BY: LAUREN KING, 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 have turned out in record numbers to cast their ballots early.
More than 56 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. The president will have a campaign rally in New Hampshire to top off a weekend of many rallies across battleground states and Biden will speak during a virtual “I Will Vote” concert.
Vice President Mike Pence will travel to North Carolina Sunday evening to speak at a rally despite a two of his top deputies testing positive for the coronavirus: chief of staff Marc Short and political aide Marty Obst.
ABC News has also learned at least one additional staffer in the vice president’s office has tested positive in the last few days and several staffers are now quarantining. Devin O’Malley, press secretary for the vice president, said both Pence and wife Karen Pence tested negative for the virus on Saturday.
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.
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern.
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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