Seven days from US Election Day: What you need to know

Early voting surges as Donald Trump and Joe Biden barnstorm the nation in the final days of the presidential campaign.

The coming Halloween holiday, the United States election and the coronavirus pandemic are combined in a 'VOTE' message outside a home in Los Angeles, California on October 26, 2020 [Chris Pizzello/AP Photo]
The coming Halloween holiday, the United States election and the coronavirus pandemic are combined in a 'VOTE' message outside a home in Los Angeles, California on October 26, 2020 [Chris Pizzello/AP Photo]

Election Day in the United States is next Tuesday, November 3, and President Donald Trump and opponent Joe Biden will be crisscrossing the country in these final days making their closing arguments to the millions of Americans who have yet to cast their ballots.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a record number of voters have already participated either by mail or via in-person early voting: Over 64.7 million, according to the US Election Projects. In the 2016 election, 57.2 million Americans voted early out of a total of 137.5 million who cast ballots.

Americans aren’t just voting for president next week. There are 35 US Senate races on the ballot, which will determine whether Republicans hold on to their majority, and all 435 races are up for grabs in the US House, where Democrats are not only expected to keep their majority but potentially expand it.

Poll position

Newly released polls from Reuters/Ipsos show Biden with leads in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Trump and Biden campaigned in Pennsylvania yesterday and Trump will be in Wisconsin today. Among likely voters in Wisconsin, Biden has a 53-44 percent lead. In Pennsylvania, Biden is up 50-45 percent. The margin of error in each poll is +/-4 percentage points.

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at HoverTech International in Allentown, Pennsylvania on October 26, 2020 [Alex Brandon/AP Photo]

In Georgia, where Biden will campaign today, a new poll shows the race statistically tied. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll of likely voters released Monday showed Biden at 47 percent and Trump at 46 percent.

A new national poll from Yahoo News/YouGov has Biden leading Trump by 12 points among likely voters, 54-42 percent, which is four times what Hillary Clinton’s lead over Trump was at this point in 2016. In the RealClearPolitics average of national polls, Biden holds a 7.8-percentage-point lead over Trump. The Yahoo News/YouGov poll’s margin of error is +/-3 percentage points.

In case you missed it

  • Coronavirus spike: In the upper Midwest, in states that are extremely important to the president’s re-election effort, the coronavirus is getting worse at the least opportune time as new cases are raging, reports the Associated Press.
  • Trump’s Electoral College challenge: Al Jazeera’s William Roberts reports that Trump’s path to victory in the US presidential election has narrowed as Biden opened a lead in key Midwest states and forced Trump to play defence in Republican strongholds once thought secure.
  • Biden closing gap in Ohio: One of those Midwest states where Biden is challenging Trump is Ohio, which Trump won by eight points in 2016. Al Jazeera’s Daniel Newhauser writes that the state’s recent rightward shift is in jeopardy after broken presidential promises, a global pandemic, and a disastrously managed re-election campaign put the state solidly back in play.
  • New Supreme Court justice: By a party-line vote of 52-48, Senate Republicans confirmed Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court that will almost certainly have a conservative majority for years to come.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks with supporters outside a voter service centre in Chester, Pennsylvania on October 26, 2020 [Andrew Harnik/AP Photo]

Where the candidates are today

Trump will hold campaign rallies in Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska. Biden will deliver his closing message during a speech in Warm Springs, Georgia, before campaigning in Atlanta.

Former President Barack Obama will campaign in Florida on behalf of Biden while First Lady Melania Trump travels to Pennsylvania for her first solo campaign event.

Vice President Mike Pence campaigns in North and South Carolina; Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris is in Nevada.

Source: Al Jazeera

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