By LIBBY CATHEY, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — With 13 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.
Roughly 38 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 remains on defense as his approval rating drags. He’s hosting rallies this week mostly in states he won in 2016 including Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia.
Biden, maintaining a lead in national polls — his largest of the election, according to FiveThirtyEight’s average — has no public events on his schedule this week so far ahead of Thursday’s final presidential debate with Trump. Staying off the trail ahead of debates is a pattern for the former vice president.
Polls indicate a huge pre-Election-Day edge for Biden and a sizable Trump advantage among those who plan to vote on Nov. 3 itself. Trump has sowed doubt in the mail-in ballot process — and imminent election results — for months.
The rhetoric between candidates is expected to heat up ahead of their second and final showdown in Nashville, Tennessee.
All 50 states plus Washington, D.C., currently have some form of early voting underway.
Here is how the day is unfolding Wednesday. All times Eastern:
Oct 21, 8:58 am
DNC launches multilingual ad campaign to reach AAPI voters in battleground states
The Democratic National Committee is launching a multilingual print, digital and radio advertising campaign to reach roughly one million Asian Americans and Pacific Islander or AAPI voters in battleground states, making a clear play for voters of color less than two weeks from Election Day. Earlier in the month, they released ads targeting African American voters.
The ad buy is the first multilingual ad campaign targeting AAPIs that the DNC has launched this cycle and will run in Chinese, English, Hindi, Korean, Telugu/Urdu and Vietnamese. Ads will run in national publications such as the Korea Times, Nguoi Viet and World Journal, as well as local outlets in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.
“Democrats are meeting AAPI voters where they are and in the language, they speak by making historic investments to ensure AAPIs across the country have the information they need to make their plan to vote,” DNC Chair Tom Perez said in a statement to ABC News.
The six-figure targeted ad buy, is a part of a larger investment by the DNC focused on get-out-the-vote ads in constituency media.
Oct 21, 8:57 am
Why Obama still matters to both Biden and Trump
It’s a classic political moment — the still-popular former president hitting the trail for his loyal former deputy, helping to close strong for the man he wants to see continue his legacy.
But even if former President Barack Obama was filling a stadium as opposed to its parking lot on Wednesday, this would not be a moment for nostalgia among Democrats.
As Obama makes his first in-person campaign visit on behalf of Biden on Wednesday in Philadelphia, it’s worth remembering how vital the former president is to the political identity of both Biden and Trump.
Obama has been an omnipresent force this campaign, if often slightly off-stage. Biden’s references to “Barack and I” helped carry him through primaries where Obama stayed neutral, and Trump’s rants about “Obamagate” and other exaggerated alleged transgressions are part of his greatest-hits rally rotation.
Obama on Wednesday is expected to emphasize down-ballot races and speak directly to Black men, amid signs that Biden is underperforming in that demographic. Younger Black voters in particular are a concern for the Biden campaign, which sees potential victory in turnout in Philadelphia, Detroit and Milwaukee — to say nothing of Charlotte, North Carolina and Atlanta.
A “drive-in car rally” with honks and high beams do not make the visuals anyone could have predicted for Obama’s return to the trail.
But the former president is a potent political force — something both Biden and Trump can agree on.
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