Trump campaigns in swing state Arizona: US election news

Donald Trump holds rallies in Arizona with US senate candidate, while Democrat Kamala Harris hosts drive-in rallies

President Donald Trump campaigned in Arizona with Senator Martha McSally who trails her Democratic opponent in polls [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]
President Donald Trump campaigned in Arizona with Senator Martha McSally who trails her Democratic opponent in polls [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

Donald Trump and Kamala Harris on Wednesday both campaigned in Arizona, a state where Joe Biden maintains a small lead.

  • Biden addressed the coronavirus pandemic, a subject that has been central to his campaign and closing argument amid a spike in new US cases.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described the chances of Republicans holding the chamber as a ’50-50 proposition’.
  • With six days until the election, more than 71 million US citizens have cast ballots in early voting. That is more than half of all ballots counted in 2016.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the United States elections. This is Joseph Stepansky and William Roberts.

Private plane intercepted by US military over Trump rally

A US fighter jet intercepted a plane flying in restricted airspace near President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Bullhead City, Arizona, in an overhead event that briefly distracted the president and a crowd of supporters, news outlet reported.

“Wow. That plane is about four days old. We have all brand new equipment, F-35s, everything. We’re the envy of the world,” Trump said to cheers. “You know what? We are the envy — do you know about that Dan? Look at that sucker. He’s trying to show off to the president. Yeah, that’s one of ours.”

The North American Aerospace Defense Command posted on Twitter that it sent an F-16 to investigate “a general aviation aircraft that was not in communication” with air-traffic controllers as it neared Bullhead City.

Kamala Harris campaigns opposite Trump in Phoenix

Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris met with African American leaders in Phoenix, Latina business owners in Tucson and held two drive-in rallies.

Speaking about violent protests against police brutality in Philadelphia following the killing of Walter Wallace, a Black man, Harris said Joe Biden would work to address issues confronting minorities.

“Part of the reason that people are marching in the streets is that there has not been the level of attention, especially recently over the last few years, that is necessary from the president of the United States. And Joe’s committed to that,” Harris told reporters, according to the news outlet

Harris and presidential candidate Joe Biden are trying to flip Arizona, which Trump won in 2016.

“Donald Trump failed. He failed us,” Harris said at a drive-in rally in Pima county, criticizing Trump’s decision to downplay the seriousness of the virus attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris called for police reforms at meeting with Black leaders in Phoenix and met with a group of Latina business owners in Tucson, Arizona [Matt York/AP Photo]

Vice President Mike Pence campaigns in Michigan

“We have got to make sure Michigan comes through,” Pence said at an airport rally in Flint, Michigan.

Trump and Pence won Michigan in 2016 but are trailing in public opinion surveys there now.

“We need you to vote Michigan. Got to re-elect President Trump to the White House,” Pence said.

“You guys need to go get it done,” he said.

More than 2.3 million have already voted in Michigan, according to the US Election Project’s tracking data. Biden and Trump are competing fo Michigan’s 16 votes in the Electoral College where a 270-vote majority is required to win.

Brexit champion Nigel Farage campaigns with Trump in Arizona

UK politician Nigel Farage appeared on stage with President Donald Trump as he campaigned for re-election in Arizona, a key US swing state.

“I gotta say four years ago I was honored to come to America…” said Farage, who led the political drive in Britain to withdraw from the European Union.

In 2016, Trump “beat the pollsters. He beat all the predictions. And here’s the worst bit, they’ve never forgiven him for it,” Farage said.

“They have spent four years trying to delegitimise him. Four years of the Russia hoax. Four years of the false. impeachment. Most human beings under that barrage would have given up,” he said.

Trump “is the single most resilient and bravest person I have ever met in my life.”

Nigel Farage speaks in support of US President Donald Trump during a campaign rally in  Arizona [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

Republican Senate candidate McSally appeals for votes with Trump in Arizona

Republican US Senate candidate Martha McSally appeared on stage with President Donald Trump to appeal for votes at a campaign rally in Arizona.

“Everything is on the line and my race is about the Senate majority,” said McSally, who trails her Democratic challenger Mark Kelly in polls.

“We’ve got to bring it home Arizona. My race will decide the direction of the country. The radical left can take over in the Senate,” McSally said.

“So if you want someone who’s going to be Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer’s fifty-first vote to take away our freedoms and our Second Amendment rights … then you got a guy named Mark Kelly,” she said.

“But if you want a fighter, if you want to continue to have a fighter who is proud to work with President Trump for the great comeback and strong military and secure our borders … I’m your girl Arizona.”

Senator Martha McSally with  President Donald Trump asks for votes at a campaign rally at an airport near Phoenix Arizona [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

Trump slams ‘Anonymous’ op-ed author, says should be prosecuted

President Donald Trump, campaigning in Arizona, called a former Department of Homeland Security official who wrote ‘anonymous” reports from inside the Trump administration a “low-life” who “should be prosecuted”.

Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland security, has acknowledged he authored a 2018 Op-Ed in The New York Times condemning Trump.

Taylor also anonymously authored a book, called “A Warning”, which portrayed the president as “undisciplined”, “amoral” and a threat to democracy.

Taylor is now a regular critic of the president on CNN and Twitter.

President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally at Phoenix Goodyear Airport in Arizona [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

Biden, in LGBTQ interview, vows to pass equality bill in first 100 days

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden promised to make passing equal rights legislation for LGBTQ people a top priority in the first 100 days of his administration should he win Tuesday’s election.

Biden outlined his agenda for LGBTQ rights in an email interview with Philadelphia Gay News publisher Mark Segal, a nationally known advocate for gay rights since the 1970s.

Biden also promised to expand LGBTQ rights internationally by making equality a centerpiece of US diplomacy, Reuters news service reported.

Supreme Court will not speed up review of Pennsylvania mail-in voting fight

The US Supreme Court handed a setback to Republicans by declining to quickly decide whether to hear their latest bid to overturn a ruling that extended Pennsylvania’s deadline to receive mail-in ballots in next Tuesday’s election, the Reuters news service reported.

Justices declined to expedite their consideration of the request by the Republican Party of Pennsylvania to hear and decide before the election its appeal of a ruling by the state’s top court ordering officials to count mail-in ballots that are postmarked by Election Day and received up to three days later.

The Supreme Court on October 19 already rejected a Republican request to block the lower court ruling.

Dow closes down 940 points as fears grow over virus surge

Wall Street’s main stock indexes all closed down as rising coronavirus infections in the United States and Europe fuelled fears of more growth-sapping coronavirus pandemic restrictions and investors fretted over the prospect of a contested November 3 US presidential election.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed more than 943 points or 3.43 percent to finish the session at 26,519.95

The spectre of renewed restrictions in the US looms large as infections and hospitalisations set records in the key political battleground of the Midwest, even as President Donald Trump claims in campaign speeches the US is “turning the corner” in the fight against the virus.

Read more here:


Former NYC Mayor Bloomberg funds ads in Texas, Ohio for Biden

Billionaire Mike Bloomberg is funding last-minute television advertising blitz for Joe Biden in Ohio and Texas, two Republican leaning states that analysts say are now in-play in the US election.

Bloomberg’s super PAC, Independence USA, will fund $15 mn in intensive ad campaigns in all television markets in both states, a Bloomberg political adviser told The New York Times.

The decision reflects just how much the electoral landscape appears to have shifted in the final few months of the presidential race, as Trump’s mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic intensified his unpopularity and alienated crucial voting groups like women and suburbanites, the newspaper reported.

Former Democratic presidential candidate, billionaire Mike Bloomberg is funding TV ads in Texas and Ohio for Joe Biden [Carlo Allegri/Reuters]

Trump’s COVID-19 response angers former supporters

For months, Tony Green believed the conspiracy theories. The coronavirus was a hoax masterminded by the “mainstream media” and the Democratic Party to bring down Trump ahead of the presidential election, he thought.

But then the 43-year-old from Dallas, Texas, got sick, as did 14 members of his extended family after he hosted a get-together in June. Two of his relatives, aged 52 and 69, later died from COVID-19.

“I fell victim into believing that the virus didn’t exist,” Green told Al Jazeera in a phone interview.

“I wish Trump had shown more integrity and honesty,” said Green. “His comments were irresponsible. The pandemic shouldn’t have ever been politicised. I didn’t take it seriously. I feel like the drunk driver who killed his passengers. I feel responsible, as I hosted the event.”

Read more here.

United States President Donald Trump throws a face mask from the stage during a campaign rally, his first since being treated for COVID-19, the coronavirus disease [File: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

Democratic challenger Kelly holds steady lead in Arizona Senate race: Poll

Democratic Senate candidate Mark Kelly’s lead over Arizona Republican incumbent Martha McSally is holding steady with less than a week to go until an election that could determine whether Republicans lose control of the Senate, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll showed.

Astronaut Kelly had 52 percent of likely voter support, compared to McSally’s 44 percent support.

Democratic challenger Mark Kelly could help flip the Senate for Democrats [Rob Schumacher/The Associated Press]

Trump statistically even with Biden in Florida, dead heat in Arizona: Poll

Trump has pulled into a virtual tie with Biden in Florida, just a week after the former vice president held a narrow lead there, a new Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll shows.

With less than a week to go before next Tuesday’s election, a second Reuters/Ipsos poll showed that the two candidates remain neck and neck in Arizona.

The poll found 49 percent of likely voters in Florida support Biden, while 47 percent support Trump. That’s within the poll’s credibility interval. A poll last week had gound Biden with 50 percent support and Trump with 46 percent.

In Arizona, Biden had 48 percent support among likely voters compared to Trump’s 46 percent.

What to listen for during Trump’s stump speeches

With election day less than a week away, both President Donald Trump and Joe Biden have been busy on the campaign trail. Trump has consistently been trailing Biden in national polls over the last few weeks, and has been making an intensive effort to get ahead in the race.

We break down key issues that President Trump has repeatedly mentioned throughout his campaign, and are likely to come up again in these final few days of the battle for election victory.

Read more here.

President Donald Trump throws face masks to the crowd as he arrives to hold a campaign rally at John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport in Johnstown, Pennsylvania [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

Former Homeland Security official reveals he penned anonymous anti-Trump Op-Ed, book

Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland security, has confirmed he anonymously authored a 2018 Op-Ed in the New York Times condemning Trump while also seeking to comfort US citizens by saying “there are adults in the room”, the newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Taylor also anonymously authored a book, called “A Warning”, which portrayed the president as “undisciplined”, “amoral” and a threat to foundations of American democracy.

Taylor resigned from the Department of Homeland Security in June 2019, and has since become a public critic of Trump.

White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley called the revelation the “least impressive, lamest political ‘reveal’ of all time” and called Taylor “another standard-issue arrogant, Washington, DC swamp bro who loved President Trump until he figured out he could try to make money by attacking him.”

At rally, Trump references his ‘reputation for not paying’

Facing technical problems during his first rally of the day in Bullhead City, Arizona, Trump said: “Whoever did this microphone, don’t pay him.”

“You know I have a reputation for not paying,” he added, referencing reports and lawsuits that largely came to light during his 2016 presidential run that Trump often shortchanged suppliers and contractors during his 40-year real-estate career.

“And it’s a false reputation,” Trump added. “When somebody does a lousy job, like teleprompters that fly with the wind, I say don’t pay him.”

President Donald Trump applauds as he arrives for a campaign rally at Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport in Bullhead City, Arizona [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

Biden says he will call world leaders, say ‘America is back’

If he wins the presidency, one of Joe Biden’s first moves will be to call foreign leaders and tell them “America is back”, Biden told more than two dozen donors on a virtual fundraiser Wednesday.

Biden said he would “literally” be on the phone with “key leaders in Europe and Asia” working to rebuild alliances and reassuring them that “you can take our word again.” He also indicated that some of those leaders have “been in contact with me the past year.”

Biden, a former chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was heavily engaged in foreign diplomacy during his time as vice president and has often expressed his desire to rebuild America’s standing globally, something he said Wednesday would be “a monumental task.”

Biden added that the coronavirus pandemic “only makes things more urgent” because “it’s laid bare just how critical global cooperation is”, He added he would “mobilise the world to fight the defining threats of our time,” including nuclear proliferation, terrorism, the climate crisis, mass migration and “the disruptive impacts of new technologies.” Biden also pledged to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and the World Health Organization.

Joe Biden speaks to the media after voting at the Carvel State Office Building in Wilmington, Delaware [Andrew Harnik/The Associated Press]

Florida man charged with changing governor’s voting address

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis could not initially cast his ballot this week because someone changed his address online – leading to the arrest of a suspect on felony charges and raising questions about the security of the state’s online registration system.

DeSantis went to an early voting site in Tallahassee on Monday to cast his ballot, but was told his address had been changed from the governor’s mansion to 2185 Pretty Lane, a small apartment complex in West Palm Beach, 675 kilometers (420 miles) away.

DeSantis contacted the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which determined the record had been changed online from a house in Naples, Florida.

Biden and Obama to campaign together in Michigan

Former President Barack Obama and Biden will campaign together in Michigan on Saturday, according to the campaign.

It is the first time Obama and Biden will appear together at an in-person campaign event this election season.

Obama has taken a lead role in supporting Biden in key battleground states in the final days of the race, so far campaigning for his former vice president in Pennsylvania and twice in Florida.

Former President Barack Obama has become a regular presence on the campaign trail in support of Biden in the final days of the race [File: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

Trump, Biden bound for Florida on Thursday

Trump and Biden are both set to campaign in just hours apart in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, according to their campaigns.

Florida is considered a bellwether state in the election, and is all-but essential to any path for victory for Trump.

Biden will visit Broward, County during the day before going to Tampa for a 6:30 PM ET drive-in rally, while Trump will hold a rally in the city just two hours later, at 8:30 PM ET.

[Alia Chughtai/Al Jazeera]

Poll roundup by Al Jazeera Politics Editor Steve Chaggaris: Wisconsin, Michigan and Georgia in focus

A new Marquette University poll in Wisconsin shows Biden leading Donald Trump 48-43 percent among likely voters.

Over 1.5 million people have already voted in Wisconsin, which represents over half of the state’s total turnout in 2016. Among those who have already voted, according to the Marquette poll, 64 percent say they voted for Biden and 25 percent said Trump, while 9 percent did not say.

Among likely voters who haven’t voted, 35 percent say they support Biden while 56 percent support Trump.

Marquette’s final 2016 poll showed Clinton leading Trump by 6 points. That poll was conducted from October 26-31, ending 9 days before Election Day. What was not reflected in that final poll were the 14 percent of voters who made up their minds in the final week of the campaign.

Trump won those voters by 29 percentage points, helping him deliver a 22,000-vote victory.
In Michigan, a New York Times/Siena College poll of likely voters has Trump trailing Biden by 8 points. Biden has 49 percent support to Trump’s 41 percent.

And in Georgia, a new Monmouth poll of likely voters shows Biden with a 50-45 percent lead over Trump.

The margin of error in the Wisconsin poll is +/-4.3 percent; the Michigan poll, +/-3.8 percent; and the Georgia poll, +/-4.4 percent.

Biden casts ballot in 2020 election

Democratic candidate Biden has cast his ballot in the 2020 election.

Biden in his home town of Wimington, Delaware on Wednesday, shortly after giving a speech on the coronavirus and health care.

Joe Biden talks to reporters with his wife Jill after casting their votes in the 2020 election [Brian Snydera/Reuters]

Biden highlights coronavirus, threat to Affordable Care Act in final days of campaign

Biden, during a speech on Wednesday, slammed Trump’s response to the coronavirus and his administration’s attempt to overturn the Affordable Care Act, the landmark healthcare legislation passed when Biden was vice president to Barack Obama.

Following a coronavirus briefing, Biden said: “We’ve lost more than 220,000 lives to this virus already. But this administration has just given up,” referencing statements from White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who said on Sunday the US “is not going to control the pandemic”.

The former vice president further urged US citizens to wear masks, saying “It’s not political. It’s patriotic.”

Biden also condemned what he called Trump’s “single minded crusade to strip Americans of their healthcare” as his administration attempts to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Biden added that Republicans’ fast-tracked the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett with the goal of overturn the legislation. A challenge to the law is set to be heard by the Supreme Court on November 10.

Joe Biden speaks about the Coronavirus and health care at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware [Andrew Harnik/The Associated Press]

Biden says he will vote today

Following a speech on the coronvirus and health care from his home state of Delaware, Biden said he would go cast his ballot.

“I’m going to make a short statement here,” he said. “And then I’m going over to vote with my wife and then I’ll be happy to take your questions after I vote.”

Biden set to out spend Trump on advertising in final sprint to election day

The Biden campaign is set to spend $51 million on advertising in the final week of the election, while outside groups are set to spend $36 million on his behalf, according to the Hill news site, which cites data from the nonpartisan Advertising Analytics.

Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign has allotted about half that amount to the final days of the race. The campaign will spend $11 million over the final week, as well as an additional $15 million it will spend with the Republican National Committee.

The largest outside group supporting Trump has nearly $20 million in airtime reserved in the final days, according to the news site.

Hundreds of Trump rally goers stuck in cold for hours in Nebraska: Report

Attendees of a Trump rally in Omaha, Nebraska were left standing in near-freezing temperatures waiting for buses organised by the Trump campaign on Tuesday night, according to the Washington Post.

At least seven people were taken to the hospital while waiting for the buses, which were meant to take them from the rally location to distant parking lots after the event, the newspaper reported, citing Omaha Scanner, a site that monitors official radio traffic. Police also had to ferry some attendees back to their cars to get them out of the cold.

The Trump campaign said it had provided enough buses for the crowds, but the two-lane road outside the airport where the rally was held became jammed, according to a political reporter at the Omaha World-Herald.

It took three and a half hours for all attendees to be returned to their cars, the reporter tweeted.

McConnell says chances of Republicans keeping Senate majority ’50-50′

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell said in an interview that Republicans holding the Senate was a 50-50 toss up in the November 3 election.

There are 35 Senate seats up for re-election, and the Cook Political Report has labeled two Republican held seats as likely to go to Democrats. Meanwhile, seven Republican-held seats are labeled as toss ups. One Democratic incumbent is considered likely to lose.

While McConnell said the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, which came just eight days before election day, will give some vulnerable Republicans a boost, he still said losing the chamber was a “50-50 proposition”.

Republicans currently have a 53-47 majority. As the vice president breaks Senate ties, the winner of the presidential election will determine how many seats either party needs to win to have a majority.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said Republicans keeping the Senate on November 3 is a toss up [File: Joshua Roberts/Reuters]

White House decries Philadelphia unrest as ‘riots’

The White House has said it is “ready to deploy any and all federal resources” after unrest in Philadelphia following the police killing of a Black man.

Tension has gripped the streets of Philadelphia since Monday’s deadly police shooting of Walter Wallace, 27, who was armed with a knife and described by relatives as suffering from a mental breakdown, in a confrontation with law enforcement. On Monday and Tuesday, peaceful protests turned violent later into the night, with instances of looting and police confrontations.

Trump seized on the unrest during a rally in Wisconsin on Tuesday, continuing to push a “law and order” message that he has made central to his campaign. Trump told supporters that Biden and Democrats “incite violence and hatred against our police officers.”

The White House statement also referenced “Liberal Democrats’ war against the police” and added the Trump administration “stands proudly with law enforcement, and stands ready, upon request, to deploy any and all Federal resources to end these riots.”


Trump and Harris head to Arizona

Trump will hold two campaign rallies in the battleground state of Arizona, where polls show him narrowly trailing Biden, whose vice presidential candidate, Harris, will also visit the state on Wednesday.

Biden, who has repeatedly criticised Trump for failing to contain the coronavirus pandemic, will receive a briefing from public health experts and deliver a speech near his home in Delaware on his plans to combat COVID-19 and protect Americans with pre-existing health conditions, his campaign said.

Arizona has emerged as a top battleground in the White House race after Trump won it by 3.5 percentage points over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016. A Reuters/Ipsos poll taken from October 14-21 found Biden with a 3-point edge on Trump, within the survey’s credibility interval.

A Biden win in Arizona, which has 11 electoral votes, would be the first for a Democratic presidential candidate in the state since Bill Clinton carried it in 1996. Arizona is also the site of a key Senate race between Democrat Mark Kelly and incumbent Republican Martha McSally.

After staying overnight in Las Vegas, Nevada, Trump will hold airport rallies in Bullhead City, Arizona, in the state’s northwestern corner near Nevada, and in Goodyear, outside Phoenix, the state’s biggest city. Harris, meanwhile, will campaign in Tucson and Phoenix.

Early vote turnout boosts hopes for Biden in Texas

Less than a week before election day, Biden appears close to a prize that has eluded generations of Democratic presidential candidates: Texas.

Public opinion polls show Biden and Republican President Donald Trump effectively tied in the Lone Star State. They also suggest the former vice president is leading among those helping to set its staggering early vote totals.

As of Tuesday, nearly 8 million Texans had cast ballots, approaching 90 percent of the entire 2016 vote – a higher percentage than any state in the country, according to the US Elections Project at the University of Florida.

Trump appears to have the edge with voters planning to cast ballots on November 3, according to polls, which also show him improving his standing among Hispanics in Texas, a huge constituency, mirroring modest gains he has made with that demographic nationally since 2016.

Texans do not register by party, which makes it difficult to say with certainty who is leading in early voting, but a Biden win in Texas, which has not voted for a Democratic nominee for president since 1976, would end any chance of Trump’s re-election.

People wait in line to cast their ballots in Houston, Texas [File: Go Nakamura/Reuters]

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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