Final debate topics include COVID-19, race, national security

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
October 19, 2020: The Committee on Presidential Debates released the six topics for the final presidential debate selected by moderator Kristen Welker. Preserve America launched a $10 million anti-Biden campaign in seven battleground states.


Inside Elections updated its race ratings on October 16, 2020:

  • Iowa and Ohio moved from Tilt Republican to Toss Up.
  • Wisconsin moved from Tilt Democratic to Lean Democratic
  • New Hampshire moved from Lean Democratic to Likely Democratic.
  • Kansas and Missouri moved from Likely Republican to Lean Republican.

Notable Quotes of the Day

“What you see here is a pretty clear divide between the Great Lake and Sun Belt states. Biden has advantages of 7 points to 8 points in the Great Lakes, while his leads are 3 to 4 points in the Sun Belt. Nebraska’s Second District is really not part of either region, though it is part of the Midwest (where the Great Lakes is mostly situated) and lacks the racial diversity of the Sun Belt states.

The key in these poll numbers is that Biden doesn’t actually need Arizona, Florida or North Carolina to win. Just by winning in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and holding the Clinton states, Biden gets to 278 electoral votes.

Obviously, that map doesn’t leave Biden a lot of room for error, but it is good enough.”

– Harry Enten, CNN

“Flagging ‘clear warning signs’ for Biden, one prominent strategist circulated a memo among Democrats earlier this month citing increasing registration of white, non-college educated voters — Trump’s base demographic — in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. There is no precedent for Trump overcoming such a large polling deficit this close to the election, the strategist wrote. ‘And yet …’”

– David SidersPolitico

Election Updates

  • On Friday, the Committee on Presidential Debates released the six topics for the final presidential debate selected by moderator Kristen Welker: fighting COVID-19, American families, race in America, climate change, national security, and leadership.
  • Joe Biden is airing ads during five NFL games this week for teams in several battleground states. AdAge estimated one 30-second spot during an NFL game cost $419,000 in 2019.
  • Kamala Harris returns to the campaign trail on Monday after two campaign aides tested positive for COVID-19. She is visiting Orlando and Jacksonville in Florida.
  • Donald Trump is holding two rallies in Arizona on Monday: one in Prescott, the other in Tucson.
  • The pro-Trump Preserve America launched a $10 million ad campaign in seven battleground states that criticizes Biden on his economic policy. The ads will air in Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia, and Iowa.
  • 60 Minutes will feature interviews with Biden, Trump, and their respective running mates on Sunday.
  • Syracuse.com profiled Howie Hawkins’ upbringing, career, and presidential campaign.
  • Jo Jorgensen is concluding her bus tour in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Monday.

Flashback: October 19, 2016

The third and final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was held in Las Vegas.blank

Click here to learn more.




About the author

Emily Aubert

Emily Aubert is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

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