The latest on the 2020 election

By Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 5:54 AM ET, Thu October 15, 2020
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11:58 a.m. ET, October 14, 2020

Trump touts his coronavirus recovery during Zoom Rose Garden appearance

From CNN's Betsy Klein

President Donald Trump speaks from the White House Rose Garden during a Zoom call on October 14.
President Donald Trump speaks from the White House Rose Garden during a Zoom call on October 14. The Economic Club of New York

President Trump railed against the media and touted his coronavirus treatment and recovery Wednesday as he addressed the Economic Clubs of New York, Washington Chicago, Sheboygan, and Pittsburgh in a remote event. 

Trump spoke from a podium in the White House Rose Garden, the event produced via Zoom with “White House” at the bottom left corner of Trump’s screen. His voice sounded raspy at the top of the event and he cleared his throat twice while speaking. 

The President praised his administration’s coronavirus response and “aggressive and early action,” as well as initial aid package – his comments coming as talks remain stalled on Capitol Hill. 

“We’re rounding that final turn” on the pandemic, he reiterated.  

After his coronavirus diagnosis, he noted, “I wasn’t feeling so hot,” adding that Regeneron “made me feel very good very fast,” calling it a “cure.”

“Who knows, maybe I would have recovered beautifully anyway. All I know is once I had Regeneron, it worked out very well,” he said of his treatment. 

Trump went on to claim that the media has “undermined our public health efforts and put innocent lives in danger.”

“We must allow lower risk Americans to resume normal activity,” slamming “unscientific lockdowns pushed by left wing politicians.”

He warned of a “depression” and tax increases in a Biden administration and touted his perceived economic successes, repeatedly railing against the Obama administration. 

Trump sought to cast Joe Biden as weak on immigration and on China, claiming, “If I don’t get elected in a little while, 20 days, China will own the United States,” adding at one point that he is “not interested in making friends in the corrupt media.”

One day after questioning his own support among suburban women, Trump warned that in a Biden administration there would be “an economic catastrophe of unimaginable proportions” and “your suburb will be gone. The American dream will be gone.”

At one point, he suggested Biden wouldn’t have agency in his own potential administration: “It isn’t really him that wants to do it, it’s other people that are at a much higher level than Joe.”

He also took a moment to directly address the Democrats listening to his remarks: “I know I’m speaking to some Democrats and some of you are friends of mine. You will see things happen that will not make you happy. I don’t understand your thinking. I don’t understand how you can be backing such policies. But you’re wrong.”

Trump will participate in a rally this evening in Des Moines, Iowa. It will be his third rally in three days.

11:25 a.m. ET, October 14, 2020

These voters are waiting hours to cast their ballots in Georgia

From CNN's Melissa Mahtani

People wait to vote in Fulton County, near Atlanta, on October 14.
People wait to vote in Fulton County, near Atlanta, on October 14. CNN

We’re in Fulton County, near Atlanta, where long lines of voters have turned out to cast their ballots. Some voters in Georgia were forced to wait up to eight hours yesterday as the state saw a record turnout on the first few days of early voting.

CNN’s Amara Walker is speaking to people, some of whom have been waiting in line since 6 a.m.

Watch:

Are you having difficulty registering or voting, whether in person or by mail? Tell us more about it here.

11:30 a.m. ET, October 14, 2020

Georgia's secretary of state says bandwidth issue affecting some voting places is "capacity problem"

From CNN’s Maria Cartaya and Jason Morris

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger holds a press conference in Atlanta on October 14.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger holds a press conference in Atlanta on October 14. CNN

Regarding a bandwidth issue affecting voting locations, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said it's a capacity problem.

"The amount of information that’s just flowing.  It’s like everyone jumping on 285 in the morning, and sometimes you have to stagger out the rush hour," added Raffensperger. 

"Everyone will have the opportunity to vote. We’re just expecting record turnout," said Raffensperger.

"You have a pandemic, and that’s the other thing that we tend to forget. If you look at those lines, they look like they’re long, but everyone is spaced six feet out on center and that just makes your lines look a whole lot longer. It also takes longer to actually vote through the process because the machines have to be cleaned out, wiped, and so it’s just a slower more cumbersome process just due to the pandemic," added Raffensperger. 

"Georgia voters are excited and setting records every hour," said Raffensperger

Some context: Monday was the first day that Georgia offered in-person voting opportunities. There were some early hiccups reported, including glitches that slowed down voting at one supersite in Atlanta.

Elsewhere, early voters endured long lines, sometimes snaking around buildings, according to local reports.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden hopes to peel the Peach State away from President Trump, who won by five percentage points in 2016. There are also not one but two Senate races on the ballot in Georgia, with two incumbent Republicans trying to fend off challengers.

With reporting from Nick Valencia, Annie Grayer and Marshall Cohen.  

11:36 a.m. ET, October 14, 2020

Texas could turn blue for Joe Biden, Beto O'Rourke says

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke on CNN's "Newsroom" on October 14.
Former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke on CNN's "Newsroom" on October 14. CNN

Former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke says Texas could turn blue this election and vote for Joe Biden. 

“If Joe Biden is the first Democratic nominee to win Texas in 40 years, then this election is over on Election Night,” he told CNN Wednesday.

“We don't wait for Pennsylvania to count the returns for days or maybe even weeks. We don't allow Donald Trump the opportunity to try to steal or prematurely or illegally claim victory when the results are still in doubt,” he added. “Texas will decide this mathematically, psychologically in every way that matters. And we can turn the page on Donald Trump and begin that next chapter for our country. That's how important Texas is and Texas can happen.”

O’Rourke also criticized a late-night ruling that upheld Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's directive limiting only one ballot drop box location per county in the state.

“It's really unfortunate because it enables the voter suppression that has kept so many of our fellow Texans historically from being able to cast their ballot and have their vote counted. It's compounded by voter ID laws, racial gerrymandering, a number of other really bad practices made much worse since the gutting of the Voting Rights Act in 2013,” he said.

In-person early voting began in Texas on Tuesday, with long lines and massive turnout.

Watch:

10:26 a.m. ET, October 14, 2020

Texas state appeals court dismisses GOP lawsuit attempting to block curbside voting in Harris County

From CNN's Marshall Cohen

A state appeals court in Texas dismissed a lawsuit brought by Republicans who were trying to block curbside and drive-through voting in Harris County, which is home to Houston, a major Democratic stronghold. 

The judges ruled that the Republican Party of Texas did not have standing to bring the lawsuit.

They also said they were dismissing the lawsuit because it was filed too late and “the election is currently in progress.”

In-person early voting began this week in Texas, with long lines and massive turnout.

10:22 a.m. ET, October 14, 2020

Judge reopens voter registration in Virginia until Thursday following yesterday's outage

From CNN's Ross Levitt

A voter fills out her ballot on the first day of early voting in Leesburg, Virginia, on September 18.
A voter fills out her ballot on the first day of early voting in Leesburg, Virginia, on September 18. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

A federal judge in Virginia said Wednesday morning he will reopen voter registration there until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday after a computer outage took down the system on Tuesday, the deadline to register.   

Judge John Gibney Jr. said the order would extend both online registration and in-person registration. 

"You can't go back in time and register people," Gibney said. Absent his intervention, "Almost an entire day of voter registration will be lost."

The state board of elections and department of elections supported the petition filed by the New Virginia Majority Education Fund and other groups. 

 “If we have problems with local registrars who decide that this order does not require them to allow additional registration, you have my phone,” he told the parties. “I will give them a suggestion.” 

The computer outage was caused when a construction crew hit a fiber data line during their work.  For much of the day Tuesday, visitors to the state portal were met with this message: "Due to a network outage the Citizen Portal is temporarily unavailable."

One of the takeaways from this lawsuit, Gibney said, is that crews ought to call ahead to utility companies before digging. 

Are you having difficulty registering or voting, whether in person or by mail? Tell us more about it here.

9:17 a.m. ET, October 14, 2020

"Huge mistake" to cancel presidential debate, White House official says

From CNN's Betsy Klein

from Fox News
from Fox News

White House director of strategic communications Alyssa Farah reacted to news that the President will participate in an NBC town hall and cast blame on the Commission on Presidential Debates, calling it a “huge mistake” to cancel the second debate.

“This was a huge mistake by the debate commission and I mean I think it raises some real questions about if they're trying to weigh the scales one way or the other in this race. But listen, by the time that the President does the town hall tomorrow, he’ll have already done three rallies," she said during an appearance on Fox News.

"He is back, he is highly energized, he is eager to get on the road and it's really a mistake that he's not able to appear side-by-side with Joe Biden and show the American people the difference between these two candidates,” she continued.

Interestingly, and perhaps a window into concerns the President is hearing, the hosts pressed Farah on the campaign’s surrogate operation, which Farah defended by saying Trump’s children are out on the trail.

Earlier this morning, the network announced Trump will participate in an NBC town hall tomorrow night.

The event, scheduled for 8 p.m. ET in Miami, will compete with an ABC town hall featuring Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, which is set to begin at the same time.

9:14 a.m. ET, October 14, 2020

Trump's SCOTUS nominee was asked if she would recuse herself from an election case. This is what she said.

From CNN's Joan Biskupic

Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images
Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images

Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Tuesday eluded efforts by Democratic lawmakers to commit to recusing herself from any Supreme Court election dispute between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

With controversies over state ballot practices escalating and the possibility of a replay of the 2000 Bush v. Gore ordeal in the air, the topic has featured heavily in her Senate Judiciary Committee nomination hearing.

In an exchange with Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, Barrett said: "I commit to you to fully and faithfully applying the law of recusal. And part of the law is to consider any appearance questions. And I will apply the factors that other justices have before me in determining whether the circumstances require my recusal or not. But I can't offer a legal conclusion right now about the outcome of the decision I would reach."

Trump has pointed to the Nov. 3 election as a reason for seeking swift Senate confirmation of Barrett, a federal appeals court judge who would be his third appointee to the nine-member bench.

The Republican incumbent has said he believes the Supreme Court could ultimately decide whether he is the victor over Biden.

"I think this will end up at the Supreme Court," Trump said about the possibility of an intractable ballot controversy. "And I think it's very important that we have nine justices."

In a recent CNN poll, more than half (56%) of the Americans surveyed said they think Barrett should recuse herself from cases on the presidential election; 34% said the opposite. Opinions divided largely by party: 82% of Democrats; 53% of independents and 32% of Republicans said Barrett should promise to recuse herself from cases about the election.

Supreme Court practice leaves it to individual justices to decide when to recuse themselves from cases. In her recent questionnaire to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Barrett noted that federal ethics law covering lower court judges is not binding on the Supreme Court but said she would look to it, as other justices have.

The law requires judges to disqualify themselves when their "impartiality might reasonably be questioned." Rarely do Supreme Court justices sit out cases and typically only when they have a financial stake or family connection to the dispute.

Read more here.

9:23 a.m. ET, October 14, 2020

Obama will hit the campaign trail for Biden soon. Here's where he could travel.

From CNN's Arlette Saenz and Jeff Zeleny

Former President Barack Obama speaks in Munich, Germany, in 2019.
Former President Barack Obama speaks in Munich, Germany, in 2019. Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama is expected to hit the campaign trail next week, Democratic officials tell CNN, as he looks to step up his work in support of his one-time partner — former vice president Joe Biden — in the final stretch of the election.

Obama intends to focus his efforts on early voting states in the final two weeks of the race, the officials tell CNN.

The former President will not aggressively barnstorm swing states, but rather intends to visit a handful of critical battlegrounds where voting is underway.

His schedule has not been finalized, officials said, but states under consideration for his solo appearances include Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin and more.

"He's doing enough for our campaign," Biden told reporters before boarding a flight in New Castle, Delaware, Tuesday. "He'll be out on the trail and he's doing well."

Obama's expected return to the campaign trail could energize Democratic voters in the final weeks before the election as the former president remains among the Democratic Party's most popular figures. The Biden campaign believes Obama can help in three particular areas, officials say, including: Black men, Latinos and young voters.

The events will be socially distant — similar to the tactics adopted by the Biden campaign during the coronavirus pandemic — but are designed to garner local media coverage in key areas.

President Trump's campaign has dispatched far more surrogates ahead of the election — along with the President's rallies — and the Obama visits are designed to help Biden draw more attention in places where voting is happening.

Read more here.

Visit CNN's Election Center for full coverage of the 2020 race.