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Election speed read: 11 days to November 3


  • Texas – 5.9 million votes
  • California – 5.6 million votes
  • Florida – 4.3 million votes
  • North Carolina – 2.4 million votes
  • Georgia – 2.2 million votes
Early voting in tossup states: The majority of the battleground states in CNN’s electoral college map are on that list — Florida, North Carolina and Georgia. The other two are Ohio (1.4 million votes cast) and Iowa (800,000 votes cast).
Debate night — It was a much more reserved Trump who showed up at Thursday night’s debate. He allowed Biden to speak. But, as CNN’s Daniel Dale said, he was no more fact-based than usual. Fact checks here.

Key issues — Trump and Biden squared off on health care, climate change, energy policy, foreign policy, immigration and more.

Key moments — The most awkward moment for Biden was describing the 1994 crime bill, which he used to claim credit for passing.

The most problematic moments for Trump were a tie between his claim he was the “least racist” person in the room and his argument that migrant children separated from their parents at the border were well cared for.

Read Chris Cillizza’s hits and misses.

Trump preempts 60 Minutes, posts raw video of interview — It focuses on his treatment of the economy, the pandemic, his entreaties to suburban women that he’ll “save” the suburbs from low-income housing and more.

There’s a lot of media world attention to the fact the White House, by releasing the raw footage, has gone back on its agreement to terms for the interview with CBS. I don’t share those frustrations. He’s the President. We should see what he says.

On the other hand, Trump’s detailed rants about Hunter Biden, about so-called Spygate and more are major distortions of fact.

When Stahl pushed back on him, repeatedly, he repeatedly accused her of “discrediting herself.” I don’t think there’s an objective viewing of that interview that backs up his claim.

Instead, Trump talks over every one of her questions and throws out the same diversionary pyrotechnics we’re used to in interviews, press conferences and debates. He is who he is.

And at the debate he said the US is rounding the bend on Covid and things are going well. That’s not the case with Covid deaths, which are increasing.

Democrats boycotted Amy Coney Barrett’s committee hearing. She’s en route to confirmation next week.

Biden will study expanding the court — Republicans like to call the idea of expanding the Supreme Court “court packing,” but that’s not exactly what it is. Kamau Bell makes the argument for expanding the court here.
The court has not grown with the rest of the country or the federal judiciary, which now has 13 circuits, not 9. Biden sounds very Washington when he tells 60 Minutes he’ll put together a bipartisan panel to give the idea some thought. That might be the right thing to do. It’s not a decisive answer. Trump will go after that tonight. Read more.
Threatening voter emails sent from Iran, says top intel official — The US intelligence community weighed in Wednesday on the threatening emails in Florida and other states and, at a hastily arranged press conference, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said they were intended or designed to damage Trump, although it’s not clear how. Of great concern is the possibility that Iran or Russia have accessed US voter files, although the emails could be accessed through public record.
First known case of ransomware attack on US election system hits Georgia — This was first disclosed October 7, but the effects are just now becoming clear, according to CNN’s Brian Fung. The attack may not have been focused on accessing election system, but it appears to have breached voter signature databases in Hall County, Georgia.
North Carolina: We keep talking about North Carolina, but that’s because it seems to be changing so quickly. CNN’s Dan Merica spent time there talking to voters. Read and see the result here.

He writes: “The state the President won by more than 3 percentage points four years ago has continued its gradual political transformation, moving away from the red states to its south and toward its bluer neighbors to the north. The transformation has been propelled by a mix of factors: The state is growing more diverse with Hispanic and Asian immigrants, its cities and suburbs are booming with unbridled growth from northern transplants, older voters from the northeast who are fleeing Trump have retired to the state’s coast and the Tar Heel State’s once large rural population is shrinking.”

QOTD from Sen. Mitt Romney on Trump’s chances of winning — “I think I saw a tweet today saying it’s 12% chance, someone else said 10% chance. I think it’s much more like 40%, but time will tell.”


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