Emily Aubert

Emily Aubert is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at

60 Minutes airs Trump, Biden interviews

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
October 26, 2020: CBS aired interviews with Donald Trump and Joe Biden on 60 Minutes on Sunday. Trump is holding three rallies in Pennsylvania on Monday.

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Notable Quote of the Day

“For Mr. Biden, an all-in strategy could carry risks.

Mrs. Clinton was criticized for not visiting Wisconsin in the general election, even as she campaigned during the final days of the race in Arizona, which Mr. Trump ended up winning. Some of her former aides later acknowledged they put too many resources in states that wound up not being competitive.

Mr. Trump’s team during the current campaign has frequently pointed to polling in 2016 that showed Mrs. Clinton leading in the final weeks and has noted that Mr. Trump was significantly outspent.”

– Sabrina Siddiqui and Ken Thomas, The Wall Street Journal​​​​​​

Election Updates

  • As of Sunday, 58.6 million people had voted early or absentee in the 2020 election, exceeding the total early votes (58 million) for the 2016 election.
  • Donald Trump is holding three rallies in Pennsylvania on Monday in Lehigh Valley, Lancaster, and Martinsburg.
  • Trump cast his ballot in-person in Florida on Saturday. “I voted for a guy named Trump,” he said.
  • CBS aired interviews with Trump and Joe Biden on 60 Minutes on Sunday. The candidates and their running mates discussed the state of the election, coronavirus pandemic, economy, suburban women voters, and race.
  • Howie Hawkins is holding a Green New Deal rally at the Illinois State Capitol on Monday.
  • Jo Jorgensen discussed limited government, healthcare, and foreign policy in an interview on Iran International TV on Saturday.

Flashback: October 26, 2016

Hillary Clinton campaigned in Florida on her 69th birthday.blank

Click here to learn more.

Trump, Biden clash over coronavirus, immigration in final debate

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
October 23, 2020: Donald Trump and Joe Biden participated in the final presidential debate on Thursday night. Trump will hold rallies in five battleground states between Friday and Sunday.

Notable Quote of the Day

“For the most part, however, each man jabbed at his opponent in predictable, intermittently effective ways and revealed, yet again, personalities that have either attracted or repelled millions. Trump did nothing but scorn Biden as a do-nothing politician who somehow hid his role as the mastermind of a great corruption scheme. Biden was most comfortable talking about policies he would implement—and damning Trump for mishandling the pandemic. Any voter who learned anything new must have been on a very long hiking trip for the past year or so, without a smartphone.”

– Michael Kazin, professor of history at Georgetown University​​​​​​

Debate Recap

Donald Trump and Joe Biden met in Nashville, Tennessee, for the final presidential debate on Thursday night. NBC News’ Kristen Welker moderated the event. The candidates discussed the coronavirus pandemic, election interference, foreign conflicts of interest, China, North Korea, healthcare, economic stimulus, immigration, race, and climate change.

Trump spoke for 41.3 minutes, while Biden spoke for 37.9 minutes. Here are highlights for each presidential candidate:

  • Trump said a coronavirus vaccine would be available sooner than what his officials projected. He said schools and businesses needed to reopen. Trump said Biden failed to address immigration and criminal justice reform while he was vice president. He also said that Biden and his family received money from foreign countries. Trump said his tax and regulatory policy would help rebuild the economy. He said success would unify the country.
  • Biden said Trump did not take responsibility for the 220,000 deaths caused by the coronavirus in the United States or have a plan to safely reopen the economy and schools. He said his healthcare plan, Bidencare, would be Obamacare with a public option. Biden said Trump’s family separation policy violated the nation’s values. Biden called climate change an existential threat. He said the country needed to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy over time.

Election Updates

  • Donald Trump is holding two Florida rallies on Friday in The Villages and Pensacola.
  • Trump is holding rallies in North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin on Saturday. He is also holding a rally in New Hampshire on Sunday.
  • Joe Biden is delivering remarks in Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday.
  • Biden will speak about the economy in Bucks and Luzerne counties in Pennsylvania on Saturday. Barack Obama is campaigning in Miami for Biden on the same day.
  • Biden said he would establish a bipartisan commission of constitutional scholars to study expanding the Supreme Court and other judicial reforms.
  • Howie Hawkins responded to the presidential debate in a video streamed from Nashville.
  • Jo Jorgensen participated in a town hall interview on Thursday night.

Flashback: October 23, 2016

The Las Vegas Review-Journal endorsed Donald Trump for president.blank

Click here to learn more.

Biden raises $281 million, Trump raises $81 million in September

Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) outraised President Donald Trump (R) by $200 million, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday.

The Biden campaign raised $281 million in September, a percentage difference of 110% from the Trump campaign’s $81 million. Biden’s campaign spent $285 million to the Trump campaign’s $139 million.

As of Sept. 30, the Biden campaign had $114 million more in cash-on-hand than the Trump campaign ($177 million to $63 million), marking the second consecutive month that the Biden campaign has held a cash advantage over Trump. Biden also leads Trump in overall fundraising, cumulatively raising $822 million to Trump’s $557 million.

Both Biden and Trump increased their receipts from August to September: $212 million to $281 million for Biden; and $62 million to $81 million for Trump.

Biden’s $822 million in overall fundraising is the highest figure for any presidential candidate at this point in the past four election cycles. Former President Barack Obama (D) raised $792 million in inflation-adjusted funds at this point in 2008. On the other hand, Trump has more than doubled his fundraising from this point in his 2016 campaign for president: Trump had $557 million, according to Tuesday’s FEC reports, compared to $236 million in October 2016.

Biden’s cash-on-hand total also tops campaign money records. Biden’s total of $177 million is the highest of any candidate’s at this point in the election cycle, topping Obama’s $172 million inflation-adjusted total in 2008.

Biden and Trump’s combined $1.38 billion in fundraising is the highest across the four most recent election cycles. At this point in the 2008 election, the presidential campaigns of Obama and Sen. John McCain (R) had raised a combined inflation-adjusted $1.26 billion.

Additional reading:

Trump, Biden will meet in Nashville for final debate

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
October 22, 2020: Donald Trump and Joe Biden are participating in the second and final presidential debate of the election on Thursday night in Nashville. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled on North Carolina’s deadline extension for absentee ballots.

Campaign Ad Comparison

DPNB campaign ad comparison feature, 2020 ("Keep the Faith" – Joe Biden)

DPNB campaign ad comparison feature, 2020 ("Joe Biden, You Are Lying" – Donald Trump)

Notable Quote of the Day

“There are few days left to change the trajectory of the race. Trump’s best chance at this point would be to dramatically boost turnout among non-college-educated white voters in the industrial Midwest.”

– Sara Fagen, former Bush White House political director

“The Republicans have been laser-focused on growing the electorate this time. The Republicans have a better operation on the ground than anything we’ve seen since 2004.’’

– Donna Brazile, Gore presidential campaign manager

Election Updates

  • Donald Trump and Joe Biden are participating in the second and final presidential debate of the election on Thursday night in Nashville. The debate will be 90 minutes without commercial breaks. It will be divided into six, 15-minute segments on the following topics selected by moderator, NBC News’ Kristen Welker: fighting COVID-19, American families, race in America, climate change, national security, and leadership. Each candidate’s mic will be muted during the other’s opening remarks at the start of each segment. During the rest of the debate, the microphones will be on for open discussion.
  • Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said he did not vote for Trump for president. He did not identify the candidate he supported.
  • Howie Hawkins is campaigning in Nashville on Thursday.
  • Jo Jorgensen participated in the Unity Campfire series on Wednesday night.
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled on North Carolina’s deadline extension for absentee votes, holding that ballots could be received and counted up to nine days after the election if they were postmarked on or before November 3.

Flashback: October 22, 2016

The Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation project projected that Hillary Clinton had a better than 95 percent chance of winning.blank

Click here to learn more.

Obama hits campaign trail for the first time for Biden

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
October 21, 2020: Former President Barack Obama is campaigning for Joe Biden in Philadelphia. Jo Jorgensen participated in Ballotpedia’s Candidate Conversation series.

Presidential Facebook ads, 2019-2020 (October 12-18)

Notable Quote of the Day

“Presidential races have been tight in North Carolina over the last three cycles. No party has won the state by more than 4 points. Barack Obama won it by less than a point in 2008. Mitt Romney took it by 2 points in 2012. And Trump won it by a little less than 4 points in 2016, making it one of only six states Trump won by less than 5 points in 2016.

But unlike a lot of other important swing states, North Carolina has a history of voters casting a lot of ballots early. The state allows those early votes to be processed before Election Day, so it shouldn’t take days to count much of the vote. We’re not talking about Pennsylvania or Wisconsin, two states that are expecting a wave of absentee voters because of the coronavirus pandemic and have no real experience counting a lot of early votes. …

In other words, unless the race is really close (which it could be), North Carolina should give us a fairly good insight into both the presidential and Senate landscapes on Election Night.”

– Harry Enten, CNN

Election Updates

  • According to campaign filings with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday, Joe Biden ended September with $177 million in cash on hand, while Donald Trump had $63 million.
  • Former President Barack Obama is campaigning for Biden in Philadelphia on Wednesday. The drive-in rally is his first event for Biden on the campaign trail.
  • Biden is airing seven new Spanish and bilingual ads across several markets, including Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
  • Trump and the Republican National Committee are spending $55 million on ads in the final two weeks of the election. They are targeting Arizona, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Michigan.
  • Trump is holding a rally in Gastonia, North Carolina, on Wednesday.
  • Trump ended an interview with Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes early on Tuesday. He tweeted that he was considering posting the interview early “so that everybody can get a glimpse of what a FAKE and BIASED interview is all about.”
  • Jo Jorgensen participated in Ballotpedia’s Candidate Conversation series. Click here to watch her interview.

Flashback: October 21, 2016

Hillary Clinton released an ad featuring Gold Star father Khizr Khan.

Click here to learn more.

Debate commission will mute mics during opening remarks for each topic segment

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
October 20, 2020: The Commission on Presidential Debates announced that each candidate’s microphone will be muted during the other candidate’s two-minute remarks to open each topic segment. The Supreme Court denied a request for a stay of a state court ruling allowing ballots received until November 6 to be counted in Pennsylvania.

Presidential poll highlights, 2019-2020 (Emerson College Polling • North Carolina • October 13-14, 2020)

Presidential poll highlights, 2019-2020 (Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy • Florida • October 8-12, 2020)

Presidential poll highlights, 2019-2020 (CBS News/YouGov • Wisconsin • October 13-16, 2020)

Notable Quote of the Day

“It leaves the president with two options: Either find a way to ramp up turnout among working-class white voters in the state, specifically white men. Or turn things around with the white women who helped propel him to the White House four years ago. …

White men are still mostly with Trump in the Keystone state, backing him by anywhere from 14 to 20 points, according to public polling. Bortz’s household is an example of the gender divide reflected in polls: Her husband supports the president. But across nearly every other demographic, including white women without a college degree, Trump is slipping.

Trump won that voting bloc by 20 points in 2016, according to exit polls. Recent surveys show him now winning the group only by 5 to 10 percentage points.”

– Laura Barrón-López and Holly Otterbein​​​​

Election Updates

  • The Commission on Presidential Debates announced on Monday that each candidate’s microphone will be muted during the other candidate’s two-minute opening remarks for each of the final debate’s six segments on Thursday. During the rest of the debate, the microphones will be on for open discussion. Both campaigns agreed to the rule.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court split 4-4 on whether to grant a stay of a Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision allowing ballots received until November 6 to be counted. As a result, the state court’s decision stands.
  • Joe Biden is off the campaign trail preparing for the final presidential debate.
  • Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele endorsed Biden on Tuesday.
  • Donald Trump is holding a campaign rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday.
  • The Trump campaign has 2.5 million volunteers, surpassing the record 2.2 million set by Barack Obama, according to Trump campaign spokeswoman Samantha Zager.

Flashback: October 20, 2016

Donald Trump said during a rally, “I would accept a clear election result, but I would also reserve my right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result.”blank

Click here to learn more.

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.
  • 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.

Three individuals linked to Biden campaign travel test positive for COVID-19

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
October 16, 2020: Three individuals linked to Biden campaign travel tested positive for COVID-19. Donald Trump, the Republican National Committee, and joint fundraising committees raised $248 million in September.

Notable Quote of the Day

“Wisconsin is proof that politicos have short memories. In 2004, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry carried Wisconsin by just 0.4 percentage points — making it the closest state in the country. Four years earlier, it had been even closer — Democrat Al Gore won the Badger State by just 5,708 votes, or 0.2 points.

But Democrat Barack Obama really connected with Wisconsin voters, winning the state by 14 points in 2008 and 7 points in 2012. Going into 2016, that contributed to a sense that Wisconsin was a safe bet for Hillary Clinton — part of the mythical ‘blue wall.’ It had, after all, voted Democratic in seven consecutive presidential elections by that point.

We all know what happened next: Now-President Trump carried Wisconsin by 0.8 percentage points, reaffirming its status as a swing state. It was the third time in five presidential elections that Wisconsin was decided by less than a point.”

– Nathaniel Rakich, FiveThirtyEight​​​​​

Election Updates

  • Three people who traveled with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on campaign flights tested positive for COVID-19. Harris suspended her travel for several days after sharing a flight with two of the individuals who had tested positive. The campaign said Biden would remain on the campaign trail since he had not been within 50 feet of the third person who tested positive. Biden said his COVID-19 test was negative on Thursday.
  • Biden participated in a town hall on ABC News in Philadelphia moderated by George Stephanopoulos on Thursday night. He said that a vaccine mandate would depend on its effectiveness and distribution. He said he wanted to eliminate tax cuts for only the top earners. He called the 1994 crime bill a mistake and advocated more community policing. Biden said his position on court packing depended on Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation process.
  • Biden is campaigning in Michigan on Friday with stops in Southfield and Detroit.
  • Donald Trump, the Republican National Committee, and joint fundraising committees raised $248 million in September. The Biden campaign previously reported that it, along with its aligned Democratic groups, had raised $383 million in the same month.
  • Trump participated in a town hall on NBC News in Miami moderated by Savannah Guthrie on Thursday night. He denounced white supremacy and antifa. He said he would always protect people with pre-existing conditions. Trump said his reported personal debt of $421 million was tiny compared to his assets. He said his position on Supreme Court nominations in election years changed after how Brett Kavanaugh was treated during his confirmation hearing.
  • Trump is holding rallies in Florida and Georgia on Friday, campaign events in Michigan and Wisconsin on Saturday, and a rally in Carson City, Nevada, on Sunday.
  • Jo Jorgensen is campaigning in Florida on Friday and Saturday. She will also visit Tennessee on Sunday.

Flashback: October 16, 2016

The New York Times reported that Donald Trump began October 2016 with $75 million in cash on hand, while Hillary Clinton had roughly $150 million.blank

Click here to learn more.

Nine presidential candidates are each on more than 10 state ballots

Thirty-six presidential candidates are appearing on at least one ballot across the 50 states and Washington, D.C., on November 3, 2020. This is more than the 31 presidential candidates who also appeared on at least one ballot in 2016.

Three candidates are appearing on the ballot in all 51 jurisdictions:
• Former Vice President Joe Biden (D)
• Jo Jorgensen (L)
• President Donald Trump (R)

Green Party presidential nominee Howie Hawkins is on the ballot in 30 states.

Five other candidates are on the ballot in more than 10 states:
• Don Blankenship (Constitution), 18 ballots
• Brock Pierce (Independent), 16 ballots
• Gloria La Riva (Party for Socialism and Liberation), 15 ballots
• Roque De La Fuente (Alliance), 15 ballots
• Kanye West (Independent), 12 ballots

There are 21 candidates on the ballot each in Vermont and Colorado. The next largest presidential ballots are Arkansas and Louisiana with 13 candidates each. Twelve states have only three candidates on the ballot.

In 2016, Colorado had the most candidates on the ballot: 22. Louisiana followed with 13 candidates.

Excluding unaffiliated, independent, and nonpartisan candidates, there were 37 parties represented on the ballot in 2016 and 36 represented in 2020.

Biden, Trump participate in competing town halls rather than debate

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
October 15, 2020: Joe Biden and Donald Trump are participating in competing town halls on Thursday night after the second presidential debate was canceled. The Biden campaign responded to a New York Post story on his alleged involvement in his son’s business dealings in Ukraine.

Campaign Ad Comparison
DPNB campaign ad comparison feature, 2020 ("Change" – Joe Biden)

DPNB campaign ad comparison feature, 2020 ("We Deserve to Know" – Donald Trump)

Notable Quote of the Day

“In 2016, 94% of all campaigning took place in just 12 states and two-thirds of the events took place in just six states. More than half of all states did not have one campaign event in 2016 after the national party conventions. No candidate stepped foot in any state with just 3 electoral votes, undermining the argument that the Electoral College forces candidates to run national campaigns.

The same pattern has emerged this fall. Since the conclusion of the national party conventions in August, Over 70% of all campaign events — either virtual or in person — have been held in just six states (Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan and Minnesota). If you want to know where the presidential election will be decided, you need look no further than where the candidates are spending their time and money.”

– Robert Alexander, director of the Institute for Civics and Public Policy at Ohio Northern University

Election Updates

  • Joe Biden is participating in a town hall in Philadelphia hosted by ABC News and moderated by George Stephanopoulos on Thursday night.
  • The Biden campaign announced on Wednesday that the campaign, in conjunction with the Democratic National Committee, raised a record-setting $383 million in September.
  • The Biden campaign responded to a New York Post story that said Hunter Biden introduced Joe Biden to an executive from a Ukraninan energy company, where Hunter Biden was a member of the board. “The never-before-revealed meeting is mentioned in a message of appreciation that Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, allegedly sent Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015, about a year after Hunter joined the Burisma board at a reported salary of up to $50,000 a month,” The New York Post said. The article referenced a hard drive and emails given to The New York Post by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.
  • Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement that “we have reviewed Joe Biden’s official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place.” Politico reported that the Biden campaign did not rule out the possibility that Biden had an informal interaction with Pozharskyi. Bates also said, “Investigations by the press, during impeachment, and even by two Republican-led Senate committees whose work was decried as ‘not legitimate’ and political by a GOP colleague have all reached the same conclusion: that Joe Biden carried out official U.S. policy toward Ukraine and engaged in no wrongdoing. Trump administration officials have attested to these facts under oath.”
  • Donald Trump began airing an ad questioning Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine on Wednesday. The narrator says, “The question is not why Hunter Biden used his name to get these gigs. It’s why Joe Biden let him do it.”
  • Trump is participating in a town hall in Miami hosted by NBC News and moderated by Savannah Guthrie.
  • Howie Hawkins called on his supporters to volunteer as official poll watchers to challenge voter suppression efforts.

Flashback: October 15, 2016

Donald Trump said he and Hillary Clinton should take a drug test before the final presidential debate.

Click here to learn more.