U.S. election roundup Oct. 29: Joe Biden, Donald Trump chase votes in Florida

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Where the candidates are Thursday:

President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden are chasing votes Thursday in Florida, a state all but essential to the Republican’s pathway to another term, as both nominees turn their focus to encouraging voters to turn out in person on Election Day.

More than 73 million Americans have already voted, absentee or by mail, and Trump and Biden are trying to energize the millions more who will vote on Tuesday. While the Election Day vote traditionally favours Republicans and early votes tend toward Democrats, the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 227,000 people in the United States, has injected new uncertainty.

Trump and Biden will appear in Tampa hours apart on Thursday. They’re visiting the western end of the state’s Interstate 4 corridor, an area known for rapid residential growth, sprawling suburbs and its status as an ever-changing, hard-fought battleground during presidential elections.

The visits come as Biden has framed his closing argument to voters on responsible management of the COVID-19 pandemic and Trump promises that the nation is on course to “vanquish the virus” even as it sets records for confirmed new infections.

Analysis from the Star:

Edward Keenan: Through impeachment, scandals and COVID-19, Biden has held his lead over Trump since January

Against a backdrop of overlapping crises that shaped the election campaign, and a series of revelations that would have been campaign-defining scandals in most election cycles, one thing has remained remarkably constant: Democratic challenger Joe Biden has held a lead over Republican incumbent Donald Trump.

Check out the Star’s graphic tracking the polls since January 2020 here.

In the news today:

  • Later in the week, Joe Biden will visit three more states Trump won in 2016: Iowa, Wisconsin and finally Michigan, where he’ll hold a joint Saturday rally with former president Barack Obama.
  • Hackers stole $2.3 million from the Wisconsin Republican Party’s account that was being used to help reelect President Donald Trump in the key battleground state, said Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt on Thursday.
  • David Correia has pleaded guilty to making false statements to the Federal Election Commission and wire fraud conspiracy. The fraud charge was added last month to a broader criminal case against two of Correia’s associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who worked with Rudy Giuliani to try to get Ukrainian officials to investigate Hunter Biden.

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  • In the battle for control of the U.S. Senate this year, the Deep South is fielding more Black candidates than it has since Reconstruction. In South Carolina, Jaime Harrison is raising a previously unfathomable amount of money in what has become a competitive fight to unseat Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the more powerful Republicans in the Senate.

  • Rep. Elise Stefanik, a New York Republican who emerged as an outspoken proxy for Trump during the House presidential impeachment hearings last year, faces a new round of political ads from her Democratic opponent, Tedra Cobb.

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