Politics Headlines

yorkfoto/iStockBy LIBBY CATHEY, ABC News

(WASHINGTON) -- With eight days to go until Election Day, and President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden racing toward Nov. 3, voters are turning out in record numbers to cast their ballots early.

More than 59 million Americans have already voted in the 2020 election, reflecting an extraordinary level of participation and interest despite unprecedented barriers brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

In the final weeks of campaigning, the president has continued to press as polls show him trailing nationally and in several battleground states key to his reelection hopes.

After a weekend traversing the country to campaign, the president delivers remarks Monday on American workers in Pennsylvania and holds two rallies there. Biden, meanwhile, has no public events on his schedule. He will spend Tuesday in Georgia, with Sen. Kamala Harris expected in Texas this week and former President Barack Obama being deployed again to Florida.

Vice President Mike Pence, head of the coronavirus task force, is still on the campaign trail for a Minnesota rally Monday despite being exposed to COVID-19 over the weekend. The White House insists he's an essential worker while some health officials warn he should be in quarantine as a precaution.

Polls indicate a huge pre-Election-Day edge for Biden and a sizable Trump advantage among those who plan to vote on Nov. 3. Trump has sowed doubt in the mail-in ballot process -- and imminent election results -- for months.

All 50 states plus Washington, D.C., have some form of early voting underway. Check out FiveThirtyEight’s guide to voting during the COVID-19 pandemic here.

Oct 26, 1:40 pm
Trump, fired up, says election hinges on Pennsylvania


An energized President Trump declared Pennsylvania his must-win state at the first of three rallies there today, slamming Joe Biden for staying off the campaign trail today and urging the audience in Allentown to get out the vote.
 
“We win Pennsylvania, we win the whole thing,” Trump said to a crowd of closely-packed supporters, many without masks. "You have to get out there."

He opened by railing against Biden for saying at last Thursday's debate that he would transition from the oil industry over time and end fossil fuel subsidies, Trump telling Pennsylvanians their livelihoods are at risk as the state is the second largest producer of natural gas behind Texas.

"So will you remember that, Pennsylvania, please?" Trump said, after playing a video of spliced news clips highlighting his administration's accomplishments and Biden’s past answers to questions on fracking and relations with China.
 
On the coronavirus pandemic, Trump claimed he "saved over two million lives," likely referring to an early model which predicted deaths would only be that high if no attempts were made by the government, nor individuals, to alter their behavior to control the pandemic. The U.S. death toll, instead, is on track to surpass the 240,000 maximum prediction Trump's task force gave in the spring for the year.

As cases are on the rise across the country -- with records being set in recent days -- hospitalizations and deaths are up in many areas, and experts have repeatedly warned the situation would get worse leading into the fall and winter. But Trump lamented against media coverage of the surging cases suggesting it's a ploy to hurt his reelection chances.

“By the way, on November 4th you won't be hearing so much about it. COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID,” he said, repeating a line he's now highlighting.

Providing no evidence, Trump also claimed that his campaign was trying to find a venue for this event up to the last minute because Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, made it “impossible” for the president to host campaign events in the state, sending a direct warning to Wolf.
 
"I'll remember it, Tom. I'm gonna remember it, Tom. 'Hello, Mr. President, this is Governor Wolf, I need help, I need help.' You know what? These people are bad,” Trump said, adding the false claim that Wolf will be counting ballots in the state. "We're watching you."

Trump continued his pitch to suburban women in Pennsylvania, a demographic he is struggling with in the polls, but insisted he’s "saving the suburbs."

“They want two things. They want to leave their house alone. They don't want a five-story project next to them -- or could be higher," Trump said. “They don't want to have antifa and anarchists running through the streets, okay? So if they agree with what I just said, I have a feeling they are going to be voting for Trump."

With a backing from white, moderate and suburban women in Pennsylvania, it is Biden who has an 8% advantage with the group in the state, according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll.

-ABC News' Ben Gittleson, Terrance Smith and Justin Gomez


Oct 26, 1:26 pm
Pence not expected to preside over Barrett confirmation vote


Vice President Mike Pence is not expected to preside over Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Senate vote this evening unless his vote is needed, multiple sources tell ABC News.
 
Barrett has the GOP votes to be confirmed so it’s unlikely that Pence’s tie-breaking vote will be needed.

According to his schedule, Pence will be back in town from a Minnesota campaign stop during the time of the vote, which is expected at 7 p.m.
 
Shortly after White House communications director Alyssa Farrah said that Pence would be presiding over the Senate vote, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters during a gaggle that Pence showing up was "in flux." Over the weekend, Pence "as vice president, I am president of the Senate. And I'm going to be in that chair cause I would not miss that vote for the world!"

It’s unclear if Pence plans to attend a likely White House South Lawn this evening to celebrate Barrett's confirmation and swearing-in.
 
The change comes as five people in Pence’s orbit have tested positive for the coronavirus, though Pence was cleared by doctors to continue to travel as “essential personnel,” according to his office.
 
-ABC News’ Katherine Faulders and John Santucci

Oct 26, 10:30 am
Trump to battleground Pennsylvania, Pence to Minnesota


Trump and Pence are ramping up their already aggressive campaign schedules -- traveling through nearly a dozen battleground states over the next week -- in a final effort to boost their standing in the polls ahead of Nov. 3, doing so as coronavirus cases surge across the country, during an election that has largely become a referendum on the Trump administration's handling of it.

Trump departed the White House this morning for Allentown, Pennsylvania, where his campaign says he'll deliver “victory remarks” on the American worker before two back-to-back afternoon rallies in the Keystone State -- key to his pathway to keeping the White House. Trump narrowly won Pennsylvania in 2016, and polls show Biden with a big boost from suburban women there.

Still, some Trump supporters in Pennsylvania were seen waiting in the rain for hours ahead of the president's arrival.
 
Pence, too, is maintaining his aggressive campaign schedule despite an outbreak of coronavirus among his aides with five reporting testing positive over the weekend including his chief of staff Marc Short. Due to the close nature of Pence’s working relationship with Short, the Centers for Disease Control guidelines require him to quarantine to reduce the risk of asymptomatic spread -- despite testing negative again Monday morning, according to his office.

Pence’s press secretary Dan O’Malley said over the weekend that the vice president would keep to his commitments “in accordance with the CDC guidelines for essential personnel.”
 
Pence, head of the coronavirus task force, is scheduled to travel to Hibbing, Minnesota, Monday for an afternoon rally.

The White House has not confirmed whether the vice president will preside over the Supreme Court confirmation vote of Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the Senate this evening in the wake of the outbreak, but Pence indicated at a Florida rally on Saturday that he would be in attendance.

Oct 26, 9:18 am
Biden plays on expanded map as Trump tends to base


It's either brilliant or delusional -- a sign of changing realities or political hubris. There's no way to know which for at least another eight days.
 
Biden's campaign is seeing an expanding map and looking to play all over it during the final stretch of the race.
 
Biden will spend Tuesday in Georgia, with Sen. Kamala Harris expected in Texas this week and former President Barack Obama being deployed again to Florida. Democrats are playing in a battleground map of 17 states -- when all they needs to do is flip the right three.

Those key three are where Trump is spending his Monday and Tuesday, with a crush of rallies that both defy social-distance guidelines and remain the kind of events that only he could pull together.
 
Trump's focus is falling on the trio Democrats have stressed over for four years running: Pennsylvania, where he will have three rallies Monday, then Wisconsin and Michigan Tuesday, with the president campaigning primarily in GOP strongholds inside those states.

One school of thought will always second-guess any time spent by either candidate anywhere else. But Biden is flush with both cash and eager surrogates, and is watching early turnout numbers blow past expectations while new COVID-19 spikes keep the race focused on where he wants it.

Trump still has to worry about a crumbling coalition of states the GOP considered safe. He never wanted to have to campaign in Ohio or Florida at this stage of the race, to say nothing of Nebraska -- where he will squeeze in a trip Tuesday -- or South Carolina, where Vice President Mike Pence will be that same day.
 
Polling and pandemic realities confirm something smart political minds have long said: 2020 is not 2016. But the thought that pursuing close to 400 electoral votes could make the path to 270 even a little harder will haunt some Democrats until the end of this long race
 
-ABC News’ Political Director Rick Klein


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Vladimir Vladimirov/iStockBy QUINN SCANLAN, ABC News

(ATLANTA) -- Friday is the last day of early voting in Georgia, and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger's didn't mince words with his message to voters going into this final week: "Expect lines -- long lines."

"The counties are doing their best. You will see lines. We ask those that are in them to be patient, patient with your poll workers. Many are volunteering for the first time," Raffensperger said during a news conference Monday.

The state has seen record early voting turnout: 2.8 million Georgians have already cast their ballots, Raffensperger said. Nearly 1.8 million of those votes were during in person early voting.

According to the University of Florida's Michael McDonald, that 2.8 million number is about two thirds of 2016's total turnout -- and the final week of early voting is historically the busiest.

At the start of early voting, there was a bandwidth issue poll workers experienced while checking in voters, leading to long lines across the state, but especially in the most populated metro areas. That issue has been addressed, the secretary has said, but given this week could see the highest turnout, he was asked if he was confident the same issues wouldn't arise.

"This week, depending on where it is, we feel like we're in good shape, but we are expecting large numbers," Raffensperger said.

Raffensperger was optimistic last week about when Georgia election officials would be done counting ballots, and he echoed that again Monday morning, noting an emergency rule passed by the State Election Board that allowed counties a jump-start on processing absentee ballots.

He predicted Georgia would "get you the results, a lot sooner than many other states."

"We understand how important those results are not just for you in the newspaper, in the communications, media markets, but also for every voter. We want those results soon, too," he said.

As he has done before, the secretary blasted critics who "cry voter suppression" while also seeking to assuage fears over "ballot integrity."

"Securing the integrity of the ballot is one of my top priorities. We have many protections in place," he said. "You need to show your ID to vote. We have citizenship checks through the REAL ID process in our partnership with the Department of Driver Services."

He continued, "We have others that cry voter suppression here in the middle of historic record turnout. They refuse to see what is plainly before their eyes. There's never been easier voting in Georgia. My job in this office is to assure all Georgians that there is neither rampant vote theft nor suppression."

Raffensperger also said there are "radical partisans trying to gin up worries and play to people's fears."

The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot in Georgia is close-of-business Friday. Those ballots are due by the time polls close (7 p.m.) on Nov. 3, though. Raffensperger encouraged Georgians concerned about postal delays to use a drop box instead.

He also pleaded with voters who haven't returned their absentee ballots to do so as soon as possible.

"If you are one of those 640,000 voters who have an absentee ballot -- it's sitting on your kitchen table -- please, if you haven't returned it, do it this week. Now's the time," he said.

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Nic Antaya/Getty ImagesBy AVERI HARPER, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Sen. Kamala Harris responded to attacks and slights she's endured from President Donald Trump, including mispronouncing her name and referring to her as a "female socialist," during an interview with ABC's The View.

"It's so predictable coming from him. I mean it's childish, it's name-calling on behalf of the president of the United States, and, again, the American people deserve so much more from their president," said Harris. "You know, look, the name-calling is not new to me -- it's not new to anybody who played on the playground as a child. But this is not the playground."

Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee and the first woman of color on a presidential ticket, has been on the campaign trail in battleground states urging voters to cast their ballots early. She has been the target of attacks from the right. Trump and others, including Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., have deliberately mispronounced and mocked her name. On Friday, Trump referred to Harris as a "female socialist," and said she could never be president.

The View hosts pressed Harris on many aspects of the campaign. When asked by Sunny Hostin about Biden and Harris' plans for Black America, Harris touted Biden-Harris policy proposals that would impact African Americans in education, health care and police reform, including requiring "more accountability and consequence for police officers who break the law."

For education, Harris spoke about their plans to support HBCUs, inducing making tuition free for families that make $125,000 a year. When it comes to health care, she spoke about her work to address the racial disparity in maternal mortality rate and the Biden-Harris plan to shore up the Affordable Care Act and add a public health care option.

Harris also took the opportunity to attempt to clarify Biden's stance on fossil fuels. Biden received backlash following the final presidential debate for saying he wanted to end the use of fossil fuels. Biden himself has since walked back the comments.

"Without any ambiguity, Joe is clear. We will not ban fracking. And let's clear up further things and we will not raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year period," said Harris.

Sarah Haines asked Harris how she and Biden have reconciled their policy differences. During her own presidential run, Harris supported a ban on fracking.

"Joe and I are a team, we are aligned on this, we are aligned on these priorities," Harris said.

Harris declined to answer a question about who the campaign may be vetting for cabinet positions should Biden and Harris be elected, saying she and Biden "are both superstitious."

"We are not measuring the drapes at all," she said.

This week, Harris will campaign in western states. The campaign has announced that Harris will travel to Nevada and according to a source familiar with plans Harris will be in Texas on Friday. Texas currently leads the nation with the largest number of early votes. The Texas-sized total as of Sunday is 7.2 million -- already 80% of the state's entire 2016 vote.

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Official White House Photo by Andrea HanksBy TRISH TURNER, ABC News

(WASHINGTON) -- For the first time in U.S. history, the Senate moved a nominee for the nation's highest court toward certain confirmation just eight days before a presidential election.

Republicans made the move in a rare weekend session without the support of a single Democrat.

"We've made an important contribution to the future of this country," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch Connell after winning a key procedural test vote that moved Judge Amy Coney Barrett closer to confirmation to the Supreme Court, a key goal of President Donald Trump who has voiced concern that the outcome of the hard-fought election might be settled by the high court.

"A lot of what we've done over the last four years will be undone sooner or later by the national election. They won't be able to do much about this for a long time to come," said McConnell.

"Confirming a lifetime appointment this late into a presidential election season is outrageous," Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer fired back. "There is no escaping this glaring hypocrisy. ... No tit for tat, convoluted, distorted version of history will wipe away the stain that will exist forever with this Republican majority and with this Republican leader. No escaping the hypocrisy. But oh, my, how the Republican leader has almost desperately tried."

On Sunday, senators voted along party lines to quash a Democratic filibuster of Barrett to replace the late liberal icon, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And that tally, 51-48, is expected to be similar to Monday evening's final confirmation vote, though one Republican will add her name to the "aye" column, Alaska's Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

The senator opposed moving a nominee so close to the election, saying "fair is fair" given that her own party had blockaded President Barack Obama's pick in 2016 to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia eight months before the election, but with Republicans securing the necessary votes for confirmation, Murkowski changed course.

"While I oppose the process that has led us to this point," Murkowski said in a Saturday floor speech, "I do not hold it against her as an individual who has navigated the gauntlet with grace, skill and humility."

That move left one Republican -- Sen. Susan Collins of Maine -- alone among the GOP opposition expected to vote against Barrett on Monday. Collins is in an extremely difficult fight for reelection in a moderate state where she has been lambasted for her past support of conservative jurists, including Trump's highly contentious nominee, Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

As Democrats and outside activists decried what they said was GOP hypocrisy in shifting positions from 2016 to now, Republicans repeatedly sought to defend their apparent turnabout in position throughout the abbreviated nomination fight.

"We followed precedent in 2016, and we're following precedent this week," McConnell said.

Republicans have cited the 19 times between 1796 and 1968 during which presidents went on to fill a Supreme Court vacancy in a presidential-election year while their party controlled the Senate.

But Schumer on Sunday accused Republicans of mounting "a long and tortured defense of this cynical power grab," of making up "ex post facto" excuses, noting that in 2016 Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said, "I want you to use my words against me. If there's a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said, 'Let's let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination.'"

"Notwithstanding all the bluster you just heard because of a long, systematic strategy by the Democratic leader to block judges put forward by Republican presidents," Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., shot back. "Tomorrow we are going to get to vote to confirm one of the most outstanding judicial nominees that I've had the pleasure of considering during my time in the Senate. Judge Amy Coney Barrett is eminently qualified ... first in her class at Notre Dame Law School, Supreme Court clerk, beloved Notre Dame law professor, outstanding scholar, circuit court judge."

Lacking the procedural tools and sheer numbers to stop the nomination, Democrats chose, instead, to almost-singularly focus -- in rare unified fashion -- on the threat they said a Justice Barrett would pose to Americans' health care. Just one week after Election Day, the justices are scheduled to hear oral arguments in a case brought by 18 conservative state attorneys general, with the support of the Trump administration, challenging the validity of the Affordable Care Act and its guaranteed coverage for those with preexisting conditions.

During Barrett's confirmation hearings, Judiciary Committee Democrats displayed poster-size pictures of Americans that they said would be crushed if Barrett were -- as they described -- to cast the deciding vote in that case. In boycotting the committee vote on the nomination, Democrats placed those same posters in their empty seats.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on Sunday called on Barrett -- who he said gets to select the day she takes her oath of office -- to choose to be sworn in after that Nov. 11 case is heard by the court, saying that might go a long way to quell concerns.

"The stakes are extraordinarily high in confirming Judge Barrett," top Judiciary Committee Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Sunday in her opposition to the nomination.

"Let me be perfectly clear, if Judge Barrett is confirmed, Americans could well lose the significant benefits that the ACA provides. More than 130 million Americans have preexisting conditions like cancer, asthma, or even COVID-19, and they could then be denied coverage," the California senator said in a floor speech, adding, "It is my belief that Judge Barrett represents a threat to the very rights, including reproductive rights, rights of LGBT individuals, and voting rights that Justice Ginsburg worked so hard to protect, and for those reasons, I oppose her nomination and urge my colleagues to do that same."

Feinstein also lambasted the nominee as "evasive" and said Barrett dodged some 100 questions during her confirmation hearings.

Liberal groups had clamored for more of a protest from Democrats for weeks, pushing lawmakers to boycott the hearings altogether.

But Feinstein, last week, defended Democrats' decision to appear at the proceedings which they then used, instead, to paint Barrett as a threat to abortion access, voting rights, health care, civil liberties and even democracy itself.

"Last week Democrats participated in the nomination hearings because we wanted to show what was at stake for America," said Feinstein.

The 87-year-old Democrat has come under fire from liberal groups after she praised Graham for running "one of the best hearings I've participated in" and hugged the South Carolina Republican, a chief target of those on the left.

The outrage prompted Schumer to tell reporters that he had had a "long, serious talk" with Feinstein, implying that her position on the panel, particularly if Democrats take the Senate after Election Day, might be in jeopardy.

Graham called the response to Feinstein a "shame."

"It's not enough to agree with the cause you've got to hate the people they want you hate," Graham said.

During her hearing, Barrett dodged repeated attempts by Democrats to get her to commit to recusing herself from election-related matters.

"Your participation -- let me be very blunt -- in any case involving Donald Trump's election would immediately do explosive, enduring harm to the court's legitimacy and to your own credibility," Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said to Barrett during her hearings. "You must recuse yourself."

Barrett said she would "consider it" but pushed back on the insinuation that she might rule favorably for the president merely because he nominated her.

"I certainly hope that all members of the committee have more confidence in my integrity than to think that I would allow myself to be used as a pawn to decide this election for the American people," Barrett said.

Issues related to the election were front and center for Democrats who fear Trump is looking to secure a justice favorable to him on the court before Nov. 3. They pressed Barrett on simpler questions, like whether the president could unilaterally delay the date of the election -- something that, by law, only Congress can do -- and whether the president should commit to leave office peacefully, something Trump has appeared to question.

But the judge dodged.

As she did throughout her three days before the committee, the 48-year old judge said that she could not weigh in on matters that might come before the court. She said she was merely following the "Ginsburg rule," providing "no hints, no previews, no forecasts," as the late justice had famously done at her own confirmation hearings in the 1990s.

Barrett also made waves when she said she did not believe that Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion rights case, was not a so-called "super precedent," something so established that it would likely never be overturned.

But the judge -- over and over -- demurred, alarming abortion rights groups.

Republicans used the hearings to champion Barrett, a devout Catholic and mother of seven, as a trailblazer for conservative women and a well-qualified nominee, and repeatedly sought to draw Democrats into a fight about her faith. But Democrats refused.

"To my friends across the aisle, I would say that the American people are no more afraid of the ideas of a Catholic woman than they are of the words splattered on a protest poster being held by a liberal woman," Sen. Marsha Blackburn, D-Tenn., said.

Republicans looked to dispel concerns about the impact that Barrett's Catholic faith might have on her ability to rule impartially.

"Can you set aside whatever Catholic beliefs you have regarding any issue before you?" Graham asked.

"I have done that in my time on the 7th Circuit. If I stay there I'll continue to do that," Barrett said. "If I'm confirmed to the Supreme Court, I will do that still."

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tovfla/iStockBy JENNI GOLDSTEIN, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Convicted felons in Florida who completed their sentences are voting for the first time under Florida's Amendment 4, and experts say the change could potentially swing the presidential election.

Under the amendment, which was passed in 2018, a person convicted of a felony in the state is eligible to vote after completing all the terms of his or her sentence.

ABC News' Lionel Moise spoke with Tampa resident pastor Clifford Tyson, who voted in a presidential election for the first time in 42 years.

"It felt wonderful because I had my 90-year-old father with me, also I had my 26-year-old son," said Tyson.

Voters overwhelmingly approved the ballot initiative in 2018. Previously, the state of Florida disenfranchised everyone who had a felony conviction.

"Florida used to have the worst system in the country when it came to felony disenfranchisement," said Julie Ebenstein, a senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union's voting rights project.

According to Ebenstein, when Amendment 4 was passed, about 1.6 million convicted felons who completed their sentences in the state were not allowed to vote.

"Politicians in Florida, unfortunately, in 2019 passed a law that interpreted all terms of sentence to include payment of legal financial obligation," said Ebenstein.

Like in many other states, people in Florida are charged various fines when they are convicted of an offense. The ACLU, along with several other groups, sued to block the financial requirement, but this September, a federal appeals court ruled that former felons are required to pay all expenses before they can vote.

But even those willing to pay their fees often find it difficult to do so due to the alleged lack of justice in the system.

"It's one thing to be able to say to folks, 'Hey, you got to pay back your fines and fees in order to vote.' It's another thing when those folks show up and say, 'How much do I owe?' The state says, 'Oh, well, we can't really tell you because there are 67 counties and it's really complicated,'" said Neel Sukhatme, an associate professor of law at Georgetown University and the co-founder and director of the non-partisan group Free Our Vote.

Sukhatme said convicted felons who completed their sentences should always have accurate information on how much they owe in fines and fees -- regardless of their political beliefs.

The Free Our Vote team gathered to analyze data sets from across the state, which included information from the Clerk of Courts, Department of Corrections and voter registration records. The goal was to make Free Our Vote into a clearinghouse, where those previously convicted of felonies could get the information they needed on what specific payments they owed and where they could pay them.

It was a life-changing moment for Tyson when he found out his balance in Hillsborough County was zero dollars. He is now trying to encourage others to carry out their civic duty and exercise their right to vote.

"They live to vote and die trying to vote," said Tyson of other felons who did their time. "My vote is just as important as theirs. My rights are just as important to me. I made some mistakes back in those days, I lost that right. But I paid my dues to society."

According to Florida Department of State spokesperson Mark Ard, the state does not separately track registered voters who had their voting rights restored under Amendment 4. The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition estimates that since it passed, 67,000 people with prior felony convictions were able to register to vote.

Florida is being closely observed ahead of the November election, and 29 electorates are up for grabs.

"It's Florida, 600 votes can make the difference in national presidential elections. But I hope that those who are now registered, who passed the registration deadline, will go to the polls and cast their ballot and will join in the Democratic process in a very exciting time to be involved," said Ebenstein.

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Official White House Photo by Tia DufourBy LAUREN KING and LAUREN LANTRY, ABC NEWS

(WASHINGTON) -- With nine days to go until Election Day, and President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden racing toward Nov. 3, voters are turning out in record numbers to cast their ballots early.

More than 58 million Americans have already voted in the 2020 election, reflecting an extraordinary level of participation and interest despite unprecedented barriers brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

In the final weeks of campaigning, the president has continued to press as polls show him trailing nationally and in several battleground states key to his reelection hopes. The president had a campaign rally in New Hampshire Sunday to top off a weekend of events across multiple states, and Biden appeared at a virtual "I Will Vote" concert.

All 50 states plus Washington, D.C., have some form of early voting underway.

Here's how the news developed Sunday. All times Eastern:

Oct 25, 11:20 pm
Biden appears at virtual 'I Will Vote' concert


Former Vice President Joe Biden appeared with some of his biggest celebrity supporters in a 2-hour online fundraiser geared toward voter mobilization.

The "I Will Vote" concert fundraiser was a mix of prerecorded and live performances, co-hosted by actor-comedian George Lopez and political strategist Ana Navarro.

"This is the most consequential election in a long, long, long time, and the character of the country in my view is literally on the ballot," said Biden, who appeared live with his wife, Jill.

Making a pitch to Hispanic voters, Biden said that if elected, his administration would include "a lot" of Latinos.

"The Latino community can determine the outcome of the election," he said. "Across the nation, 20% of the country, 24 of every 100 students in school today, is a Latino. We have to embrace and include and generate the kind of support they get."

Celebrities from Cher and Jon Bon Jovi to Aloe Blacc and A$AP Ferg appeared at the event.

Oct 25, 11:23 pm
Pence holds rally after five in his inner circle test positive


Vice President Mike Pence weathered a storm to deliver a 40-minute speech at a campaign rally tonight in Kinston, North Carolina, standing in the rain as he delivered familiar attacks on his predecessor, Biden, and touted Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

There was no social distancing in the roughly 200-person crowd, about half of whom were wearing masks. Pence made no mention of his chief of staff, Marc Short, or the four others in his inner circle who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Pence also said he predicts Judge Amy Coney Barrett will be confirmed during Monday's Senate confirmation vote.

"Judge Amy Coney Barrett will be Justice Amy Coney Barrett," Pence said. "We're gonna fill that seat."

Before the speech, Pence exited Air Force Two with a mask on and then removed the mask to deliver the address. After the speech, Pence did not go down to the rope line to personally greet supporters.

Oct 25, 11:24 pm
President, first lady greet children at White House Halloween event


Halloween at the White House looked slightly different this year as the president and first lady Melania Trump greeted children outside of the residence, but did not hand out any candy.

Supporters shouted, "We love you!" and "God bless you, Mr. President!" Another chanted, "Four more years!"

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows stood nearby, also greeting children. Neither Meadows nor the Trumps wore face coverings.

Oct 25, 6:17 pm
Over 58 million Americans have already voted


According to the United States Elections Project, an unprecedented 58,857,310 voters have already voted and at least 86,931,110 ballots have been requested in early voting states. Nationally, voters have cast 42.7% of the total votes counted in the 2016 general election.

In the key swing state of Florida, 40.6% of registered voters have already voted. Over five million ballots have been cast, two million of which were in-person.

In Pennsylvania, over one million ballots have been cast. In North Carolina, over three million voters have cast their ballots early. And over seven million Texans have already voted, which is over 80% of the total turnout in the state in 2016.

Oct 25, 5:11 pm
Trump signs pumpkin on campaign trail


After delivering remarks at a campaign rally in Londonderry, New Hampshire, Trump visited hundreds of supporters in Maine at the Treworgy Family Orchard on Sunday afternoon.

"I'm very impressed, and I'm very impressed with Maine, and I hope we're going to do well," Trump said.
He added, "It's the biggest election our country's ever had."

With just six days before Halloween and nine days left on the campaign trail, Trump then signed a pumpkin and joked, "that'll be on eBay tonight." He said he planned to take a bag of apples back to the White House.

Oct 25, 4:45 pm
Ballot drop box set on fire in Boston


Boston police are asking for the public's assistance in identifying the individual who set an election ballot drop box on fire in the area of 700 Boylston St. in the city.

The police department released a series of surveillance images and included phone numbers for anyone who can help them identify the individual in a news release.

Firefighters were called to the scene shortly after 4 a.m. on Sunday and found smoke coming from inside the drop box.

Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin has asked the FBI to investigate.

The drop box had last been emptied by the Boston Elections Department at 2:29 p.m. on Saturday, Galvin's office said in a statement.

According to the Secretary of the commonwealth's office there were 112 ballots in the dropbox and 87 were able to be processed, the others weren't salvageable and those voters affected will be resent ballots.

Oct 25, 3:04 pm
Biden's $100 million question


With a steady polling lead, a massive cash advantage and only nine days left to spend it, should Joe Biden go big or should he play it safe, following the hard-learned lessons of 2016?

In the final weeks of the general election, the Biden campaign has kept a steady focus on their six core battleground states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, North Carolina and Florida -- all states Hillary Clinton lost in 2016. That focus is expected to continue as Election Day draws closer.

Biden's campaign is entering the home stretch in a position to spend, compared to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, which burned through $1.4 billion of the more than $1.6 billion raised over the last two years.

The former vice president's campaign reported having $162 million in cash on hand by mid-October -- nearly four times the $43 million in cash on hand the Trump campaign reported. Overall, Biden and the Democratic party report having $331 million in cash on hand by Oct 14, compared to Trump and the GOP's $223.5 million.

The cash advantage is not lost on Biden's team.

Oct 25, 2:41 pm
Harris continues campaign stops in Michigan


Sen. Kamala Harris was in Detroit at a drive-in church service event in Detroit this morning and just finished speaking with volunteers and organizers at a canvass kickoff event.

The Democratic vice presidential candidate is next headed to Troy, Michigan, to speak to volunteers and organizers at a canvass kickoff event there. Later she'll participate in a "Vote Now" drive-in rally in Pontiac, Michigan, and will appear in a virtual "I Will Vote" concert with her husband Doug Emhoff.

Oct 25, 2:37 pm
Trump wraps New Hampshire rally


The president wrapped up his campaign rally shortly before 2:30 p.m., gave the crowd a few fist pumps as the Village People's "Y.M.C.A" played and then Trump boarded Air Force One.

He's heading back to Washington where he and first lady Melania Trump will host Halloween at the White House in the evening.

Oct 25, 1:35 pm
GOP shuts down Dem filibuster of Barrett nomination


In a key procedural vote Sunday afternoon, the Republicans shut down a Democratic filibuster of the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

The vote was 51-48 and Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, voted with Democrats. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., did not vote because she is campaigning in Michigan.

Sunday's vote moves Barrett closer to the final confirmation Monday night, less than two weeks before Election Day.

Oct 25, 1:17 pm
Schumer advises members to avoid congregating on Senate floor after reports of positive COVID-19 tests


Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, in a "Dear Colleague" letter to Democrats Sunday morning, urged them to cast their votes on the Senate floor quickly and avoid congregating in the chamber following reports of Senate staff and members of the vice president's team contracting the novel coronavirus.

The Senate convened Sunday afternoon to resume debate on Judge Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court ahead of Monday's expected final confirmation vote.

Five individuals in Vice President Mike Pence's orbit have tested positive for the coronavirus, including his chief of staff Marc Short and political aide Marty Obst. The vice president and his wife tested negative for the coronavirus Sunday morning.

Pence anticipates continuing his campaign schedule Sunday and said he will be in the Senate Monday for Barrett's confirmation vote.

"While CDC guidelines would dictate contract tracing a quarantining be practiced, our colleagues and the Vice President have indicated that they do not intend to follow such protocols. The Vice President is maintaining his campaign schedule and, inexplicably, intends to preside over the Senate chamber tomorrow evening. Their carelessness with the health and safety of their colleagues and Capitol employees mirrors their carelessness with the health and safety of Americans during this crisis," Schumer wrote.
 
"Therefore, considering the Republicans’ refusal follow CDC guidelines regarding quarantining and contact tracing, I would recommend that you not congregate in the Senate chamber today and that you cast your votes quickly and from a safe distance," he continued.

Oct 25, 12:54 pm
What goes into the tallying process?


The last day to vote in the 2020 general election is Nov. 3. But ballots may not be counted for several days, if not weeks, after that date, experts said.

Due to an anticipated record amount of mail-in voting this election season, combined with ballot counts that won't start until Election Day in most states, election officials across the country could be overwhelmed in some cases.

Deadlines for receiving mail-in ballots also extend past Nov. 3 in several states, all but making it a given that votes will be recorded in the days or even weeks after the election.

"I buy that we're going to know quite a bit on election night … we could even get an election night call. Still, I would advise caution. If it does come down to the Midwest, we could be waiting for a long time," Nate Silver, editor-in-chief of FiveThirtyEight, said on ABC's This Week Sunday,

The issue of mail-in ballot receipt deadlines is also fraught with legal challenges -- some of which are still playing out in court with less than two weeks to go until the general election.

Despite these new complexities, experts are confident voters' ballots will be counted this election season.

Oct 25, 12:41 pm

Trump arrives in New Hampshire for rally


Air Force One touched down in New Hampshire a short time ago and was making its way over to the crowd of people waiting for the president's campaign rally.

Oct 25, 12:16 pm

5 in Pence's orbit test positive for the coronavirus


Five individuals in Vice President Mike Pence's orbit have tested positive for the coronavirus, including his chief of staff Marc Short and political aide Marty Obst.

Devin O'Malley, press secretary for the vice president, announced Saturday in a statement that Short tested positive.

Sunday morning, multiple sources familiar with the matter told ABC News that in addition to an outside political ally of Pence's four of his staffers have tested positive. One senior-level source stressed that the three of the staffers have been quarantining since the middle of this past week.

Oct 25, 10:31 am

Foreign efforts to undermine US election


ABC News Chief Justice correspondent Pierre Thomas said Russia appears to be "seeking direct access" to American voters to sow division and unrest.

Senior national security officials alerted the American public Wednesday that Iran and Russia have both obtained voter data in their efforts to interfere in the 2020 U.S. election.

Thomas said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that those efforts appear to be aimed at creating problems before the election and possibly just after Election Day "if we don't quickly know a result."

On Friday, U.S. officials told ABC News that systems containing election-related information from two counties in two separate states were successfully hacked by the Russian effort. While the FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency have seen no evidence that data has been altered, FBI and Homeland Security officials expressed concern that Russia "may be seeking access to obtain future disruption options, to influence U.S. policies and actions, or to delegitimize SLTT government entities."

Iran is "aggressively pursuing the same goal," Thomas said Sunday.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said Wednesday that Iran was separately behind a series of threatening emails that were found to be sent this week to Democratic voters, which he said was "designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest and damage President Trump."

Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman for the Iranian Mission to the U.N., denied the allegations to ABC News.

Oct 25, 9:42 am

Talking with Pennsylvania voters


ABC's "This Week" Co-anchor Martha Raddatz talked with voters from the battleground state of Pennsylvania, a must-win for Trump.

The president won the state in 2016, with a slim margin, and there are "worrisome signs" this year.

Tanya Siletsky is the kind of supporter the Trump campaign hopes will help him win the battleground state.

"I would say no," she said on "This Week" on whether anything has given her pause about Trump. "All his policies I agree with 100%."

Oct 25, 9:18 am

Trump, Biden favorability unchanged as 2020 race heads into final week: POLL


After two contentious debates and more than $1.5 billion in advertising, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden enter the closing week of a bitter campaign with their favorability ratings relatively unchanged since at least the summer, according to an ABC News/Ipsos poll released Sunday.

Trump's favorability is significantly underwater in the new survey, which was conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News using Ipsos' Knowledge Panel, with more than half of Americans -- including more than half of men (53%), Americans over 65 (53%), and independents (57%) -- viewing him unfavorably. The president's favorability deficit stands at minus-22 in the poll, similar to where he stood on the eve of the 2016 election.

But unlike four years ago, when both Trump and  headed into November deeply unpopular – Trump's favorability at 38% to 60% and Clinton's at 42% to 56% in the final ABC News/Washington Post poll -- Biden is seen significantly more favorably.

-ABC News' Kendall Karson

Oct 25, 9:02 am

Back on the campaign trail


The candidates are fanning out across the country again Sunday with rallies, concerts and get out the vote events.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., has the earliest start with drive-in church service event in Detroit. She'll continue with afternoon canvas kickoff events, where she'll speak to volunteers and organizers, in Detroit and Troy, Michigan. Then she has an evening drive-in rally in Pontiac before she and her husband Doug Emhoff deliver a taped message during the virtual "I Will Vote" concert.

Joe and Jill Biden are also scheduled to speak during the virtual concert at 8 p.m.

Trump will speak at an afternoon rally in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

Vice President Mike Pence will speak at a campaign rally in Kinston, North Carolina.

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Prostock-Studio/iStockBY: MOLLY NAGLE, ABC NEWS

(NEW YORK) -- It's the $100 million question: With a steady polling lead, a massive cash advantage and only nine days left to spend it, should Joe Biden go big or should he play it safe, following the hard-learned lessons of 2016?

In the final weeks of the general election, the Biden campaign has kept a steady focus on their six core battleground states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, North Carolina and Florida -- all states Hillary Clinton lost in 2016. That focus is expected to continue as Election Day draws closer.

But Biden's campaign is entering the home stretch in a position to spend, compared to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, which burned through $1.4 billion of the more than $1.6 billion raised over the last two years.

The former vice president's campaign reported having $162 million in cash on hand by mid-October -- nearly four times the $43 million in cash on hand the Trump campaign reported. Overall, Biden and the Democratic party report having $331 million in cash on hand by Oct 14, compared to Trump and the GOP's $223.5 million.

The cash advantage is not lost on Biden's team.

"The resources that we have, have given us an opportunity to continue with an expansive map," Biden campaign national state director Jen Ridder said. "When I started in May, we laid out a 17-state battleground map and I expected it to shrink, and instead we've been able to keep all of the states on the map, but really know where our focus is."

The campaign is now signaling a last-minute push in some of those 17 states they've identified as opportunities to not just win back what was lost in 2016, but expand their pathway to 270 electoral votes and beyond.

Two of the states are Georgia and Texas, where polls this week show a tight race, and neither candidate polling above 50% in in Texas. That's led some allies in the Lone Star State to express frustration that the campaign hasn't done more to capitalize on their competitive position in the state a Democrat hasn't won since 1976.

"It would be so helpful to have the top of the ticket make an investment in Texas," former Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, who endorsed Biden in March, told ABC News.

"Pennsylvania is an illustration of the law of diminishing returns: You can grow another hundred million in Pennsylvania and I don't know that it's going to move much more than the last hundred million did. You could invest 15 million, 10 million in Texas, and it would be catalytic," the former Texas congressman added.

While Biden himself has not yet visited the states during the general election, they haven't been ignored: The former vice president is set to visit Georgia on Tuesday, where he will give his "closing argument" for the 2020 race in Warm Springs. His running mate Sen. Kamala Harris traveled to the state on Friday, and a source familiar with her travel expects Harris to also make a trip to Texas soon. Harris' husband, Doug Emhoff, and Jill Biden have both made visits to the states as well.

"We have some good opportunities in states ... like Georgia and Texas," Ridder said.

That statement could set off alarm bells for some nervous Democrats, still haunted by the ghost of Clinton's 2016 campaign. But 2020 is not the same election: Biden is polling at 50% in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, according to FiveThirtyEights' polling average -- three states the president narrowly won in 2016 with less than 80,000 votes. Still Biden's campaign insists that the expansion won't come at the expense of their core battleground states.

"We're still entirely focused on those top six and that's the key to our path. But, you know, this election cycle is proving that we might have opportunities elsewhere and If we can spend a little extra time and a little extra money to push them over the edge I think we're willing to take that opportunity in the next 10 days," Ridder continued.

Biden's team is spending in those states. According to ad spending data from media research firm CMAG, Biden has so far invested $3.6 million in the expensive state of Texas, and $2 million in Georgia in the final two weeks of the campaign -- on par with what the campaign will put into Wisconsin and Ohio respectively in the same time frame.

Those totals are in addition to the more than $15 million Biden's campaign was investing on national ads in the 14 days leading up to the election, also likely to get eyeballs in the state.

All told, in the final month before Election Day, the campaign will put in $6 million in Texas and $5.6 million in Georgia on ads as of now.

"I think Texas is in the realm of possibility," ABC News Political Analyst Matthew Dowd said. "I would advocate if they can step it up -- step it up in Texas."

"People forget that Donald Trump only carried Texas by nine in 2016, Beto O'Rourke only lost Texas by 2.5% in 2018 and Texas -- in the registration and all the things that have been happening in Texas in the last two and four years, have all moved towards the Democrats," he continued.

Both states have seen high early voting turnout as the election inches closer: According to the United States Elections Project, between early in-person voting and vote by mail, more than 2.5 million ballots have been cast in Georgia and nearly 7 million have been cast in Texas -- more than 70% of the total ballots that were cast in that state in 2016.

While early voting can provide the campaign with some data on possible trends in the final stretch, the high level of engagement can also pose a new challenge for Biden's team on how and when to go big -- a challenge not seen in 2016.

"If the presidential campaign is going to invest, every single day matters because of vote by mail. Every day is Election Day," said Amanda Renteria, who served as national political director for Clinton during her 2016 presidential run.

"That piece puts a lot more pressure than I think we had in 2016, it puts a lot more pressure on the Biden campaign, because ... every day lost might be votes on that day that we missed."

But even with their cash stores, Renteria said the campaign has the added challenge of thinking beyond Nov. 3 when making their investments, given the possibility that a definitive winner does not emerge on election night.

"The traditional idea is you can spend all your money and not worry about the day after the election. That's just not the case here. There's a very real concern that you will have court cases afterwards. And you have to have the resources to be able to fight those," she added.

Still, O'Rourke argues Texas could play a pivotal role on election night if investments are made in the state.

"Texas will know the vote total on election night, by the way, Pennsylvania will not. Pennsylvania will take days to know their results. Texas could end this race for -- help him win on election night, and it can help us down ballot secure political power for the next decade in Texas. So this is a really important state on a number of levels."

ABC News' Soorin Kim contributed to this report.

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Philip Rozenski/iStockBY: ALEXANDRA SVOKOS, ABC NEWS

(WASHINGTON) -- As Coloradans vote this fall, they're deciding on more than just the president and other elected officials -- they're also being asked to vote on a ballot measure, Proposition 115, which seeks to ban abortion in the state after 22 weeks of pregnancy.

Colorado is one of seven states without a gestational limit on abortion, with or without exceptions, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

If Prop 115 is approved and enacted, a person who performs an abortion after that point is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and subject to a fine ($500 to $5,000), according to the measure's language. A licensed practitioner would lose their license for at least three years. The patient would not be charged with a crime.

The ballot measure includes only one exception: if "an abortion is immediately required to save the life of a pregnant woman," including physical disorders, illnesses and injuries. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.

Proponents of the proposal say it is to prevent the abortions of potentially viable fetuses. Opponents say it puts pregnant people's lives and wellness at risk, while there are also concerns about the disproportionate impact a ban could have on already marginalized communities.

Singular exception frightens some doctors

Dr. Rebecca Cohen, an OB-GYN in the Denver area, pointed to the language in the ballot measure requiring a pregnant person's life be at "immediate" risk.

"As a practicing physician, it's unethical for me to allow a medical situation to progress to the point that someone's life is immediately in danger," she told ABC News.

Dr. James Monaco, a Colorado cardiologist who has cared for patients in high-risk pregnancies due to cardiac issues, wrote in an opinion piece for The Colorado Sun that if passed, the proposition "will result in unnecessary maternal deaths."

He expanded in a piece for the Colorado Times Recorder that if a pregnant person with severe heart disease has a 50% chance of death, doctors would have to question, "Is a 50% chance of death 'immediate?'"

The exception also does not mention the health of the fetus. That means if a pregnant person gets a diagnosis that the fetus will likely either be stillborn or only live a few hours or days, that person then potentially has to carry the fetus to term and go through labor -- which includes an emotional and financial toll on top of the physical risks of labor and pregnancy.

The Coalition for Women and Children, also known as the DueDateTooLate campaign, which supports the proposition, says that in cases of fatal fetal abnormalities, pregnant people would turn to "perinatal hospice."

"Perinatal hospice involves a multidisciplinary team" to "accompany the family through the pregnancy and birth allowing them to fully embrace and celebrate the abbreviated life of their baby," according to the campaign.

"These 22-week-old human beings have most of the characteristics that we associate with being human being," Dr. Tom Perille, head of the medical advisory team of the Coalition for Women and Children and president of Democrats for Life of Colorado, told ABC News, referring to studies on fetal behavior among twins. "And we think that for these fetuses and for these families, perinatal hospice offers a more life-affirming, compassionate approach to the care of these individuals than does late abortion."

To this point, Cohen said Coloradans already have the option for perinatal hospice -- if they so choose.

Perille said the decision to not include an exception for rape came out of research and discussions with providers that victims of rape typically seek abortions before 22 weeks of pregnancy.

Abortions after 22 weeks are extremely rare

Only 1.2% of abortions in the United States were performed after 21 weeks of pregnancy, according to the CDC's latest data.

The most common reason patients seek an abortion at that stage, Cohen said, "is because they have new information about the pregnancy." That includes ultrasounds and tests at and after the 20-week mark that demonstrate serious issues in the development of the fetus.

Some patients are pushed past the 22-week mark by seeking further testing and opinions, or by restrictions on abortions in other states that necessitate traveling to Colorado (and getting the funding together for travel, health care, housing and possibly child care).

Patients may also face health conditions themselves, like exacerbated cardiac issues or the development of cancer or seizures, Cohen said.

"So many people that are voting to decide the outcome of this proposition will never need abortion care later in pregnancy," Cohen said. "They may never know someone who needs abortion care leader in pregnancy. But what we see is that this really does affect people who need this care the most."

Perille posited that pregnant people should be able to determine fatal fetal diagnoses before 22 weeks, so would still be able to choose to have an abortion before that point.

"The bottom line is as far as screening goes, it could be done well before 22 weeks, and so in countries that have this [restriction], in states that have this, it's very rare for women to discover these kinds of abnormalities after 22 weeks," he told ABC News.

The right to abortion after the first trimester is threatened in many places across the United States. Currently, around two dozen states ban abortion after 20 weeks, according to Guttmacher, some with exceptions. On Thursday, Mississippi asked the Supreme Court to review its 15-week abortion ban (which is not in effect), which could have major impacts on rights to abortion overall or after the first trimester, should the court choose to react.

Potential toll on already vulnerable communities

The United States already has a high maternal mortality rate compared to the rest of the developed world, and that risk is especially high among Black, American Indian and Alaska Native women, CDC data shows.

Over 20% of the Colorado population is Hispanic or Latino, according to Census data. That population faces barriers to health care, including language, insurance coverage and financial status -- which becomes more dire if you have to drive several hours or fly to another state to access abortion care.

Currently, to access later abortion care, a person in Colorado has to travel an average 15 miles one way, according to Guttmacher Institute research. If this measure is enacted, that would increase to 445 miles.

"When you're talking about white, privileged folks that have the economic means, they can get onto a flight," Karla Gonzales Garcia, policy director at Color Latina, a group that supports reproductive rights in Colorado, told ABC News. "If you have your documentation, you're not going to be afraid to go and get onto a flight."

All considered, Garcia said, if passed, the measure "is just exacerbating all the issues that our communities already face."

"This ballot initiative is racist in its core because they are assuming the people that need to have an abortion later in pregnancy would be able to get on a plane [or] drive to another state and spend the money that they need to in order to have a safe abortion, while leaving behind the most marginalized among us," she said.

Voters will decide the fate of the proposal on Nov. 3.

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abcnews.comBY: ADIA ROBINSON AND ADAM KELSEY, ABC NEWS

(PHILADELPHIA) -- With just over a week remaining until Election Day, both the Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns are once again honing in on the perennial battleground state of Pennsylvania as the potential linchpin to the White House.

President Donald Trump narrowly won the Keystone State in 2016 by 44,000 votes, less than 1% of the total ballots cast across the commonwealth. That tight margin, combined with its status as Democratic nominee Joe Biden's home state, has many on the left optimistic that it and its 20 electoral votes can be flipped this cycle.

ABC's "This Week" traveled to Pennsylvania in the campaign's homestretch as part of its "Six for the Win" series, to learn about voters' priorities in one of the most economically and geographically diverse regions of the country and to discover whether Biden's campaign has been successful in its effort to steal back support from Trump.

Tanya Siletsky, 60, who lives in the Philadelphia suburbs, voted for Trump in 2016 and said she still supports all of the his policies "100 percent." Nothing the president has said or done over the last four years has given her pause, she noted.

"Things that he brings up are exactly what me and my friends talk about in our kitchen, where we're sitting around having drinks and talking about politics and government," Siletsky told "This Week" co-anchor Martha Raddatz. "He's exactly spot on."

But there are plenty of voters expressing buyer's remorse. Morgan and Katie Harris, who also cast ballots for Trump four years ago, told Raddatz that they changed their minds about the president.

"It's the noise of everything," Morgan Harris said. "I kind of feel like my voice some days is lost in just the noise and the polarization."

"I'm just hoping that that Joe can maybe tone the noise down, if nothing else, and maybe just at least bring some professionalism back, some calm," he added. "Don't tweet. Just the basics."

This past week, both Biden and Trump made campaign stops in Pennsylvania. On Saturday, the former vice president spoke to drive-in rallies in Bucks and Luzerne Counties in the state's eastern half, while Trump held an event in Erie on Tuesday. The Biden campaign also deployed its most prominent surrogate, former President Barack Obama, for events in Philadelphia Wednesday.

"The degree of incompetence and misinformation -- the number of people who might not have died had we just done the basics," Obama lamented during a roundtable in the city Wednesday, criticizing Trump and the administration's reaction to the coronavirus. "The degree to which it has impacted low income communities so disproportionately. That's something that I'm not just confident that it can be fixed."

Katie Harris pointed to those issue as well, plus race relations, as key factors in her decision this year.

"With George Floyd's death, with COVID -- he had many opportunities, again, to come together and say, 'Look, let's let's figure this out together. Let's be a unifier,'" she said. "And time and time again, he's given these opportunities to act presidential and he doesn't."

Retiree Judy Ortola also reported that the coronavirus pandemic turned her away from the president. Democrats are leaning into the administration's pandemic response in an effort to win over senior voters, particularly in the swing state of Florida, home to an abundance of retirees. Thus far, polling shows that the message is working.

"When the virus initially hit neighbors, friends here in my community, we made over a thousand masks for the hospitals, nursing homes, friends, and it was a lot of work," Ortola told Raddatz. "And then (Trump) had the disrespect to not even wear a mask."

Ortola added that she's unsure, however, that others in her community have changed their minds about the president, something that bothers her.

"I don't know how you can support him anymore," she said. "You just don't treat people the way he treats people."

Voter Miguel Rivera, a Puerto Rico native who has lived in Pennsylvania for 25 years, shared that he doesn't like what he's heard from Biden and explained that his and others' votes weren't necessarily related to traditional party affiliations.

"There's a lot of people in Florida, in Philadelphia, voting for the Republican Party," he said. "That doesn't mean necessarily that they are Republican, but that the candidate that is there is the one that promises a brighter future for them, that's all."


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Official White House Photo by D. Myles CullenBY: JOHN SANTUCCI, KATHERINE FAULDERS, RICK KLEIN, AND JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS

(WASHINGTON) -- Five individuals in Vice President Mike Pence's orbit have tested positive for the coronavirus, including his chief of staff Marc Short and political aide Marty Obst.

"Today, Marc Short, Chief of Staff to the Vice President, tested positive for COVID-19, began quarantine and assisting in the contact tracing process," Devin O'Malley, press secretary for the vice president, said in a statement.

Sunday morning, multiple sources familiar with the matter told ABC News that in addition to an outside political ally of Pence's four of his staffers have tested positive. One senior level source stressed that the three of the staffers have been quarantining since the middle of this past week.

Among those three staffers who tested positive and were in quarantine is Pence's "body man," a position that often represents an individual who is the closest aide to the office holder.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows did not want to immediately reveal that Short and other members of staff close to the vice president had tested positive for the coronavirus, sources told ABC News.

Defending this Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," Meadows said, "Sharing personal information is not something that we should do, not something that we do actually do unless it's the vice president or the president or someone that is very close to them where there is people in harm's way. Listen. Any time that there is someone in harm's way, we have an obligation to let people know to contact trace. We have done that."

O'Malley said both Pence and wife Karen Pence tested negative for the virus on Saturday and a pool report indicated the tested negative again on Sunday morning.

Pence has been crisscrossing the country on the campaign trail for weeks. He made visits to Lakeland and Tallahassee, Florida, on Saturday. On Friday, he spent time in his home state of Indiana, where he voted in person in Indianapolis, before holding rallies in Ohio and Pennsylvania. He will continue his schedule, O'Malley said, despite the close contact with Short.

"While Vice President Pence is considered a close contact with Mr. Short, in consultation with the White House Medical Unit, the Vice President will maintain his schedule in accordance with the CDC guidelines for essential personnel," he wrote in a statement.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise essential workers who have been exposed to COVID-19 should take their temperature before work, wear a face mask at all times and social distance "as work duties permit."

Pence is scheduled to hold a rally in Kinston, North Carolina, on Sunday evening.

President Donald Trump, upon disembarking Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, was asked about Short's positive test.

"I did hear about him just now and I think he's quarantining. I did hear about him," the president said. "He's going to be fine but he's quarantining. Thank you very much."

Short has served as Pence's chief of staff since March 2019.

Obst, a top political aide to the vice president, tested positive last week, multiple sources familiar with the matter told ABC News. He is an outside adviser and not a government employee.

He was spotted at a fundraiser at Trump Doral attended by both Pence and President Trump on Oct. 15. While he was traveling with the VP last week, he wasn't in close proximity to him, sources say.

Obst did not respond to a request for comment. The vice president's office did not immediately respond.

The trusted adviser, who ran Pence's campaign in 2016, has kept up a steady stream of tweets and retweets on Twitter in recent days and weeks, though he does not appear to have mentioned his own diagnosis.

This is the second time someone close to Pence has tested positive for the virus. Katie Miller, Pence's press secretary and wife of Trump adviser Stephen Miller, tested positive for COVID-19 in May.

Both Mike Pence and the second lady tested negative for coronavirus in the days after President Donald Trump tested positive and was hospitalized at the beginning of October.

Earlier this month, in an interview with CNN, Short said the vice president was tested "every day."

At least 34 people connected to the White House tested positive for the virus earlier this month, including the president and first lady Melania Trump, as well as press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, campaign manager Bill Stepien, senior adviser for policy Stephen Miller and outside advisers Kellyanne Conway and Chris Christie.

ABC News' Mark Osborne contributed to this report.

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Official White House Photo by Joyce N. BoghosianBY: KENDALL KARSON, ABC NEWS

(WASHINGTON) -- After two contentious debates and more than $1.5 billion in advertising, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden enter the closing week of a bitter campaign with their favorability ratings relatively unchanged since at least the summer, according to an ABC News/Ipsos poll released Sunday.

Trump's favorability is significantly underwater in the new survey, which was conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News using Ipsos' Knowledge Panel, with more than half of Americans -- including more than half of men (53%), Americans over 65 (53%), and independents (57%) -- viewing him unfavorably. The president's favorability deficit stands at minus-22 in the poll, similar to where he stood on the eve of the 2016 election.

But unlike four years ago, when both Trump and Hillary Clinton headed into November deeply unpopular – Trump's favorability at 38% to 60% and Clinton's at 42% to 56% in the final ABC News/Washington Post poll -- Biden is seen significantly more favorably.

Biden's standing is near even at 44% to 43%, roughly where he's been for several months in this and similar surveys. The Democratic nominee, though, still has shortfalls, with more men (49%), independents (48%), and white Americans (53%) viewing him unfavorably rather than favorably.

On the other side, while Trump remains broadly unpopular, core blocs of Trump's base aren't nearly as critical of him. Fewer than half of white Americans (48%) and whites without a college degree (38%) have a negative attitude about the president.

In another key difference from 2016: Only 10% of Americans said they dislike both Trump and Biden, which is about half the number who said the same about Trump and Clinton.

Biden has sought to cast the election as a referendum on Trump and his leadership. Helping his case is broad disapproval of Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the most significant challenge of his presidency.

Over eight months of polling on the virus, which upended the entire 2020 election, Trump's low approval on the issue has mostly held steady, except for a week in mid-March when it peaked above 50%.

In the latest survey, more than 6 in 10 Americans (61%) disapprove of the president's response to the pandemic, while only 38% approve. It's a stark reality for Trump, as his rival has stayed disciplined in making the coronavirus a focus of the race.

"COVID-19 dwarfs anything we've faced in recent history, and it isn't showing any signs of slowing down," Biden said during a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, the day after the final debate. "He's quit on your family. He's quit on America. He just wants us to grow numb and resign to the horrors of this death toll and the pain it's causing so many Americans."

Meanwhile, Trump has sought to paint Biden as a liberal extremist and dragged the rest of the Biden family into the campaign, raising questions about improper foreign business dealings.

The president focused his attacks on allegations that Biden improperly profited from business endeavors that his son, Hunter Biden, has undertaken in Ukraine and China. Those attacks do not appear to have changed broad perceptions of the former vice president.

Those controversial endeavors abroad, including in China and Ukraine, did garner criticism from some ethics experts, who said the dealings created an appearance of a conflict. But no evidence has emerged to suggest that Hunter Biden's private business deals influenced his father's actions or U.S. foreign policy during his time in office, and the elder Biden has said it did not.

Partisan attacks from both sides have done little to change minds.

Trump's grip on Republicans remains intact, with his favorability and approval for his handling of the pandemic in the mid-to-high 70s (74% and 79%, respectively).

For Biden, an overwhelming 90% of Democrats have a favorable view of him. Fewer independents view him favorably (39%), similar to Trump (36%) among this group.

As the country reckons with setting a new daily record for coronavirus cases on Friday, with more than 83,000 infections, concerns over contracting the virus hold firm among 78% of Americans, including just over one-third (36%) who said they're very concerned.

Just over 1 in 5 Americans said they're not concerned about becoming infected.

On the same day the nation set a new high for cases, Trump claimed at a rally in The Villages in Florida, the largest retirement community in the country, "We are rounding that turn."

This ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs' KnowledgePanel® October 23-24, 2020, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 551 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 4.8 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 30-26-36 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents. See the poll's topline results and details on the methodology here.

ABC News' Lucien Bruggeman contributed reporting.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Official White House Photo by Tia DufourBY: LIBBY CATHEY AND EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC NEWS

(NEW YORK) -- With 10 days to go until Election Day, and President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden racing toward Nov. 3, voters have turned out in record numbers to cast their ballots early.

More than 54 million Americans have already voted in the 2020 election, reflecting an extraordinary level of participation and interest despite unprecedented barriers brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

In the final weeks of campaigning, the president has remained on defense as polls show him trailing nationally and in several battleground states key to his reelection hopes. He has three rallies across battleground states Saturday -- in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Biden, maintaining a lead in national polls -- his largest of the election, according to FiveThirtyEight's average -- has deployed his top surrogate, former President Barack Obama, to stump for him in Miami Saturday.

Polls indicate a huge pre-Election-Day edge for Biden and a sizable Trump advantage among those who plan to vote on Nov. 3. Trump has sowed doubt in the mail-in ballot process -- and imminent election results -- for months.

All 50 states plus Washington, D.C., have some form of early voting underway. Check out FiveThirtyEight’s guide to voting during the COVID-19 pandemic here.

Latest headlines:

  • Trump says COVID-19 cases are up 'because we test'
  • Biden says Trump 'cares more about the stock market than he does you'
  • Trump votes early in Florida

Here's how the news is developing today. All times Eastern.

Oct 24, 7:50 pm
Pence holds 1st rally of day, doesn't mention surging COVID cases


Vice President Mike Pence held his first rally of the day in Lakeland, Florida, running well over an hour late, and started his remarks by telling voters that the state will support "Florida resident" President Donald Trump this year.

"You said yes to President Donald Trump in 2016," he said, making his case in one of the most critical states of the election. "And I know that Florida is going to say yes to Florida resident President Donald Trump in 2020."

Pence told voters, "We’re gonna give the American people the kind of health care reform that's built on freedom and free markets," despite the fact the Trump administration has offered no comprehensive health care plan of its own to replace the Affordable Care Act.

This rally was held outdoors and hundreds of people were in attendance though a majority were not wearing masks and there was no social distancing. Pence, head of the White House coronavirus task force, did not talk about any of the coronavirus surges happening right now across the country, only touting Trump’s response and past outbreaks.

"We dealt with the outbreak in the Northeast and out in the Pacific Northwest," Pence said. "We dealt with it across the Sunbelt, because of the compassionate care of the people of this state and all across this region. Because of our incredible doctors and nurses and first responders."

Florida recorded 5,557 cases on Wednesday, its most cases in a single day since Aug. 15.

-ABC News' Justin Gomez

Oct 24, 4:52 pm
Trump on the election: 'Nothing worries me'


As President Donald Trump arrived in Ohio for his second campaign rally of the day, he told reporters "nothing worries me" about the election.

"I think we’re doing just very well, you look at the numbers in Florida. We're way ahead where we were four years ago, right? Way ahead where we were four years ago and I think I can say that everywhere else," the president said.

Trump said he voted "straight Republican" when he went to vote early in Florida Saturday morning.

-ABC News' Elizabeth Thomas

Oct 24, 3:40 pm

Obama slams Trump: 'He hasn't shown any interest in doing the work'

Former President Barack Obama campaigned in Miami Saturday at a drive-in rally for his former vice president, Joe Biden.

“Donald Trump, I knew he would not embrace my vision. I knew he wasn’t going to continue my policies. But I did hope that for the country’s sake, he’d show at least a little bit of interest in taking the job seriously,” Obama said.

"He hasn’t shown any interest in doing the work," Obama said, and he accused Trump of "treating the presidency like a reality show."

"The rest of us have to live with the consequences of what he's done. At least 220,000 Americans are dead. More than 100,000 small businesses have closed. Half a million jobs are gone right here in Florida," Obama said. "You think he's hard at work coming up with a plan to get us out of this mess?"

Obama said Biden as vice president "was the last one in the room whenever I faced a big decision. He made me a better president. He's got the character and experience to make us a better country," Obama said. "That's what you need right now -- somebody who cares about you and is thinking about you."

Oct 24, 3:14 pm

Trump says COVID-19 cases are up 'because we test'

In response to former Vice President Joe Biden, who warned of a "dark winter" due to the pandemic, President Donald Trump said Saturday, "we gotta have spirit."

The U.S. on Friday saw its highest daily number of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. "If we tested half cases would be half," the president argued, despite the fact that cases would still exist even if undetected.

Trump expressed his exhaustion with hearing about COVID-19 cases, repeating the word "COVID" 10 times in a matter of seconds, mocking the coverage of the pandemic.

"That's all I hear about now. That’s all I hear ... COVID COVID COVID COVID COVID COVID, a plane goes down, 500 people that they don't talk about it. COVID COVID COVID COVID, by the way, on November 4 you won't hear about it anymore," he said to his roughly few thousand supporters gathered in the sun not socially distanced. Not many wore masks even though some people had masks dangling from their necks.

The presidential race is in a dead-heat contest in North Carolina, where Biden has 49% support among likely voters in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll in the state, while Trump has 48% support.

Trump narrowly won North Carolina in 2016.

-ABC News' Will Steakin

Oct 24, 1:51 pm

Trump says COVID-19 cases are up 'because we test'


President Donald Trump addressed supporters in Lumberton, North Carolina, where he attacked North Carolina’s Democratic governor, Roy Cooper.

"Get your governor to open up your state,” Trump said. "This guy should be defeated."

In response to former Vice President Joe Biden, who warned of a "dark winter" due to the pandemic, Trump said Saturday, "we gotta have spirit."

“I had it -- here I am!” he said.

Trump said children with COVID-19 have "a very strong immune system" and kids should "go back to school in North Carolina." Trump said "seconds" after being told his 14-year-old son, Barron, tested positive for COVID-19, he was told that the teenager "no longer has it."

The president said "cases are up in the United States -- that's because we test." The U.S. on Friday saw its highest daily number of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. "If we tested half cases would be half," the president argued.

The roughly few thousand supporters gathered in the sun were not socially distanced. Not many wore masks even though some people had masks dangling from their necks.

North Carolina’s presidential race is in a dead-heat contest in a state that’s backed Democratic presidential candidates just twice in the last half century.

Biden has 49% support among likely voters in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll in the state, while Trump has 48% support.

Trump narrowly won North Carolina in 2016.

Oct 24, 1:13 pm

Long lines at NYC early voting locations


New Yorkers, many clad in face masks, are waiting in long lines Saturday to cast their early ballots on the first day of in-person voting.

Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center are among the venues transformed into voting centers.

Oct 24, 12:45 pm
Biden says Trump will accept election results: 'I'm not worried about any coup'
Former Vice President Joe Biden said on the "Pod Save America" podcast that Trump will accept the results of the election and he's "not worried about any coup."

"I guarantee you, he'll accept the results, and he'll be out in -- there's no one gonna stick with him," Biden told hosts Dan Pfeiffer and Jon Lovett in an interview taped Friday and posted Saturday morning.

-- John Verhovek

Oct 24, 12:26 pm

Biden says Trump will accept election results: 'I'm not worried about any coup'


Former Vice President Joe Biden said on the "Pod Save America" podcast that Trump will accept the results of the election and he's "not worried about any coup."

"I guarantee you, he'll accept the results, and he'll be out in -- there's no one gonna stick with him," Biden told hosts Dan Pfeiffer and Jon Lovett in an interview taped Friday and posted Saturday morning.

Oct 24, 12:15 pm

Biden: 'This president cares more about the stock market than he does you'


The election "may come down to Pennsylvania," former Vice President Joe Biden said at a drive-in event in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

"And I believe in you, I believe in my state," said Biden, a Scranton native.

Biden then turned to attack President Donald Trump's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Yesterday while he is telling us everything is alright, we saw the highest number -- 85,000 new cases in one day," Biden said.

At a Friday night rally, Trump told his supporters the virus is "going away."

Biden warned of a "dark winter ahead unless we change our ways."

"All because this president cares more about the stock market than he does you," Biden said.

Oct 24, 11:27 am

Biden tests negative for COVID-19

Former Vice President Joe Biden tested negative for COVID-19 on Saturday, marking his 14th negative test since the president announced he was diagnosed.

Oct 24, 10:42 am

Trump votes early in Florida

President Trump voted early at the Palm Beach County Library in West Palm Beach, Florida, Saturday morning as his supporters lined the streets outside holding American flags and Trump signs.

Some Trump supporters were heard shouting, "Four more years!"

The president voted on a paper ballot. No one was in the room with him at the time.

After casting his ballot, Trump briefly spoke to reporters, calling it an "honor to be voting in this great area."

Trump said his vote was "very secure."

Asked who he voted for, the president said, "A guy named Trump."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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SDI Production/iStock

By JENNI GOLDSTEIN, ABC News

(FLORIDA) -- Convicted felons in Florida who are voting for the first time under Florida’s Amendment 4 could potentially swing the November election. Under this Amendment, a person convicted of a felony in Florida as of 2018 is eligible to vote after completing all terms of his or her sentence.

ABC’s Lionel Moise spoke with Tampa resident Pastor Clifford Tyson, who voted in a Presidential election for the first time in 42 years. 

Lionel Moise’s full report can be heard on the ABC News "Perspective" podcast

“It felt wonderful because I had my 90-year-old father with me, also I had my 26-year-old son,” said Tyson.

Voters overwhelmingly approved the ballot initiative in 2018. Previously, the state of Florida disenfranchised everyone who had a felony conviction.

“Florida used to have the worst system in the country when it came to felony disenfranchisement,” said Julie Ebenstein, senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s voting rights project. According to Ebenstein, when Amendment 4 was passed, about 1.6 million convicted felons in the state were not allowed to vote.

“Politicians in Florida, unfortunately, in 2019 passed a law that interpreted all terms of sentence to include payment of legal financial obligation,” said Attorney Ebenstein.

Just like in many other states, people are charged fees and fines when they are convicted of an offense. The ACLU along with several other groups sued to block the financial requirement, but in September of 2020 a federal appeals court ruled that felons are required to pay all expenses before they can vote.

Those willing and able to pay those fines and fees sometimes find it difficult to do so.

“It's one thing to be able to say to folks, ‘Hey, you got to pay back your fines and fees in order to vote.’ It's another thing when those folks show up and say ‘How much do I owe?’ The state says, ‘Oh, well, we can't really tell you because there are 67 counties and it's really complicated,’” said Neel Sukhatme, an associate professor of law at Georgetown University and the co-founder and director of the non-partisan group Free Our Vote

Sukhatme argues that regardless of your political background, convicted felons should have accurate information on how much they owe in fines and fees.

The Free Our Vote team gathered and cross-reference data sets from across the state. This includes the Clerk of Courts, Department of Corrections and voter registration records. The goal was to make Free Our Vote into a clearinghouse, where those convicted of felonies could get the information they needed on what specific payments they owed and where they could resolve them.

It was a life-changing moment for Pastor Tyson when found out his balance in Hillsborough County was zero dollars. He is now trying to encourage others to carry out their civic duty and exercise their right to vote.

“They live to vote and die trying to vote. My vote is just as important as theirs. My rights are just as important to me. I made some mistakes back in those days, I lost that right. But I paid my dues to society,” said Pastor Tyson.

According to Florida Department of State spokesperson Mark Ard, the state does not separately track registered voters who had their voting rights restored under Amendment 4. The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition estimates that since it passed, 67,000 people with prior felony convictions were able to register to vote.

Florida is a closely watched state as the November election approaches. 29 electorates are up for grabs. 

“It’s Florida, six hundred votes can make the difference in national Presidential elections. But I hope that those who are now registered, who passed the registration deadline, will go to the polls and cast their ballot and will join in the Democratic process in a very exciting time to be involved,” said Attorney Ebenstein.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

 

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Official White House Photo by Shealah CraigheadBY: MEREDITH DELISO, ABC NEWS

(NEW YORK) -- A lawyer for Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner threatened legal action against the Lincoln Project over New York City billboards that depict the pair as showing "indifference" toward the toll of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a letter shared by the anti-Trump Republican group.

One of the ads, erected this week in Times Square, depicts a smiling Trump gesturing toward the numbers of New Yorkers and Americans who have so far died from COVID-19. In an adjacent ad, her husband is pictured along with the quote, "[New Yorkers] are going to suffer and that's their problem," attributed to him.

Their lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, called the ads "false, malicious and defamatory" in a cease-and-desist letter the Lincoln Project posted on Twitter Friday.

"Of course, Mr. Kushner never made any such statement, Ms. Trump never made any such gesture, and the Lincoln Project's representations that they did are an outrageous and shameful libel," the letter said. "If these billboard ads are not immediately removed, we will sue you for what will doubtless be enormous compensatory and punitive damages."

Nuts! pic.twitter.com/XxxkG43z3W

— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) October 24, 2020


An hour after sharing the letter, the Lincoln Project responded that the "billboards will stay up" and called the White House advisers "entitled, out-of-touch bullies."

Jared and Ivanka have always been entitled, out-of-touch bullies who have never given the slightest indication they have any regard for the American people.

We plan on showing them the same level of respect.

Our full statement: pic.twitter.com/M3K5nOE5qd

— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) October 24, 2020


"The level of indignant outrage Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have shown towards The Lincoln Project for exposing their indifference for the more than 223,000 people who have lost their lives due to their reckless mismanagement of COVID-19 is comical," the group said in a statement.

The image of the president's eldest daughter appears to have been taken from a controversial social media post she made in July, in which she posed with a can of Goya beans.

The quote attributed to Kushner was pulled from a September Vanity Fair article. In it, a source alleged that Kushner said that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo "didn't pound the phones hard enough to get PPE for his state…. His people are going to suffer and that's their problem."

On Thursday, the Lincoln Project posted photos of the new billboards on Twitter, saying, "It's a good morning in Times Square for Ivanka and Jared."

In another post, the group said, "There must be accountability for the lying and deaths -- this is just the start."

ABC News reached out to Kasowitz for comment.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Official White House Photo by Shealah CraigheadBY: SOO RIN KIM, ABC NEWS

(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump's reelection team kicked off 2020 with what seemed like an unbeatable cash advantage, boasting a massive fundraising operation, bolstered by the joint efforts of the Republican Party.

Fast-forward 10 months and they've burned through a whopping $1.4 billion of the more than $1.6 billion raised over the last two years, struggling to keep up with former Vice President Joe Biden, more than what former President Barack Obama's reelection campaign and the Democrats had raised and spent by the end of the 2012 cycle.

By mid-October, the Trump campaign and the Republican Party reelection team were left with $223.5 million in the bank. The Trump campaign itself only had $43 million entering the final three weeks of the presidential election.

The revealing figures, released as the two presidential candidates debated on stage Thursday night for the last time before Election Day, came after the campaign blew through $63 million in the first two weeks of October alone -- a critical time when it only brought in $44 million. The vast majority of the money spent during that time -- nearly $45 million -- went to television and online advertising, according to the latest disclosure report filed to the Federal Election Commission, as Biden and pro-Biden efforts ramped up his ad spending.

By comparison, the Biden campaign and the Democratic Party had a total of $331 million in the bank by mid-October -- with the Biden campaign boasting $162 million of that.

At the debate, Trump acknowledged his Democratic challenger has raised "tremendous amounts of money" but said "every time you raise money, deals are made," a similar rhetoric he has maintained during the 2016 election as he poured more than $66 million of his own money into his first White House bid. Back in 2015, he said "by self-funding my campaign, I am not controlled by my donors, special interests or lobbyists," but later took in six-figure donations during the general election. The president's massive reelection campaign this year, has been funded entirely by similarly small and big donors, with no contribution from the president himself.

Trump's money fortunes have changed dramatically in just a few months: his campaign, the Republican National Committee and their two joint fundraising committees started out $180 million ahead of the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee this spring.

Republican National Committee spokesperson Mike Reed, however, maintained that the Republican Party in a "very strong financial position," comparing Trump's reelection cash on hand to that of presidential campaigns from previous elections around this time, including Trump's 2016 campaign.

"Because we have been breaking fundraising records for years, we were able to build the largest ground game operation in history," Reed said in a statement to ABC News. "This is something the Democrats simply cannot match, no matter how much late money they raise."

Trump campaign spokesperson Samantha Zager also emphasized the Trump campaign had a lead over the Biden campaign on its "massive ground game, travel to key states, and ads on digital, TV, and radio.

"As Hillary Clinton proved when she outspent us 2-to-1 in 2016, no amount of money can buy the presidency -- voters have to be enthusiastic about casting their ballot for a candidate, and that's only happening for President Trump," Zager wrote in a statement to ABC News.

But some of the expenditures have raised eyebrows, including hundreds of millions that have gone to alleged "pass-through" vendors that have been accused of masking the ultimate recipient of the money. A portion of those expenditures have been the subject of a Federal Election Commission complaint.

So where has the president's money gone?

Over the last two years, Trump's team has spent the largest portion of that cash on advertising -- more than $204 million on television and radio airtime and at least $286 million on various online, digital and text ads. Another significant chunk -- $208 million -- has gone to the campaign and the Republican Party's direct mail operation, a more traditional form of advertising.

Nearly $90 million was spent just to obtain or rent donor lists. Another $21 million was spent on fundraising consulting. And another $56 million spent on campaign merchandise and donor gifts, including hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on purchasing Donald Trump Jr.'s two books, "Triggered" and "Liberal Privilege."

Reed said the RNC's voter contact operation, including field, data and digital spending, have been a major part of its spending, and that by the end of the cycle, the RNC alone will have spent $300 million on those efforts. "We are knocking over four million doors a week with our 2.5 million strong volunteer army, and reaching millions more on the phones," Reed said.

More than $5 million of campaign cash has also gone to Trump's various hotels, resorts and other buildings over the last two years, according to the records. Just in the last four months, Trump Victory, which raises money from some of Trump's most generous donors spent nearly $900,000 at Trump-branded properties for facility rental and catering. Critics say political spending at Trump properties, including that from the president's own campaign, is a conflict of interest, but the campaign and the Republican Party have maintained that there's nothing wrong with the practice since they pay market rates for venues and report the expenditures as required by law.

Another pricey line-item: legal bills. The president's team has mobilized an army of attorney's preparing for any potential post-Election Day legal battles, which could be costly. Over the past two years, the Trump campaign, the RNC and the shared committees have spent $41 million on legal matters, including battling several big-name legal challenges such as special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and the congressional impeachment proceedings.

At least $55 million has been spent on payroll and other associated fees over the last two years, roughly the same amount spent on payroll by former President Barack Obama's reelection campaign in 2012. This includes more than $600,000 -- or more than $24,000 a month -- to RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and $372,000 -- or roughly $20,000 monthly -- to Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh. DNC Chairman Tom Perez receives about $17,500 a month, while Biden's deputy campaign manager and communications director Kate Bedingfield is paid about $9,000 a month.

Questions about staff payments

But it's difficult to glean just how much some of the president's top team members are making. Much of the payments are shrouded in secrecy by a host of obscure LLCs that are hard to connect to specific individuals that receive payments under general descriptions like "consulting," "services" or "research," which is common among many campaigns and groups across the aisle.

For example, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien hasn't received direct payments from the Trump campaign, but a firm connected to him named has. Revolution Strategies received more than $310,000 from the campaign for "political consulting" over the last two years.

Stepien's predecessor, Brad Parscale, received more than $17 million through his firm Parscale Strategy for digital and political consulting over the last two years, but it's unclear how much of that went into his pocket.

Parscale's firm, in particular, was subject of a FEC complaint in July, accusing the Trump campaign of obscuring nearly $170 million worth of campaign spending over the last two years through so-called "pass through" vendors," including Parscale's firm.

In the complaint, Campaign Legal Center claimed Parscale Strategy and American Made Media Consultants -- two companies set up and run by campaign leadership including Parscale -- appeared to provide a variety of services to the campaign, but really served as "clearing house" firms that dole out contracts and payments to various subcontractors and vendors without revealing the ultimate recipients of the donor money. The lack of disclosure of the campaign's payments to subcontractors, Campaign Legal Center wrote in the complaint, is a violation of the FEC rule that requires campaigns to itemize disbursements to its ultimate vendors.

"Trump declared his 2020 candidacy on his first day of office and has been raising money ever since," said Brendan Fischer, the director of federal reform at Campaign Legal Center, a Washington-based nonpartisan group. "But it is difficult to assess how the Trump campaign has burned through the money raised because it has disguised hundreds of millions of dollars of its spending."

American Made Media Consultants, which was set up and run by campaign leadership in 2018, is the single biggest recipient of the Trump reelection effort's money, receiving much of the massive advertising and paid media expenditures -- a whopping $453 million over the last two years, mostly for media placement and advertising, including $68 million in just the first two weeks of October.

On the accusations against Parscale Strategy and American Made Media Consultants, Fischer said, "This scheme flies in the face of transparency requirements mandated by federal law, and it leaves voters and donors in the dark about where the campaign's funds are actually going."

At the time the complaint was filed, Parscale told ABC News that "This is just political theater 100 days out." The Trump campaign, on the role of the two vendors and the payments, told ABC News at that time that the campaign complies with all campaign finance laws and regulations.

It's unclear if the Federal Election Commission has taken any action on the complaint.

ABC News' Will Steakin and Katherine Faulders contributed to this report.

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The Dunkirk City School District has announced that School 7 will be going to remote learning for the next three days after a member of the school's staff tested positive for COVID-19. The distric...

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