Election 2020 live updates: Biden: ‘Gonna hire Dr. Fauci’ and ‘fire Donald Trump’

Kameleon007/iStoc By LIBBY CATHEY, ABC News

(WASHINGTON) — On the eve of Election Day, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden have only hours left to make their closing arguments to voters in a contest both are calling the most important of their lifetime.

With more than 94 million Americans having already cast their ballots — an early voting record — time is running out for Trump and Biden to sway uncommitted voters.

Trump has five rallies in four states — North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin — as both candidates plan to “barnstorm” the states they deem critical in a final full day of campaigning overshadowed by coronavirus cases rising in nearly every election battleground.

Biden takes to Ohio and Pennsylvania, closing out the day at a drive-in rally with Lady Gaga in Pittsburgh. His running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, is also campaigning in Pennsylvania and finishes her day at a drive-in rally with John Legend in Philadelphia. Their ticket’s top surrogate, former President Barack Obama, is campaigning in Georgia and Florida.

Vice President Mike Pence has a pair of rallies in Pennsylvania — a state Trump won by one point in 2016 and one where a Democratic win this time would leave him with an exceedingly narrow path to victory — before joining Trump on the trail in Michigan.

Here is how the Monday is developing. All times Eastern: 

Nov 02, 2:02 pm
Trump: Supreme Court ‘hurting our country’ by rulings in election-related cases

Speaking at the first of five rallies in his final full day of campaigning, Trump railed against the Supreme Court for recent rulings not blocking Pennsylvania and North Carolina from accepting absentee ballots postmarked by Tuesday for several days after Nov. 3 — stopping, at least for the moment, GOP efforts to stop counting ballots on election night.

“What a horrible thing they’ve done. You know that puts our country in danger. Do you know what can happen? Cheating can happen like you’ve never seen. This is their dream,” Trump said, without any evidence.

He went on to warn of voter fraud if states can continue counting mail-in ballots in the days after the election, demanding results be tabulated on election night — though votes are always certified in the following days and sometimes weeks.

“What can happen during that long period of time is a disgrace,” Trump said. “Our Supreme Court, I’m just so tired of some of these horrible political decisions that are being made. It’s a shame. You know, I won’t get into it too much. I’m going to start getting into it because they’re hurting our country very bad.”

Although Trump has projected confidence in winning the election, he also said “if” we win Pennsylvania when speaking to the North Carolina crowd, in perhaps a show of uncertainty in that critical battleground.

“I think if we win this state, we win Pennsylvania — we’re going to win Florida. We win Pennsylvania and you, we’re going to win the whole thing,” Trump told the massive, mostly maskless, crowd.

Nov 02, 2:05 pm
Pence tells Pennsylvania: ‘The time for speeches is over. The time for voting is on’

Vice President Mike Pence, taking his closing message to roughly 200 people at an airport hangar in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, this morning made a big push for supporters to get out and vote either by getting their ballots in today or in-person voting Tuesday.
“Men and women, the time for speeches is over. The time for voting is on. So I want you to leave here today, you can drop that ballot off or just make plans to be out tomorrow, but spend every free moment that you have reaching out to neighbors and friends,” Pence said.

Pence also teased his joint appearances with Trump this evening in Michigan, including the final rally in Grand Rapids, where he said they will “bring it home.”

Joined by his family, all of whom were seen wearing masks today, Pence didn’t acknowledge rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Pennsylvania, but he did say the administration is working on a vaccine “to put this pandemic in the past.”
-ABC News’ Justin Gomez

Nov 02, 1:31 pm
Texas Republicans ask federal judge to invalidate 127K ‘drive-thru’ votes

Republicans in Texas asked a federal judge on Monday to throw out 127,000 votes in Harris County the day before the election — in a move Democrats are calling voter suppression.

The votes were cast early via a secure “drive-thru” method that Harris County says it got state approval for back in June amid safety concerns with voting in a pandemic. But Republicans argue the Harris County Clerk was acting on his own by implementing the practice.

A similar lawsuit was rejected by the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court last week and then a second time on Sunday — a blow to Trump and Republicans who have pushed claims of voter fraud, without evidence, in response to the rulings.

Notably, Texas did not allow for no-excuse absentee voting during the pandemic as other states did, so the drive-thru voting option was developed to ensure at-risk people could vote from the safety of their cars.

At each of the 10 drive-thru centers, voters pulled up in their cars, and after their registrations and identifications were confirmed by poll workers, they were handed an electronic tablet through their car windows to cast ballots.

Harris County, the state’s most populous county which leans Democratic, has already set an all-time record for total turnout — and these drive-thru votes amount for roughly 10% of the total early vote turnout.

-ABC News’ Jon Schlosberg

Nov 02, 12:43 pm
Biden: ‘I’m gonna hire Dr. Fauci and we’re gonna fire Donald Trump’

Making his first campaign stop of the day in Cleveland, Ohio, before barnstorming Pennsylvania, Biden opened his remarks at a drive-in rally by emphasizing to voters there are only hours left until Election Day.
“Tomorrow, we have an opportunity to put an end to a presidency that’s divided this nation. Tomorrow, we can put an end to a president that has failed to protect this nation. And tomorrow, we can put an end to a president who has fanned the flames of hate all across this country,” Biden began to honking horns of support.

Projecting confidence in the race, Biden said American voters are taking their message — that “it’s time for Donald Trump to pack his bags and go home” — to the polls in record early voting numbers.
“We’re done with the chaos. We’re done with the tweets, the anger, the hate, the failure, the irresponsibility,” Biden said.

He also drew distinctions on the coronavirus pandemic, slamming Trump for promoting baseless conspiracy theories about doctors tasked with treating COVID-19 and responding to Trump telling his supporters at a Florida rally Sunday night he might wait until after the election when chants of “Fire Fauci” erupted.
“And last night, Trump said he was going to fire Dr. Fauci. Isn’t that wonderful? I got a better idea. Elect me, and I’m gonna hire Dr. Fauci,” Biden said. “And we’re gonna fire Donald Trump.”

Catering his message to farmers in Ohio, Biden called Trump “weak and chaotic” with China on trade, saying farm bankruptcies are up and exports are down. He argued that agricultural exports to China have been 40% lower during the Trump years than they were during the second term of the Obama-Biden administration and went on to pitch the promise of new green energy jobs in Ohio, if he’s elected.
“Ohio, in 2008 and 2012 you placed your trust in me and Barack. In 2020, I am asking you to trust me again,” Biden said, painting himself as the unity candidate. “I’m running as a proud Democrat, but I’ll govern as an American president. There will be no red states and blue states, just the United States.”

Nov 02, 11:51 am
Georgia secretary of state predicts Election Day ‘challenges’

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger held a news conference this morning from Park Tavern at Piedmont Park in Atlanta — a polling location that had over 16,000 voters assigned to it during the June primary and some of the longest lines in the county.
Amid lingering accusations of voter suppression in the state, Raffensperger projected confidence in how the fall election has gone so far but also said there will be “challenges” on Tuesday.

“There’s never been a perfect election. This one has gone very well so far. Tomorrow we’ll have challenges. The job of the counties, the poll managers, the poll workers will be to address those issues quickly. The state stands ready to help, where we can,” he said.
Raffensperger said his office has secured nearly 2,000 field service technicians to address issues that may arise at the 2,400 polling precincts statewide.

Providing an update on early voting, Raffensperger said a record 55% of active registered voters have already voted in Georgia and that roughly 1.4 million “would have normally been Election Day voters.”

Gabriel Sterling, the statewide voting system implementation manager in Raffensperger’s office, echoed Raffensperger in saying that results in closer races will likely come on Wednesday and added they are expecting legal challenges following the election.
“We anticipate that in any situation where we have a close election like this in what is now viewed as a swing state, there’s going to be challenges. There’ll be challenges from Republicans. There’ll be challenges from Democrats, and we expect them all to be going into court more than likely,” Sterling said.

Former President Barack Obama is campaigning for Biden in Georgia Monday as Democrats sense an opportunity to flip the state which Trump won by 5 points in 2016.

-ABC News’ Quinn Scanlan

Nov 02, 10:50 am
Trump, Biden head out for final day of campaigning as legal concerns loom

Departing from Delaware to Ohio this morning, Biden signaled a number one to reporters with his finger before audibly saying that there’s “one day” left until the election. He waved and held up one finger again from the top of the staircase before embarking for Cleveland to kick off the final full day of campaigning.

Moments earlier, Trump in Miami boarded Air Force One, heading off for five rallies across four states including a final rally this evening in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he closed out his 2016 campaign.
Trump, predicting a “red wave” is relying on his mega-rallies to boost voter turnout and himself to victory as they did in 2016, while Democrats are calling on some star power in the eleventh hour — recruiting Lady Gaga and John Legend for drive-in rallies in Pennsylvania this evening.

As Trump has threatened legal action to stop the counting of ballots arriving after Election Day, Biden’s campaign is making clear that they are “prepared for all scenarios,” including the possibility of a post-election legal fight.

In a statement first to Politico confirmed to ABC News, the Biden campaign urged voters to show up in “overwhelming numbers” but also emphasized their large voter protection team and the fact that they are prepared for a potential post-election fight, including making sure they have the resources to fight it.
-ABC News’ Johnny Verhovek contributed to this report.

Nov 02, 10:34 am
Coronavirus surging in every key swing state in final hours of voting

With Election Day just hours away, coronavirus cases are rising in every key political battleground state around the country, according to an ABC News analysis, a striking reality that highlights the inextricable link between the pandemic and the 2020 race, despite the president’s best efforts to refocus the conversation elsewhere.

As deaths and hospitalizations are rising as well, the outbreak is hitting in record numbers nationwide — but the virus is spreading faster in case per population in many hotly contested states, including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Wisconsin and Texas, according to the analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

Just this week, Pennsylvania, one of the most likely tipping points in the election, broke its single-day new case record this week with over cases 2,700 reported — the highest since the start of the pandemic. In Wisconsin, there have been more than 150,000 new cases in just the past two months — nearly double all the cases reported from March through the end of August combined. And Georgia, which has emerged as a competitive state, is experiencing a “surge.”

Exactly how the most recent rise in cases in key swing states, which began earlier this fall, will ultimately impact the presidential election remains unclear, but experts said its effects have already been felt. Many say the surge in cases is likely to hurt the president at the ballot box, though a Trump campaign official Sunday suggested it may be to their advantage to have Democrats talking about it so much, as fear over the outbreak could prevent those more likely to support Biden from turning out on Election Day.

Record numbers of mail-in ballots have been requested, though, and early voting is smashing total tallies from 2016 and fears of getting the virus do not appear to be suppressing the drive to vote in person, even in places where cases are surging, experts said.

-ABC News’ Olivia Rubin, Soorin Kim and Mark Nichols

Nov 02, 10:02 am
Trump to watch election night unfold from White House

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany in a Fox News interview this morning, appearing as Trump’s “campaign adviser,” confirmed he plans to be at the White House on election night.

“We’ll be there at the White House in D.C.,” McEnany said.

The Trump campaign had reportedly planned a traditional campaign party at his hotel, also off Pennsylvania Avenue, in Washington. But the president told reporters last week that he was considering other options including staying at the White House or spending time between the two. The District’s coronavirus precautions limit indoor gatherings to 50 people.

The Democratic ticket, meanwhile, is slated to be in Wilmington, Delaware, on election night.

-ABC News’ Jordyn Phelps

Nov 02, 9:44 am
Overview: Trump rallies in five states, Biden focus on Pennsylvania

With the clock ticking down until Election Day, Trump and Biden have only hours left to make their closing arguments to voters, and with more than 94 million already having cast their ballots, the pool of uncommitted voters they’re hoping to win over is thinning out. On the final full day of campaigning, the candidates return to the swing states they deem critical in their pathways to the White House the election — but the trips come as the the contest is overshadowed by coronavirus cases rising across the country and in nearly every election battleground.

Trump and Biden are competing amid a pandemic and continue to paint contrasting realities of the COVID-19 landscape, with Trump insisting “COVID, COVID, COVID’ — as he puts it — will disappear from media reports after the election, saying the country is “rounding the turn” while Biden acknowledges ending the pandemic won’t be like “flipping a switch” if he’s elected.
Continuing what Biden has deemed “superspreader” events, Trump has five rallies in four states Monday — in Fayetteville, North Carolina at 11:30 a.m., in Avoca, Pennsylvania, at 2:30 p.m., in Traverse City, Michigan, at 5 p.m., and in Kenosha, Wisconsin, at 8 p.m., — before traveling back to where he ended his campaign in 2016: Grand Rapids, Michigan, for a final rally.

Other than making a quick side trip to neighboring Cleveland, Ohio, Biden is focused on barnstorming what is shaping to be the pivotal battleground of the election — Pennsylvania — with events in Beaver County at 2:40 p.m. and in Pittsburgh at 5:40 p.m. with members of the African American community. He closes out the day at a drive in rally with Lady Gaga in Pittsburgh.

Biden’s running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, is also campaigning in Pennsylvania and finishes her day at a drive-in rally with John Legend in Philadelphia. Their ticket’s top surrogate, former President Barack Obama, is spreading out their efforts with events in Georgia and Florida.
Vice President Mike Pence has a pair of rallies in Pennsylvania — a state Trump won by one point in 2016 and one where a Democratic win this time would leave him with an exceedingly narrow path to victory — before joining Trump on the trail in Michigan.

With a nation on edge, roiled by tension and palpable high anxiety on the eve of Election Day, the president seems more determined than ever to exploit divisions as his best hope of closing the gap in the polls.
Trump denied to reporters Sunday night that he would try to declare some sort of “victory” on election night but added, “as soon as the election is over, we’re going in with our lawyers.” His comments come on the heels of repeated attacks to the Supreme Court for not allowing GOP efforts to block the counting of ballots arriving in the days after the election in key battleground states.

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