eight percentage points in Michigan.
You can watch the rally in Flint at 1:45 p.m. ET on CBSN in the player below:
Updated 9:35 AM / October 31, 2020
Democrats remain ahead in party registration in several states
With just three days until Election Day, Democrats remain ahead by double digits in the 20 states that report party registration results. Texas, Nevada, Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina and Florida are the highest performing battlegrounds right now in early vote percentage as compared to 2016 totals.
In Nevada, there is a huge difference in in-person turnout versus by mail. Republicans are 16 percentage points ahead of Democrats in in-person voting totals, but fall behind Democrats by 23 points in mail returns.
In Georgia, women are far outpacing men in the early vote. The counties with highest turnout are also mostly rural and very white in areas where Mr. Trump overwhelmingly defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016.
In Florida, county trends are similar to Georgia’s, but with one big exception. The counties voting most often were not just 2016 Trump strongholds, but are counties with decent sized electorates. The state sometimes referred to as “God’s waiting room” is also bringing out the grey vote, with significant early turnout within the state’s oldest counties.
Updated 9:32 AM / October 31, 2020
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s granddaughter appears in voting ad
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s granddaughter appears in an ad from We Demand Justice and Move On encouraging Americans to vote.
“Her final wish was that her seat on the Supreme Court not be filled until after the election,” Ginsburg’s granddaughter Clara Spera says in the ad. “It’s up to us to make her voice heard at the ballot box. To keep fighting the battle she waged for women’s equality and justice for all. My grandmother changed the course of history. Now it’s our turn. Vote by Tuesday.”
“To the world, she was an icon…but to me, she was Bubbie. Her final wish was that her seat on the Supreme Court not be filled until after the election. It’s up to us to make her voice heard at the ballot box.”
Our new ad with @MoveOn featuring Clara Spera, RBG’s Granddaughter: pic.twitter.com/JUL3gcNTTu
— Demand Justice (@WeDemandJustice) October 30, 2020
Updated 9:30 AM / October 31, 2020
Tina Knowles-Lawson tells crowd at Harris rally: “If we win Texas, it’s game over”
Kamala Harris finished her day of campaigning on Friday in Texas at the University of Houston, where she appeared with Beyonce’s mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson. “If we win Texas, it’s game over,” Knowles-Lawson said.
Harris told the crowd that George Floyd’s family was in attendance. A campaign aide confirmed to CBS News that Harris met with three of Floyd’s cousins who live in the Houston area.
Houston’s Harris County clerk tweeted Friday that 86,734 people voted in person and 3,572 mail ballots were returned that day. A total of 1,435,221 people voted early in the county, surpassing the 1,338,898 total turnout in 2016. In 2018, Democrats swept every election in Harris County, Texas’ largest.