The latest on the 2020 election

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Fernando Alfonso III and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 11:08 PM ET, Thu October 29, 2020
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10:22 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Biden tests negative for Covid-19 ahead of trip to Florida

From CNN's Sarah Mucha

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden arrives to board his plane in New Castle, Delaware, on October 29.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden arrives to board his plane in New Castle, Delaware, on October 29. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Democratic nominee Joe Biden tested negative for Covid-19 Wednesday night ahead of his trip to Florida today. 

“Vice President Biden underwent PCR testing for COVID-19 last night and COVID-19 was not detected," the campaign said, according to pool.

Biden is holding a drive-in event in Broward County at 1:30 p.m. ET and will then head to Tampa for another drive-in event at 6:30 p.m. ET.

10:18 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Vice President Pence tests negative for Covid-19

From CNN’s Kaitlan Collins 

Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a Make America Great Again rally at Greensboro International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, on October 27.
Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a Make America Great Again rally at Greensboro International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, on October 27. Grant Baldwin/AFP/Getty Images

Vice President Pence has tested negative for coronavirus again, according to his office.

He’s been cleared by the medical unit to continue traveling. Pence is scheduled to have rallies in Iowa and Nevada today.

 

10:00 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Voters weigh in on the biggest issues to them in the 2020 election

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

From the economy to the coronavirus pandemic, six voters discussed what they believe are the biggest issues in the 2020 election.

The panel did not use the voters’ last names. The voters have all been on previous “Pulse of the People” voters panels on CNN’s “New Day.” 

Jimmy, who is voting for Trump, said that the biggest issue is the economy. 

“By this time next year, we will be talking about the economy. If Biden gets in, it's going to be a disaster; if Trump stays in, it will probably be as good as it was,” he said to CNN’s Alisyn Camerota.

“The economy is intertwined with the virus. You know, I think to a large extent, a lot of the social unrest has been connected and intertwined with the virus. So I think the virus is the big issue here,” said Dale, who is voting for Joe Biden. 

Stephanie, who is voting for Biden, said she thinks the issues of education and health care largely intertwines with the coronavirus pandemic as well. She said she’s been waiting for four years to see Trump’s health care plan. 

Trump still has not presented a plan to replace Obamacare.

Voter Jimmy said he’s confident that Trump will not leave out people with pre-existing conditions. 

“He said he would not do it; the man does what he says,” Jimmy said. 

Voter Vanity said there are other “interlocking” issues along with the pandemic. “There are epidemic rates of police brutality against Black Americans, there are epidemic rates of violence against black transgender women,” she said.

Bobby, an undecided voter, said that the country will adapt no matter who the victor is.

“If Trump wins or Biden wins, I mean, I'm fine either way; we'll live, we'll move on as a country, we always have. The country will survive,” he said.  

Watch:

9:56 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

North Carolina surpasses 80% of total 2016 turnout

From CNN's Dianne Gallagher

Early voters line up to cast their ballots at the South Regional Library polling location in Durham, North Carolina, on October 15.
Early voters line up to cast their ballots at the South Regional Library polling location in Durham, North Carolina, on October 15. Gerry Broome/AP

At least 3,867,846 ballots have been cast in North Carolina as of 5:00 a.m. this morning, according to data provided by the North Carolina State Board of Elections. 

That means almost 53% of all currently registered voters in the state have already voted in the 2020 election. 

Put another way, five days before Election Day, North Carolina voters have cast than more than 80% of the total number of votes cast in the entire 2016 Election. 

In North Carolina, a resident can register to vote and cast a ballot on the same day during the early in-person voting period at a “One Stop Absentee” Early Voting location. The early voting period runs through Saturday in North Carolina. 

Voters can no longer request an absentee by mail ballot in North Carolina.

North Carolina law requires ballots be postmarked before or on Election Day by 5:00 p.m. ET. The US Supreme Court allowed on Wednesday the state’s ballot receipt deadline extension. That means ballots postmarked by Election Day can be counted as long as they arrived by 5:00 p.m. ET. on Nov. 12.

An absentee ballot can be returned in person at an early voting site through Saturday. It can also be returned in person to the voter’s county board of elections office by 5:00 p.m. ET on Election Day. North Carolina does not have ballot drop boxes. 

Here's a breakdown of early vote totals as of 5:00 a.m. ET:

  • 3,015,833 early in-person voting
  • 852,013 absentee by-mail ballots
9:50 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Biden campaign flooding digital airwaves with new eight-figure investment

From CNN’s Sarah Mucha

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks at The Queen theater on October 23 in Wilmington, Delaware.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks at The Queen theater on October 23 in Wilmington, Delaware. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Biden campaign is flooding the digital airwaves in the final days of the campaign, making an eight-figure investment on Covid-related ads as the pandemic remains a top issue on the ballot, a campaign aide confirms to CNN. 

The ads will run across Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. The campaign will also run ads on the YouTube masthead nationally.

It's also running takeovers on sites like Hulu, Pandora, Univision and BET that highlight the contrast between President Trump and Joe Biden in their approach to the coronavirus, the aide says.

This is a new buy in addition to the campaign's previously announced $280 million paid media investment for the fall. 

The digital ads will target voters in 16 states: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Georgia, Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia, Texas and Nebraska's second congressional district.

Details of the Covid-related digital ad push were first reported by Axios.  

This last push also includes a new television ad, Under Control, focused on Biden's plan to tackle Covid-19 that will air on digital and nationally on television. 

Additionally, the campaign is releasing two new ads targeting young voters focused on climate change, the aide tells CNN.

One ad, titled "Climate Change," will air on Comedy Central and Adult Swim in the final week, while Melanie, a climate change testimonial featuring a firefighter from Colorado, will air on MSNBC.

9:22 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Michigan congresswoman says she sees presidential race "tightening" in the state

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

CNN
CNN

Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell says that the race between President Trump and Joe Biden is “tightening” in the swing state

Dingell said she’s been talking with auto workers who she said she thought would be voting for Biden, but they made it clear to her that they were voting for Trump. 

While she said she wants to “make it clear the Biden campaign is listening,” she thinks “in these last days, people are focused on turning out the Detroit, Flint votes, which matter greatly and may not quite be at the numbers people would like to see.”

But “we can't forget that auto worker, the steelworker, the teamster whose jobs they’ve lost and are worried about and want to know, as Democrats, we care,” Dingell said. 

She said she told the Biden campaign last night that they need to focus on White union workers in the final days before the election. 

“I don't believe any of the polls, I don't think anybody is up tremendously. I think it's competitive. I think Joe Biden is up right now; I think President Trump is going to make a hard push here, and we've got to push back, and we've got to push back on Covid, too,” Dingell said. 

Watch:

9:16 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Biden would form task force to reunite 545 separated immigrant children with families

From CNN's Arlette Saenz and Priscilla Alvarez

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a drive-in rally at Cellairis Amphitheatre in Atlanta on October 27.
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a drive-in rally at Cellairis Amphitheatre in Atlanta on October 27. Andrew Harnik/AP

Democratic nominee Joe Biden is pledging that if he’s elected president, he will sign an executive order to form a task force that will focus on reuniting the 545 immigrant children who’ve been separated from their families. 

The pledge was discussed in a digital ad the campaign has started airing in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Nevada, a Biden campaign official said. 

“On his first day as president, Joe Biden will issue an executive order creating a federal task force to reunite these children with their parents,” the narrator says. 

More on this: Lawyers have not been able to reach the parents of 545 children who had been separated from their families by US border officials between 2017 and 2018, according to a court filing last week.

Hundreds of parents may also have been deported without their children.

The filing from the Justice Department and the American Civil Liberties Union is part of an ongoing effort to identify and reunite families separated by the Trump administration, more than two years after the "zero tolerance" policy was created.

While a federal court order forced the reunification of many of those families, an explosive government watchdog report released last year revealed there could be thousands more who hadn't previously been acknowledged by officials.

8:57 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Democrats release documents they say show HHS sought to leverage Covid-19 ad campaign to help Trump's reelection

From CNN’s Manu Raju with Ali Main

House committee chairs sent a letter Wednesday to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar releasing new documents they obtained from contractors regarding a $250 million contract with a marketing firm handling a campaign on coronavirus.

“It is critical that HHS provide accurate, nonpolitical public health information to the American people that encourages mask wearing, social distancing, and other science-backed public health recommendations,” wrote the Chairs.

“Yet, the documents we have obtained indicate that HHS political appointees sought to use taxpayer dollars to advance a partisan political agenda and direct taxpayer money to their friends and allies," the Democratic committee chairs wrote.

One issue the Democrats claim they found in documents from government contractors is that, “Trump Administration official Michael Caputo inserted partisan political interests into the ad campaign.”

 Politico and the Washington Post first reported the letter.

8:32 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Where Trump and Biden stand in CNN's latest poll of polls

The CNN Poll of Polls tracks the average poll result in the race for president between President Trump and former Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

The poll of polls includes the most recent polls which meet CNN’s standards for reporting and which measure the views of registered or likely voters.

The poll of polls does not have a margin of sampling error.

Here's the latest polling average as of Oct. 28: