It's the day before Election Day

By Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 11:09 PM ET, Mon November 2, 2020
40 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
2:56 p.m. ET, November 2, 2020

Obama makes surprise FaceTime calls to voters waiting in line to cast ballots

From CNN's Sarah Mucha

Joe Biden’s former boss and top surrogate, President Barack Obama, surprised some voters with a FaceTime call as they stood in line to cast their ballots early.

“The fact that you’re making your voice heard in this election — which is going to be the most important in my lifetime,” Obama says to one surprised voter, Monica, from Florida.

“In my lifetime,” she echoes, in a new video first viewed by CNN and released by Biden’s campaign on Election Eve.  

“I did not expect Obama, that’s kind of crazy,” says Joel, a voter in Wisconsin, after his conversation with the former president. Another voter, Andres, in Arizona, expressed his enthusiasm for casting his ballot. “We came here to look for a better life, and I got it,” he tells the former president.  

The voters were told that the campaign wanted to capture their voting story, a Biden campaign aide tells CNN, and that a senior official from the Biden campaign was going to speak with them. One staffer stopped a voter halfway through to tell them that one of his "colleagues" had some questions to ask before handing over the phone with Obama on the line.  

Obama has been all-in, campaigning in full swing for his former vice president in the weeks leading up to the election. Over the weekend, the two recently appeared together in key battleground Michigan, where Obama spoke of Biden’s character and tried to paint a contrast between the two presidential candidates. 

“Trump cares about feeding his ego, Joe cares about keeping you and your families safe,” Obama said Saturday. “And he’s less interested in feeding his ego with having big crowds than he is making sure he’s not going around making more and more people sick. That’s what you should expect from a president.”   

As Biden and his wife, Jill, and Sen. Kamala Harris and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, fan across battleground Pennsylvania on Monday, Obama will be campaigning on behalf of the Biden-Harris ticket in South Florida and Atlanta, Georgia, where he will also stump for Georgia Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.

2:58 p.m. ET, November 2, 2020

"Science is on the ballot": Meet the doctors and scientists running for office during a pandemic 

From CNN's Kate Sullivan

Dr. Cameron Webb meets with student leaders at the University of Virginia in September.
Dr. Cameron Webb meets with student leaders at the University of Virginia in September. Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images

Dr. Cameron Webb is a doctor treating coronavirus patients during a pandemic while campaigning to represent Virginia’s 5th congressional district. 

“I would be, I believe, the only member of Congress who's been in a room taking care of coronavirus patients,” Webb, a Democrat, told CNN. He said his experience working in a hospital provides valuable perspective and insight that is needed in conversations about how to address the pandemic. 

A high number of scientists and doctors are running for Congress this year, according to the nonprofit political action committee 314 Action, which seeks to help elect more scientists to all levels of government. Many candidates cite the need for a science and evidence-based approach to addressing the coronavirus pandemic and increasing access to affordable health care as signature campaign issues. 

“You can choose a lot of things in politics, but you can't choose your moment,” Webb said. “And I think that when the moment finds you, it’s about how you step into it and how you are prepared to lead.”

If elected to the House of Representatives, Webb would be the first Black physician to be a voting member of Congress. He is running against Republican Bob Good. 

Dr. Nancy Goroff was the chair of the chemistry department at Stony Brook University, and now she is running as a Democrat to represent New York’s 1st congressional district. 

“I think the pandemic has really crystallized for people why we need scientists in leadership and not just as advisors,” Goroff told CNN. 

“We've seen how the President has sidelined the experts around him, and has questioned their knowledge and their authority and tried to mislead the American people,” Goroff said. “It's always been a problem throughout his administration, but it's now costing people's lives every day and people's livelihoods.”

Goroff, who is running against incumbent Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin, would be the first woman PhD scientist ever elected to Congress. 

314 Action founder Shaughnessy Naughton tells CNN that she believes the record-breaking number of scientists and doctors running for Congress this cycle is in response to the actions of the Trump administration. 

“The threats and the attacks on science didn't start with the Trump administration, but they have taken what felt like a war on science and turned it into a war on facts and reality,” Naughton said. 

2:42 p.m. ET, November 2, 2020

Biden traveling to Scranton and Philadelphia on Election Day

From CNN’s Arlette Saenz

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will travel to Scranton and Philadelphia tomorrow to help get out the vote on Election Day, his campaign announced. 

Jill Biden will travel to Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida, along with Wake County, North Carolina. 

Vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris is traveling to Detroit and her husband Douglas Emhoff will go to Columbus, Ohio. 

2:19 p.m. ET, November 2, 2020

Inside the final days of the Trump and Biden campaigns: our embeds share their stories

From CNN's Melissa Macaya and Melissa Mahtani

With less than 24 hours to go until Election Day in America, we asked our campaign embeds to share one thing that stood out to them in the final days of campaigning.

Here's what they said:

Donald Judd, embed with Donald Trump's campaign:

"In the final month of the 2020 election, President Donald Trump took every opportunity to minimize the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the nation, even as he contracted the very virus he sought to downplay. 

And that’s how, on a humid Monday, I found myself on an airplane tarmac, almost a week and a half after the President revealed he and his wife had tested positive for coronavirus, I found myself on a packed-to-the-gills airport tarmac, surrounded by supporters of the President. There was no effort to enforce social distancing, and masks were handed out, but few members of the audience opted to wear them. 

 Even as cases steadily increased, reaching global record-setting levels, it struck home that even as this White House was experiencing its own coronavirus outbreak (and it would subsequently experience another before Election Day), even as its strategy of “testing frequently over masks or distancing protocol” failed, even as cases steadily rose across the country, the President continued to tell supporters he was now immune, that the country was rounding the turn on a virus, that a vaccine was on its way before Election Day, in spite of what medical experts said.

The President’s own Coronavirus case served as a microcosm of the campaign’s attitude towards the pandemic writ large, and through the campaign’s strategy minimizing it, obfuscating around it, relying on misinformation about it, and ultimately ignoring it, it offered a glimpse into how we got where we are today, nearly eight months after the US reported its first coronavirus case."

Sarah Mucha, embed with Joe Biden's campaign:

"Having covered Joe Biden’s campaign from the beginning, I’ve seen every high and low: from the former vice president’s fourth-place finish in Iowa to his sweeping victory in South Carolina that set him on the path to the Democratic nomination.

I attended events in New Hampshire where he struggled to get an audience of more than 100 people, and I’ve seen him campaign alongside his former boss and top surrogate, Barack Obama, as the Democratic nominee.Throughout those highs and lows of the campaign, however, Biden’s message has stayed consistent.

He’s painted himself as the antithesis to Donald Trump, attempting to strike a stark contrast on leadership with the current President. That attempt to illustrate the difference between himself and Trump has only grown stronger as the nation faces several crises, including the coronavirus pandemic, and Biden puts the responsibility squarely on the President’s shoulders.

In the final months of the campaign, that contrast has manifested itself in the way the candidates have chosen to campaign amid the pandemic. In lieu of holding many, big in-person rallies, Biden has opted to hold fewer, ‘Covid-safe’ events, including some drive-in style rallies."

2:23 p.m. ET, November 2, 2020

Biden tests negative for Covid-19

From CNN's Sarah Mucha

Joe Biden puts on his mask after speaking at a rally in Cleveland, Ohio, on Monday. 
Joe Biden puts on his mask after speaking at a rally in Cleveland, Ohio, on Monday.  Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden tested negative for Covid-19 ahead of his final full day campaigning on the trail before Election Day.

From the Biden campaign:

“Vice President Biden underwent PCR testing for COVID-19 today and COVID-19 was not detected.”
2:24 p.m. ET, November 2, 2020

Organizations say they have recruited thousands to take action if Trump declares an early victory

From CNN's Rachel Janfaza

Gen Z and Millennial organizers with the Count On Us coalition said Monday they have recruited thousands of Americans to take action if Trump declares victory before every vote is counted on Election Night. 

Count On Us — a joint effort formed in October by March For Our Lives, Sunrise Movement, United We Dream Action PAC and Dream Defenders — has convened hundreds of thousands of young people organizing on the issues young voters care about, including for racial, economic, climate, immigrant justice and gun violence. The group aims to defeat President Donald Trump. 

According to Maxwell Frost, national organizing director with March For Our Lives, if Trump announces victory before all the votes are counted on Election Day or says the results of the election are illegitimate, the Count On Us coalition will organize nationwide strikes.

“We will hit the streets and Internet to show Trump that he needs to do his job,” Frost told CNN. “Anything that gives us the slightest inclination of a fascist coup, we will jump in as young people,”

Frost added that Count On Us will ask young people not to go to class or their jobs to take to the streets in protest. 

“We will put the future on hold if we have to,” Frost told CNN.

Since launching, Count On Us has reached 70,000 people via livestream events and trained 5,000 young people for Election Day and post-election mobilizations, organizers say. 

On Friday, Count On Us held a virtual rally with Sen. Bernie Sanders, US House Rep. Rashida Tlaib and House candidate for Jamaal Bowman. And over the weekend, organizers with March For Our Lives, Sunrise, Dream Defenders and United We Dream separately made hundreds of thousands of calls and texts to young voters across the country, hoping to increase youth voter turnout in 2020. 

So far, young voters have shown up to early vote in record numbers

As of Oct. 30, more than 7 million young voters ages 18-29 had already voted early or absentee in the 2020 election, according to the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts. In 13 states, the youth share of the early vote was higher than it was at that point in 2016.

1:56 p.m. ET, November 2, 2020

Melania Trump will cast her ballot in person tomorrow morning in Florida

From CNN's Kate Bennett

First lady Melania Trump will cast her ballot in Palm Beach, Florida, on Tuesday morning, a White House official tells CNN.

The first lady has her fourth and final solo campaign stop Monday afternoon in Huntersville, North Carolina, and then heads to Mar-a-Lago to overnight before voting in person tomorrow. She intends to return to the White House after she casts her ballot, the official said.

The President voted early in Palm Beach on Oct. 24. In 2016, Trump joined her husband to vote in person in New York City.

1:36 p.m. ET, November 2, 2020

Biden kicks off final campaign day in Cleveland: "It's time for Donald Trump to pack his bags and go home"

From CNN's Sarah Mucha

Joe Biden waves to the crowd after speaking at a rally in Cleveland, Ohio, on Monday.
Joe Biden waves to the crowd after speaking at a rally in Cleveland, Ohio, on Monday. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Kicking off his final full day of the campaign in Cleveland, Ohio, Joe Biden drove home a message of contrast with that of the current President, showcasing himself as the antithesis to Donald Trump, as he has since his campaign launched. 

“It's time for Donald Trump to pack his bags and go home,” Biden told the Ohioans. “We’re done. We're done with the chaos, we’re done with the tweets, the anger, the hate, the failure, the irresponsibility.”

He stressed the urgency of the election and laid out what he believes is at stake when voters go to the polls tomorrow for the final day of voting in 2020.   

“One more day,” he said “Tomorrow. 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 who has failed to protect this nation. Tomorrow, we can put an end to a president who has fanned the flames of hate all across this country.” 

Biden slammed President Trump for suggesting he may fire Dr. Fauci, providing a suggested alternative if he is elected.  “I got a better idea, elect me and I'm gonna hire, Dr. Fauci.  Not — And we're gonna fire Donald Trump. Donald Trump waved the white flag of surrender to this virus.”

He exclaimed why, on the last day of the campaign, he is out in Ohio, crediting Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown for compelling him to come. "So when Sherrod tells me to come to Ohio the day before, I come to Ohio," he said.

He provided a more in-depth look at how he believes he can create jobs in the car industry as he tries to win over Ohio — and Michigan —by putting America in a position to own the electric vehicle market. “Folks, if we don't act China's gonna own the market,” Biden warned. “China is gonna own it all. And we will act.”

Biden ended his remarks the same way he has been ending them since he launched his campaign, stressing that while the country is at a crossroads, he is also more optimistic about its chances than ever before.

“On the one hand, we're facing the biggest threat of who we are, what we believe, and what we've seen, what we've been in our lifetime,” he said. “On the other hand our future's never been more promising. I've said it many times, the character of America is literally on the ballot. The character of our country. But I'm more optimistic about America's future today than when I was elected to the United States Senate as a 29-year-old kid.”

1:25 p.m. ET, November 2, 2020

Trump wraps first rally of the day

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

President Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on Monday.
President Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on Monday. Brian Blanco/Getty Images

President Trump wrapped his first rally of the day in Fayetteville, North Carolina, after speaking for 65 minutes.

Trump spent significant time towards the start of his remarks attacking polls he claimed were fake or "suppression" polls. He again lamented the cold weather at his rallies yesterday across the upper Midwest.

He called his Democratic challenger Joe Biden a “corrupt politician" and called Hillary Clinton a criminal prompting a “lock her up chant."

Trump spoke at length about impeachment and railed against big tech and the “fake news” media.

On coronavirus, Trump claimed a vaccine will be ready to be mass distributed in “a few short weeks.”

Trump again criticized the Supreme Court ruling that will allow Pennsylvania to receive ballots after Election Day, calling it a political decision. He repeated his baseless claim that there will be cheating if ballots can be received and counted after election day.

The President is now enjoying the YMCA with the crowd. 

Air Force One will be wheels up shortly for Pennsylvania.