Trump Campaign Loses Fight Over Poll Watchers: Campaign Update
Trump Says Whitmer Is Not Appreciative Enough: Campaign Update
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s campaign lost a bid to have election observers inside Philadelphia’s satellite voting offices. The “Seinfeld” character Newman stars in a Democratic super-PAC ad. And Democratic nominee Joe Biden is doing well in the Rust Belt, but he may win some Sun Belt states too.
There are 25 days until the election and 66 days until the Electoral College meets.
Trump Loses Fight for Satellite Election Observers in Philadelphia
The Trump campaign lost its bid to install observers inside satellite election offices in Philadelphia, where Trump has said “bad things happen.”
Common Pleas Court Judge Gary Glazer ruled Friday that the offices, where voters can register, request and cast a mail ballot in person, are not “polling places” where poll watchers under Pennsylvania law can be certified to observe.
The Trump campaign had sued for access to the satellite offices after saying its representatives were denied entry last week when they opened. The opening line in the lawsuit echoed what Trump said in the Sept. 29 debate, when he suggested without evidence that something nefarious was going on: “Bad things are happening in Philadelphia.”
City officials had made the case the satellite offices are not polling places, and that having poll watchers there was no different than overseeing voters filling out their mail-in ballots at their kitchen table at home.
The Trump campaign is still challenging a state law requiring that poll watchers live in the county where they observe voting on Election Day. Democrats and voting-rights advocates have raised concerns about potential voter intimidation with Trump urging his supporters to “go into the polls and watch very carefully.” -- Mark Niquette
‘Seinfeld’ Mailman Comes Back for Super-PAC Ad (1:47 p.m.)
The actor who played the mail carrier Newman on the sitcom “Seinfeld” is back in a new video from a Democratic super-PAC.
Although he’s not identified by the character’s name, actor Wayne Knight channels his iconic role in the two-minute video from PACRONYM to criticize Trump’s postmaster general, who has been under fire for policies barring mail carriers from using overtime and decommissioning mail-sorting machines.
“They’ve had the unmitigated gall to try to slow down the mail when everybody knows the only person who can slow down the mail is a mailman!” he says. Knight then encourages voters to request and return mail-in ballots as soon as possible.
Democrats have accused Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump appointee, of pursuing policies before the election aimed at slowing mail delivery such as barring mail carriers from using overtime and decommissioning mail-sorting machines.
The video, which has been viewed more than 1.8 million times in a day, was written by David Mandel, a former writer and producer on “Seinfeld” who was showrunner on the political show “Veep.”
Biden Doing Well in Rust Belt and Sun Belt (12:21 p.m.)
Early in the presidential primary season, Democratic insiders debated whether the party should try to win back the Rust Belt or look ahead to changing Sun Belt states. Now Biden is doing well in both.
Biden’s capture of the nomination was a strong vote in favor of the Rust Belt strategy. But his trip this week to Arizona and Nevada with running mate Kamala Harris shows that his campaign is looking to pick up some Sun Belt states as well.
Biden’s lead in the Rust Belt states is solid. He is ahead by 7.1 points in Pennsylvania, 6.7 points in Michigan and 5.5 points in Wisconsin. He is unexpectedly competitive in Iowa and Ohio, where his leads are smaller, but stable, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls.
Biden is also ahead by 6 points in Nevada, 3.7 points in Florida, 3.1 points in Arizona, 1.4 points in North Carolina, and more competitive than usual in Georgia and Texas, according to RealClearPolitics average.
Judge Excoriates Florida’s Handling of Elections (11:46 a.m.)
Florida “has done it again,” a federal judge said Friday as he decided against extending the state’s deadline for voter registration following a website crash.
“I feel like I’ve seen this movie before,” U.S. District Judge Mark Walker said in his order denying a request by voters’ groups seeking more time to register in a state known for election glitches, including its excruciating 2000 recount.
The website crash on Monday kept thousands from registering and was part of a system featuring “overworked elections staff, incomplete voter rolls, and election-day mayhem,” Walker said. But he said the risk of injecting more problems into a “perennially chaotic” election outweighed the harm to voters.
“In so ruling, this Court notes that every man who has stepped foot on the Moon launched from the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida. Yet, Florida has failed to figure out how to run an election properly -- a task simpler than rocket science,” Walker wrote. -- Todd Shields and Jennifer Kay
Trump Team Suggests Biden Could Cheat in Virtual Debate (10:04 a.m.)
Trump has “no interest” in a virtual debate against Biden over concerns the Democratic nominee might use a teleprompter, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Friday.
“Joe Biden, he could barely keep up on the debate stage last time and now putting him in a forum where he has access to maybe teleprompters, who knows. The president certainly wouldn’t be there to hold him accountable,” McEnany said during a Fox News interview when asked if Trump would participate in a virtual debate.
Trump’s campaign has repeatedly suggested Biden uses a teleprompter during virtual interviews and television appearances. The Commission on Presidential Debates announced earlier this week the Oct. 15 contest between Biden and Trump would no longer be held in person as a coronavirus safety precaution, after the president and several top aides became infected.
Frank Fahrenkopf, co-chair of the commission, told Fox News on Thursday there would be media stationed in both locations so that neither candidate could use a teleprompter to read answers. -- Jordan Fabian
Trump Will See Doctor on Fox News Appearance (7:19 a.m.)
Rather than reveal his medical records to reporters the traditional way in 2016, Trump dictated a letter to his doctor and shared it during a TV appearance with Dr. Oz.
He will now reprise the move on Fox News.
In his first TV appearance since returning from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the president will undergo a medical evaluation on Tucker Carlson’s show from Dr. Marc Siegel.
Siegel is a medical contributor on Fox. In the past, he has speculated without evidence that Biden is using speed and Adderall before debates, said it’s “almost impossible” for people under 70 to die from Covid-19, and argued that Speaker Nancy Pelosi should “stop pontificating” about Trump’s health.
Trump Feuds With Whitmer After Kidnapping Thwarted (6:38 a.m.)
Trump is feuding with the popular female governor of a battleground state after federal agents foiled an alleged plot to kidnap her.
After the unsealing of FBI charges against six men of planning to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and overthrow the state government, Whitmer linked the plot to Trump’s noncommittal response at a debate last month to a call to condemn extremist groups like the Proud Boys.
Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller then went on Fox News to criticize Whitmer.
“If we want to talk about hatred, then Governor Whitmer, go look in the mirror,” he said. “The fact that she wakes up every day with such hatred in her heart towards President Trump.”
In a late-night series of tweets, Trump then attacked Whitmer, saying she was not appreciative enough.
“My Justice Department and Federal Law Enforcement announced today that they foiled a dangerous plot against the Governor of Michigan,” he wrote. “Rather than say thank you, she calls me a White Supremacist.”
Biden Visit Violates Navajo Nation Virus Restrictions
The head of the Navajo tribe broke his own coronavirus restrictions to meet with Biden and California Senator Kamala Harris Thursday.
Facing a surge of cases in late September, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez re-issued a stay-at-home order and weekend lockdowns, noting that recent clusters of cases came from individuals who traveled to nearby cities.
But on Thursday, Biden and Harris made a stop on their bus tour at the reservation’s capital, Window Rock, Arizona, and Nez met with the two at the Heard Museum in Phoenix.
Nez said he made an exception to the orders because it’s rare for tribal leaders to be able to meet with a presidential and vice presidential candidate at the same time, according to the Navajo Times.
Biden’s path to a win in Arizona involves picking up as many votes as he can in the Navajo Nation, the Democratic stronghold of Tucson and the increasingly Democratic suburbs of Phoenix.
Both Sides ‘Extremely Motivated’ to Vote in November
Trump’s political strategy of firing up his own base seems to be causing an equal and opposite reaction among Democrats.
In a Pew Research Center survey released Thursday, 71% of Trump supporters say they are extremely motivated to vote in the election, but they are matched by 72% of Biden supporters.
Still, Biden may benefit more from the dynamic. On a separate question, 54% of registered voters who say they have thought a lot about the election and are extremely motivated to vote favored Biden, while 43% backed Trump.
Overall, 52% of registered voters in the poll backed Biden, while 42% backed Trump.
The survey of 10,543 registered voters was conducted Sept. 30-Oct. 5. It has a margin of error of 1.5 percentage points.
Biden travels to Las Vegas on Friday.
Trump will do a live interview on Fox’s Tucker Carlson show at 8 p.m. Washington time.
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