White House race enters last mile
With 11 days to go for the polling to end, more than 51 million Americans have already cast ballots - a pace that could lead to the highest turnout since 1928.Updated: Oct 24, 2020, 03:32 IST
Having wrapped up their final debate, US President Donald Trump and rival Joe Biden began a sprint through the final 11 days of the race for the White House on Friday.
Trump will hold two rallies in the battleground state of Florida, where Biden holds a thin 1.5% lead in the RealClearPolitics average of polls. He also plans to vote in person on Saturday in Florida.
Biden will deliver a speech in his home state of Delaware on his plans for leading a recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
With 11 days to go for the polling to end, more than 51 million Americans have already cast ballots - a pace that could lead to the highest turnout since 1928. The turnout by Friday morning accounts for 21% of the 240 million eligible voters and more than 36% of the total votes in the 2016 election, according to the South University of Florida tracker of early votes.
On Friday, Trump believed he “did great” in the final debate. “It’s two different styles,” he told reporters of his disciplined performance in contrast to the first debate on September 29 in which he had constantly interrupted Biden and talked over him and the moderator. “I can do different styles.”
The White House on Thursday released raw footage from an interview that Trump did with 60 Minutes reporter Lesley Stahl, breaking an agreement with CBS channel to keep material from the highly anticipated clash private until an edited version could air this weekend.
The footage shows Stahl asking direct questions and refuting some of Trump’s answers on topics, including health care and the government’s response to the pandemic. “Look at the bias, hatred and rudeness on behalf of 60 Minutes and CBS,” Trump said in post on his Twitter profile, with a link to his Facebook page, where he posted the nearly 38-minute interview.
The White House had kept a single-frame copy of the interview, in which only Trump is visible but Stahl can be heard asking questions. It shows Trump repeatedly asking Stahl and her employer, CBS News, to ask tough questions of Biden. CBS News blasted Trump’s “unprecedented decision” to disregard an agreement to keep the footage private, but said the move would not defer the show “from providing its full, fair and contextual reporting which presidents have participated in for decades”.
On Thursday, the US sanctioned five Iranian entities for attempting to interfere in the US elections. Authorities suspect elements of Iranian government “disguised as news organisations or media outlets, have targeted” the election.
“The Iranian regime uses false narratives and other misleading content to attempt to influence US elections,” treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
Top US national security officials on Wednesday warned of election interference attempts by Iran and Russia.