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Rabu, 28 Oktober 2020

US election campaign live: Rudy Giuliani blows up as interviewer grills him on Hunter Biden allegations - NEWS.com.au

We’re now six days away from the votes being counted, and it seems as though there will be no shortage of them.

According to the latest data from the US Elections Project, at least 71 million people have already voted early, either in person or by mail. That is well over half of the total turnout from 2016, when a tick under 130 million Americans cast ballots.

The man behind the Elections Project, University of Florida Professor Michael McDonald, has predicted this year’s final tally could reach 150 million. If that does happen, it will be the highest turnout for a presidential election since 1908, more than a century ago, with about 63 per cent of the voting-eligible population taking part.

Reuters reports the Democrats hold a “roughly two-to-one” advantage over the Republicans among those who have already cast or sent in ballots, based on voter registration numbers. That advantage has narrowed, however, in the last couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, public opinion polling shows the people voting on election day itself will favour Donald Trump over Joe Biden by a similarly wide margin.

To give you an example, let’s break down today’s Post-ABC polls of the swing states Michigan and Wisconsin. Among respondents who said they planned to vote on election day, Mr Trump led with 65 per cent support in Michigan and 70 per cent in Wisconsin.

Among those who had already voted, or said they planned to vote ahead of election day, Mr Biden was leading with more than 70 per cent in both states.

In total, Mr Biden led 51-44 in Michigan and 57-40 in Wisconsin – though all the usual caveats about polling accuracy obviously apply here.

The unprecedented surge in early voting, fuelled by the coronavirus pandemic, could play havoc with the results on election night.

Each state has its own rules – some allow election officials to start counting early votes before election night itself, while others prohibit them from doing so until the polls close.

This means there is likely to be an early “red mirage” in some states, with Mr Trump’s support initially appearing stronger than it really is, and a “blue mirage” in others, with Mr Biden’s support appearing deceptively strong.

We’ll explain that phenomenon in more detail below.

Read on for all the latest news from the campaign.

Live Updates

The Biden campaign is officially doing the previously unthinkable, and making a play for Texas.

It has just announced that vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris will travel to three locations in the Republican stronghold state on Friday – Fort Worth, Houston and McAllen.

Winning Texas has long been a bit of a pipe dream for the Democrats. It has voted Republican in each of the last 10 presidential elections, and has rarely even been competitive.

It might be folly for Mr Biden to throw resources at the state this time as well. But its whopping 38 electoral votes are, it seems, too enticing for him to pass up.

The current polling average has Mr Trump leading by 2.6 per cent in Texas, though some polls have shown Mr Biden tied or slightly ahead.

Today the Cook Political Report, which tries to forecast the candidates' chances in each state, moved Texas out of its "lean Republican" category and labelled it a "toss-up".

"Texas is a state that Biden doesn't need to win, but it is clear that it's more competitive than ever," it wrote, citing the tight polls in the state.

"A huge surge in early vote (as of October 26th, almost half of Texas' registered voters had already cast a ballot) suggests that we could see record turnout in a state that has added many new residents since 2016. That also adds a level of uncertainty to the equation. 

"Statewide and district level polling show Biden running strong in and around metro suburban parts of the state, but underperforming with Latino voters."

One last thing to note here – yesterday the billionaire former presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg decided to throw a few million bucks worth of TV ads at Texas to help Mr Biden win there, believing it had become a possible Democratic pick-up.

According to the latest data from the US Elections Project, at least 71 million people have already voted early, either in person or by mail.

That's a big number, and it's skewing in one direction. Reuters reports the Democrats hold a “roughly two-to-one” advantage over the Republicans among those who have already cast or sent in ballots, based on voter registration numbers.

That advantage has narrowed a bit in the last couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, public opinion polling shows the people voting on election day itself will favour Donald Trump over Joe Biden by a similarly wide margin.

Today’s Post-ABC polls of the swing states Michigan and Wisconsin illustrate this phenomenon pretty well.

Among respondents who said they planned to vote on election day, Mr Trump led with 65 per cent support in Michigan and 70 per cent in Wisconsin.

Among those who had already voted, or said they planned to vote ahead of election day, Mr Biden was leading with more than 70 per cent in both states.

In total, Mr Biden led 51-44 in Michigan and 57-40 in Wisconsin – though all the usual caveats about polling accuracy obviously apply.

"So what?" you might think. Why would it matter that the early vote is going to favour Mr Biden, and the election day vote is going to favour Mr Trump?

The answer is rooted in the fact that each state sets its own rules. Some allow officials to start counting early votes before election night itself, while others prohibit them from doing so until the polls close.

This means the order in which the votes are reported will vary from state to state, creating something US media is referring to as a "mirage" early on election night.

Florida and North Carolina, for example, are two swing states which allow the early votes to be counted ahead of time. So when they start reporting their vote tallies on the night of November 3, a disproportionate amount of the initial totals will be early, Biden-leaning votes.

This is the "blue mirage". You might think Mr Biden is running away with Florida and North Carolina early on, only for the election day vote to trickle in and bring Mr Trump back into contention.

In Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, on the other hand, early votes cannot be counted ahead of time. Because mail ballots take longer to count than in-person votes, this means the early results from these states will skew the other way, making Mr Trump's support appear stronger than it really is.

This is the "red mirage". Over the following hours or even days, depending how quickly the count unfolds, Mr Biden can be expected to claw his way back.

The lesson here is that you should be very cautious about predicting the results early in the night. A number of states might initially look like they're in for a blowout, only to tighten later.

This tweet from Donald Trump will sound familiar if you've been following our coverage in recent days.

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The President keeps insisting America is "rounding the turn" and the virus is "going away". He has been telling supporters at his rallies that the media will stop covering the pandemic so much immediately after the election, when it will no longer affect his political fortunes.

Meanwhile, 983 more Americans died from the coronavirus yesterday. The country's death toll currently stands at 227,000, it has been breaking records for the number of new infections recorded each day, and hospitalisations are also spiking sharply.

There have been more than half a million new cases in the last week alone.

Against that grim backdrop, Mr Trump genuinely seems to think "the news is talking about it too much" is a winning message to voters.

As you might expect, Fox host Lisa Kennedy Montgomery's contentious interview with Rudy Giuliani has won her few fans among President Trump's supporters.

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Donald Trump's adviser and personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani went on Fox Business today to hype up his allegations against Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

It went hopelessly off the rails.

Mr Giuliani has been pursuing allegations of corruption against the Bidens for a long time – most notably, he travelled to Ukraine last year to search for evidence involving the energy company Burisma.

He is the one who provided material purportedly from Hunter's laptop to The New York Post, sparking its first story on the matter a couple of weeks ago.

The core allegations here are that Hunter tried to profit off his father's name overseas, which certainly appears to be true, and that Mr Biden himself profited from Hunter's business dealings, for which there is currently no evidence at all.

So, the interview. Mr Giuliani spoke to Fox Business host Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, and got upset when she suggested his efforts to dig up dirt on the Bidens were comparable to those of the former British spy Christopher Steele four years ago.

To refresh your memory, Mr Steele was employed to do opposition research on then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. He put together a dossier of unproven and salacious allegations, most of them involving Russia.

The Steele dossier remains a touchy subject for the President, and Mr Giuliani did not appreciate the comparison.

“Some can say that you’re acting like Christopher Steele, that you were abstracting information,” Kennedy put to him.

"You've got to be kidding me. I was acting like Christopher Steele?” Mr Giuliani responded.

“You better apologize for that. I mean, I’ve been a United States attorney, associate attorney general, mayor of New York City and a member of the bar for 50 years. I’ve never been accused of anything, and you’re accusing me of being Christopher Steele.”

“I’m accusing you of acting in a capacity similar to Christopher Steele, and that you were going back and forth between Ukraine and the United States," Kennedy clarified.

“What you’re saying is an outrageous defamation of me, of my reputation,” Mr Giuliani shot back.

“I came on your show in good faith to give you evidence that is being withheld from the American people, and I get defamed. That is outrageous. I think our interview is now over.

“This may be the last time we’ll be on camera because I don’t let people call me Christopher Steele.”

At one point in the interview, Mr Giuliani alleged there was criminal material on Hunter's laptop – I'm not going to go into more detail than that, because it's defamatory and completely unverified.

"We will have the people in our news departments verify all of this," Kennedy remarked, a little dryly.

There was more shouting before the interview actually ended, but I think you get the picture.

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Let's start today's coverage with a quick look back at Donald Trump's rally at an airfield in Omaha, Nebraska last night.

Thousands of the President's supporters were left in the freezing cold for hours after he left, and some required medical treatment.

"Is there any place you would rather be than a Trump rally on about a 10-degree evening?" Mr Trump said as he took the stage.

That's 10 degrees Fahrenheit, by the way, which is about -12 degrees Celsius. Mr Trump was exaggerating the temperature, but it was still around freezing point.

"It's cold out here, but that's OK."

When The President finished his speech at about 9pm, he hopped back on Air Force One and flew away. The crowd didn't have that option.

Many of Mr Trump's supporters had left their vehicles in distant car parks kilometres away and taken buses to the airfield, due to the rally's large attendance.

In the evening, though, those buses could not navigate the packed roads to transport people back. Some made the long trek on foot, while others stood and waited in the cold.

Police tried to help people reach their cars. Omaha Scanner, which monitors radio traffic in the area, reported seven people were taken to hospital.

The crowd finally finished clearing at about 12:30am local time, more than three hours after Mr Trump left.

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https://news.google.com/__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?oc=5

2020-10-28 12:49:19Z
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