Four days from the US elections: What you need to know

Trump and Biden will both touch down in Minnesota and Wisconsin today as a record number of Americans cast their votes early.

A record number of Americans are voting early this year [Elaine Thompson/AP Photo]
A record number of Americans are voting early this year [Elaine Thompson/AP Photo]

President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden continue making their closing pitches to voters across the US in the final four days of the 2020 campaign.

For the second day in a row, the two will hold campaign rallies in the same battleground states, although today’s scheduling has a bit of a twist.

Both Trump and Biden stopped in Florida on Thursday, which is unsurprising as polls show the two running neck-and-neck in that swing state. Today, they will visit Wisconsin, another obvious key battleground.

And both will also campaign in Minnesota today, a state that a Republican presidential candidate has not won since 1972 and where Biden holds a small lead in the polls. But Trump came close in 2016, within 1.5 percent of Hillary Clinton. The addition of Minnesota to Biden’s schedule is clearly a late-game effort to head off a Trump upset there.

Al Jazeera took a look at Minnesota’s turn as a battleground state when the two were there on the same day last month.

More than 82 million Americans have already cast their ballots either by mail, a process expanded in many areas due to the pandemic, or during in-person early voting. That number represents 59.5 percent of the total number of votes cast for the 2016 presidential election. Around 60 percent of voting-eligible Americans have participated in recent presidential elections, though some are predicting that number will rise this year.

Where the candidates are today

Trump will hold rallies in Waterford Township, Michigan; Green Bay, Wisconsin and Rochester, Minnesota.

Biden campaigns in Des Moines, Iowa; St Paul, Minnesota; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Vice President Mike Pence will visit Arizona, while Kamala Harris makes three stops in Texas, a state not traditionally on Democrats’ travel schedule this late in the campaign season.

Poll position

Biden continues to lead Trump nationally, according to a USA Today/Suffolk University poll released this morning.

Biden is ahead 52-44 percent among likely voters, virtually unchanged from his seven-point September lead in the same poll.

The USA Today poll also found that as the pandemic rages, a significant majority of Americans agree with Biden’s cautious approach to campaign events compared with Trump’s large rallies. The poll says 64 percent agree with Biden’s decision to hold smaller events, something Trump repeatedly ridicules him about, while nearly six in 10 disagree with Trump’s decision to continue holding rallies. The poll has a margin of error of +/-3.1 percentage points.

Meanwhile, Americans are both enthusiastic and fearful as election day approaches, according to a new Gallup poll out today.

That poll says 69 percent of registered voters are “more enthusiastic than usual” about voting this year, up from 50 percent at this point in 2016. Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, 75 percent are “more enthusiastic” compared with 66 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

That being said, 64 percent of registered voters say they are “afraid of what will happen” if their preferred candidate does not win on Tuesday, with Democrats and Republicans equally likely to say that.

In case you missed it:

Coronavirus campaign: The pandemic has become the prism through which the 2020 election has been viewed.

Muslim and Arab American candidates:  One California US House race pits Lebanese American Darrell Issa against Ammar Campa-Najjar, who has Palestinian roots. Also, two members of the “Squad” are among the Arab American and Muslim candidates up for election in the House.

Battleground states: As Trump and Biden barnstorm in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan on Friday, Al Jazeera tells you what you need to know about the states that will be key to winning the presidential election.

Source: Al Jazeera

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