For his third rally on Saturday, President Trump arrived in Waukesha, Wis., saying he felt better after he was hospitalized for Covid-19 than he did before. His only acknowledgment of the spiking rates of the virus in Wisconsin, where there were 4,660 new cases and 28 deaths on Saturday, was to claim that the United States included in its death counts people suffering from other ailments, like heart conditions.
“If we did half the testing, we would have half the cases,” he told the crowd. “If they cut that in half, we would have another half cut.”
Later, Mr. Trump said “we are rounding the turn,” and called it “terrible” that former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. warned of a dark winter during Thursday’s debate. In Wisconsin, over the past week, there have been an average of 4,212 cases per day, an increase of 66 percent from the average two weeks earlier. The country as a whole set a record for new coronavirus infections on Friday.
“We have to get out,” Mr. Trump told a cheering crowd of supporters. “Our economy will be greater than ever before.”
Mr. Trump said that he “got a lot of credit” for his toned-down performance at the last debate. But he admitted he preferred his combative, interrupting performance during the first debate, which his internal campaign polls showed had cost him support.
“You know who liked my performance the first time better? The Hispanics,” he added.
Mr. Trump continued to play down the positive cases reported in the United States, arguing that someone can be “close to death” of another ailment, like a heart condition, “and they get Covid, they put it down to Covid.”
For years, President Trump trolled Barack Obama. On Saturday, the former president returned the favor — with an ear-to-ear smile and, at times, raw-nerve rage.
Mr. Obama, popping up in Florida just as Mr. Trump arrived in West Palm Beach to cast his vote, slammed his successor for his response to the coronavirus pandemic, “fumbling” the economy, opening a hidden bank account in China, threatening to sell Puerto Rico, musing about killing the virus with bleach and once floating the idea of blasting hurricanes with nuclear weapons.
“Florida Man wouldn’t even do this stuff! Why do we accept it from the president of the United States?” Mr. Obama asked during a drive-in rally in Miami to support Joseph R. Biden — hours after Mr. Trump voted for himself.
(“Florida Man” is a social media meme and hashtag used on bizarre news stories about residents in the Sunshine State.)
Mr. Obama’s appearance was timed to help motivate Democratic voters and campaign volunteers to turn out during the battleground state’s early voting period. Earlier in the day, Mr. Obama, who narrowly won the state twice, made a quick stop in Miami Springs to plead with local Democrats to deliver a victory so he could “go to sleep” on Nov. 3 knowing Mr. Biden had been elected.
In addition to the get-out-the-vote goal, the Florida event was also meant to rattle a president obsessed with his more popular predecessor, two Democrats with knowledge of the planning said.
It seemed to have hit the mark, and quickly.
“Nobody is showing up for Obama’s hate-laced speeches. 47 people!” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter moments after Mr. Obama finished. “No energy, but still better than Joe!”
There were, in fact, dozens of cars at the event, and the Biden campaign said hundreds of potential attendees were turned away to comply with social-distancing requirements.
The low-energy claim was also false. Mr. Obama’s speech on Saturday was among his most visceral and high-decibel attacks on Mr. Trump since re-engaging in partisan politics over the summer — and seemed to provide him with an outlet for pent-up disdain over Mr. Trump’s actions over the last four years.
“He wants full credit for the economy he inherited and zero blame for the pandemic,” Mr. Obama said, shouting over the sound of honking horns.
“Like everything he inherited, he fumbled it,” he said of the pandemic-stricken economy, comparing Mr. Trump to Herbert Hoover, the Republican president who was in office during the start of the Great Depression.
In a pitch to Puerto Rican voters who live in Florida, Mr. Obama also criticized the president for his response to the island, which has been struck by hurricanes and an earthquake in the past few years.
“When a hurricane devastates Puerto Rico, a president is supposed to help them rebuild, not toss paper towels,” he said, referring to an incident during Mr. Trump’s 2017 trip to Guaynabo, on the northeastern part of the island, following Hurricane Maria.
“He once asked our national security officials if he could nuke hurricanes,” the former president added, referring to a 2019 report in Axios. “At least he didn’t do that.”
President Trump arrived in Circleville, Ohio, Saturday evening and reminisced about his victory in the bellwether state four years ago.
“We not only won Ohio, we won it by more than eight points,” he said.
Mr. Trump’s happy memories of his 2016 victory raised the question of what has happened since, and why was his campaign bringing him here in the final days of October?
The answer is mostly an erosion of his support in suburbs like this one outside Columbus. While exit polls four years ago showed Mr. Trump winning the suburbs in Ohio by 20 points, a Fox poll earlier this month put him 10 points behind Mr. Biden.
At the rally on Saturday night, Mr. Trump floated a baseless conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. spied on his 2016 campaign. “Lock them up!” the crowd responded. Mr. Trump did nothing to stop the chant. Instead, he joked, “It’s much better if I say, ‘No, no, no, please.’”
He played down the threat of the coronavirus, pointing to his own family’s experience as an example of why a virus that has killed more than 220,000 Americans is not so bad. “It worked out,” he said of his own hospitalization. “By the way, 99.9 percent is good and then you’re immune.”
Mr. Trump also launched into a series of claims that Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter, was corrupt. He brought up a laptop that purportedly belonged to Hunter Biden, which the New York Post reported was seized by the F.B.I. Documents that had been allegedly discovered on the computer were used by the newspaper in an attempt to bolster unsubstantiated claims that the former vice president had helped shape foreign policy in Ukraine to enrich his son.
“This is a laptop that they don’t want to see,” Mr. Trump said at the rally. Looking up at the sky, he smiled and added: “How the hell this laptop got freed up, it’s amazing the way God works.”
Mr. Trump also claimed that electing Mr. Biden would lead to a depression. “It’s a choice between a boom and a lockdown,” he said.
Senator Lisa Murkowski, the Alaska Republican who has vocally opposed filling the vacant seat on the Supreme Court until the next president is chosen, said on Saturday that she would nonetheless vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett next week.
“While I oppose the process that has led us to this point,” Ms. Murkowski said in a speech on the Senate floor, “I do not hold it against her as an individual who has navigated the gauntlet with grace, skill and humility.”
After meeting with Judge Barrett, Ms. Murkowski said she came away impressed and was unwilling to punish a qualified nominee because her party insisted on moving ahead with a vote just days before “a pitched presidential election.”
Ms. Murkowski’s unexpected turnabout gave a boost to Senate Republicans. They already had the votes they needed to confirm Judge Barrett, President Trump’s third Supreme Court nominee, but her support means that only one Republican will defect when the roll is called on Monday: Senator Susan Collins of Maine.
Ms. Murkowski, who is up for re-election in Alaska in 2022, has frequently broken with Republicans on significant votes in the last four years. Like Ms. Collins, she voted against repealing the Affordable Care Act and is a proponent of abortion rights. She was the only member of her party in 2018 to oppose the confirmation of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, earning her ire from the right in a Republican state.
With her latest decision, Ms. Murkowski now risks stirring up backlash from the left, which believes Judge Barrett’s confirmation and a 6-to-3 majority on the court threatens those very issues: abortion rights under Roe v. Wade and the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Ms. Murkowski made only glancing comments on both policies during her floor speech, but they suggested she had been reassured that the two were not in immediate danger.
After Ms. Collins supported Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation in 2018, she became the top target of liberals across the country, who poured millions of dollars into her Democratic opponents’ coffers. She is now considered an underdog to keep her seat.
Despite her support for Judge Barrett, Ms. Murkowski had few kind words to say about the Senate. She said the body’s time would be better spent passing a coronavirus relief bill than confirming a justice at this late date.
“I also recognize that the timing of this confirmation that we have before us will serve to reinforce the public perception about political influence on the court,” she said.
Ms. Murkowski said she would still join Democrats in trying to filibuster the nomination on Sunday.
“But frankly,” she added, “I lost that procedural fight.”
On the penultimate weekend of the campaign, Joseph R. Biden Jr. spent much of Saturday in the critical battleground state of Pennsylvania, holding two drive-in rallies as he tries to flip a state that President Trump narrowly won four years ago.
Mr. Biden first traveled to the Philadelphia suburbs, where he may be able to improve upon Hillary Clinton’s performance in 2016, propelled by college-educated voters turned off by Mr. Trump. Then he flew to Luzerne County in northeastern Pennsylvania, a county that Mr. Trump won by double digits even after Barack Obama had won it twice.
“It may come down to Pennsylvania,” Mr. Biden said at his first event, held at a community college in Bucks County, which Mrs. Clinton won by less than a percentage point in 2016. “And I believe in you. I believe in my state.”
Speaking from a stage decorated with pumpkins and hay bales, Mr. Biden laid into Mr. Trump about a number of subjects, including his handling of the coronavirus, noting that more new cases were reported across the country on Friday than on any other day since the pandemic began. Mr. Biden also tried to fend off attacks from Mr. Trump over his position on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
“I’m not banning fracking in Pennsylvania or anywhere else,” he said. “And I’m going to protect Pennsylvania jobs, period.”
Mr. Biden was joined at the rally by his wife, Jill Biden, who grew up in the Philadelphia area. His remarks to the crowd gathered in Bristol Township were punctuated by the beeping of car horns, which have become a familiar soundtrack at his drive-in events in the weeks before Election Day.
“I wish I could go car to car and meet you all,” he said. “I don’t like the idea of all this distance, but it’s necessary. I appreciate you being safe. What we don’t want to do is become superspreaders.”
Afterward, the Bidens flew to Luzerne County, where they appeared at a drive-in rally that also included a performance by the singer Jon Bon Jovi.
Luzerne County swung decisively toward Mr. Trump four years ago and is near Mr. Biden’s hometown, Scranton. Mr. Biden often references his Scranton roots on the campaign trail, and he did so again on Saturday, declaring, “It’s good to be almost home.”
Speaking at a high school in Dallas Township, Mr. Biden once again reiterated that he would not ban fracking. And after saying at the debate on Thursday that he would “transition from the oil industry,” a comment that Republicans quickly tried to capitalize on, he emphasized his desire to end subsidies for the fossil fuel industry.
Mr. Biden said that “unlike Donald Trump,” he did not believe that “big oil companies need a handout” from the government. And in a local television interview, he said: “The natural gas industry and oil is not going to be fundamentally changed. They’re already in transition.”
In Alabama, a long line of voters waited in the rain outside a courthouse, as a dance troupe in pink masks, pink T-shirts and clear plastic ponchos kept them entertained. In New York, voters waiting to cast ballots kept themselves occupied by knitting, sipping coffee or thumbing their smartphones. Outside a polling place in Ohio, the line to get inside was so long it snaked along the shoulder of a road.
Across the country, Americans have been transfixed by images of voters enduring huge lines to cast ballots, as states across the country have begun opening up sites for early, in-person voting.
The lines — many in urban areas — are a reflection of voter enthusiasm generated by the Trump presidency, which has inspired fervent passion among the president’s base, and a significant backlash.
But amid concerns about the coronavirus, most experts believe the election will feature more Americans voting outside of the in-person ballot box than ever before. Voting by mail has already been underway in multiple states for weeks.
More than 56 million ballots have already been cast in the 2020 election, according to a Times analysis, more than the previous early turnout record set in 2016. Roughly 86 million absentee ballots have been requested or sent to voters.
Several states — including Georgia and North Carolina — have already broken early voting turnout records.
But long lines at polling sites do not mean that Joseph R. Biden Jr. is assured victory.
Both parties expect Mr. Trump’s supporters to favor in-person voting on Election Day, Nov. 3. That’s because Democrats tend to live in more urban areas and have longer wait times. It is also because Mr. Trump and Republicans have railed against mail-in voting.
President Trump traveled to West Palm Beach, Fla., on Saturday morning to cast his ballot in the 2020 election early and in person after spending months making unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud during an election in which polls have shown him to be trailing Joe Biden.
Mr. Trump cast his ballot at the West Palm Beach Main Library, roughly a year after he changed his primary residence to Palm Beach, Fla., from Manhattan. Early voting centers opened in the critical battleground state on Saturday, but millions of Floridians have already cast their ballots by mail.
“I voted for a guy named Trump,” the president said, according to a pool report. Mr. Trump also noted that his experience had been “perfect” and that “it was a very secure vote.”
JUST VOTED. A great honor!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2020
Mr. Trump wore a mask during the morning stop, the pool report also said. Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, told the pool reporter that there was no one else inside the library voting at the same time as Mr. Trump and that he had cast a paper ballot.
Mr. Trump cast a ballot by mail in August during Florida’s primary, despite having repeatedly argued, without evidence, that mail voting invites fraud. More broadly, Mr. Trump has asserted that the 2020 election will be “the most corrupt election in the history of our country.”
On Saturday morning, the president’s motorcade departed Mar-a-Lago at 9:43 a.m. and arrived at the library roughly 10 minutes later. Mr. Trump’s supporters were waiting at the site and cheered his arrival, according to the pool report. The motorcade departed around 10:20 a.m. and was proceeding toward the Palm Beach airport.
The president is expected to appear later on Saturday in Lumberton, N.C., and then head to Ohio and Wisconsin, a trifecta of crucial swing states.
A dourly divided Senate slogged through another day of debate over Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court on Saturday, as Democrats again turned to parliamentary tactics to needle Republicans for confirming a justice so close to Election Day.
After a boisterous clash over President Trump’s nominee on Friday, the rare Saturday session was quite a bit more somber. Democrats tried to force consideration of their $2.4 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill, legislation granting protections from deportation to Dreamers, election security and anti-corruption measures and a handful of other policy proposals they believed might catch the attention of voters.
“All we ask during the most desperate, desperate of times is to debate something that really matters to the American people instead of rushing through a judge, a Supreme Court nominee, when the American people want the decision to be made by them, not by Republican senators,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said as he asked for a vote on the stimulus bill.
But in each case, it took only a single Republican senator to object. Despite the machinations, the Senate remained on a path to confirm Judge Barrett on Monday, delivering Republicans a coveted 6-to-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court just 8 days before the election.
“This isn’t serious, and he knows it,” said Senator John Thune, Republican of South Dakota, who objected. “This is all about politics.”
The result was a debate that had very little to do with Judge Barrett, 48, an appeals court judge. The Senate will return on Sunday, when it is expected to more forcefully debate her confirmation.
Emma Gonzalez, an activist and one of the survivors of the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Fla., is participating in Vote With Us, a three-hour virtual rally on Saturday that is aimed at boosting turnout among young people in the weeks leading up to the presidential election.
The event, which will be streamed on YouTube and other social media channels, will emphasize the importance of voting early and safely in person this year. It will also include a preview of the forthcoming documentary “Us Kids,” which follows Ms. Gonzalez and other Parkland students who became activists ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.
Ms. Gonzalez, who uses they/them pronouns, is voting in their first presidential election this year. “There’s definitely a relationship between various forms of activism, and voting is a form of activism, and political demonstrations is a form of civic duty,” they said. “They’re all very closely related.”
During the virtual rally, Ms. Gonzalez and other organizers plan to answer questions about the documentary and encourage young people to vote.
“A lot of the time young people feel so disenfranchised that they don’t even want to vote because they don’t know if it’ll do anything,” Ms. Gonzalez said. “But I think that that tide is kind of turning and it began to turn with the 2018 midterm election.”
“We add so much to the conversation,” they added.
Many voting rules have changed this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, making it harder than usual to figure out how to cast your ballot. So we did the work for you, in hopes of helping to make sure your vote is counted.
All the money in the world is not likely to influence the outcome of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s re-election bid in November.
But that has not stopped people from trying: The contest has improbably become the second most expensive House race in the country.
Money has been pouring in from all sides. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, has raised $17.3 million, much of it from small donors attracted to her star power, progressive policies and outsize social media presence.
Her Republican challenger, John Cummings, a 60-year-old former schoolteacher at St. Raymond High School for Boys in the Bronx and a former officer for the New York Police Department, has collected $9.6 million in his first bid for office.
His campaign war chest exceeds all but a dozen or so House incumbents. He has a donor list any fund-raiser would envy. And over the past three-month reporting period, Mr. Cummings actually took in more money than Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, raising $5.5 million to her roughly $4 million.
The torrent of donations is the latest example of how Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, 31, has become a draw for Republican candidates to seek donors based off resentment of her.
“I guarantee you 75 percent of his contributors don’t know anything about him,” Tom Doherty, a Republican strategist, said of Mr. Cummings. “I don’t know anything about him except that he’s running against A.O.C. The people that are interested in that race financially are giving because it’s A.O.C.”
The big-money contest is also a reflection of how a spotlight race can fuel millions of dollars to favored political strategists and causes, sometimes far removed from the actual candidates.
The Biden campaign continues to dominate the paid media landscape in the final stretch of the 2020 campaign.
On television and radio, the Biden campaign spent $54.3 million over the past week — from Oct. 16 to Oct. 23 — according to Advertising Analytics, an ad tracking firm. The Trump campaign spent about $21 million over the same period, according to the firm.
The advantage holds on Facebook, where the Biden campaign has spent roughly $8.7 million over the past week, and the Trump campaign has spent $5.4 million over the same period on the platform.
The spending gaps reflect the starkly different financial situation that the two campaigns find themselves in with just 10 days remaining before Election Day. Joseph R. Biden Jr. entered October with a campaign war chest almost triple the size of President Trump’s — $177 million to $63.1 million — and has leveraged that advantage on air as Mr. Trump’s team has been forced to cut millions of dollars in previously reserved television ads.
That the Trump campaign finds itself in a cash crunch at such a pivotal time in the race is all the more striking given that, as the incumbent, Mr. Trump had a multiyear fund-raising head start on Democrats and had at one point raised more than $1 billion dollars for his re-election. But that financial advantage has evaporated, forcing Mr. Trump to recently remove himself from the campaign trail last week and make a stop in California to raise more money.
A lawyer for Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner threatened Friday to take legal action against the Lincoln Project, a super PAC made up of anti-Trump conservatives, unless the group removes a pair of large billboards from Times Square in Manhattan.
One of the billboards shows a smiling Ms. Trump, the president’s eldest daughter, gesturing toward national and statewide tallies of coronavirus deaths.
Another features a smiling picture of her husband, Mr. Kushner, alongside a quote saying that New Yorkers “are going to suffer and that’s their problem.” Below the quote is a series of body bags.
The quote is taken from a Vanity Fair article published in September about Mr. Kushner’s role in the federal coronavirus response. The article claims that Mr. Kushner accused Gov. Andrew Cuomo of failing to “pound the phones hard enough” for coronavirus protective equipment for New York, then added, “His people are going to suffer and that’s their problem.”
“Of course, Mr. Kushner never made any such statement; Ms. Trump never made any such gesture, and the Lincoln Project’s representation that they did are an outrageous and shameful libel,” Mr. Kasowitz’s letter read. “If these billboards are not immediately removed, we will sue you for what will doubtless be enormous compensatory and punitive damages.”
The Lincoln Project tweeted out the letter on Friday night, along with a statement that promised to leave the billboards in place.
“Jared and Ivanka have always been entitled, out-of-touch bullies who have never given the slightest indication they have any regard for the American people,” the statement read in part. “We plan on showing them the same level of respect.”
The Times Square billboards were erected this week at the corner of 44th Street and Broadway, as part of a series of advertisements that the Lincoln Project has been running across the country.
President Trump is seeking to recapture the last-minute energy that lifted him to a surprise win four years ago, undertaking an aggressive schedule of rallies that will bring him to some of the country’s top battlegrounds even as coronavirus cases surge.
The president will start on Saturday in Lumberton, a town in North Carolina, one of the most important states for determining not only the next president but also control of the United States Senate, with Senator Thom Tillis locked in a tight re-election race against his Democratic challenger, Cal Cunningham.
From there, Mr. Trump is off to Circleville, Ohio, outside of Columbus, and then Waukesha, Wis. On Sunday, He will fly to New Hampshire, the lone state on his weekend itinerary that he did not carry in 2016. The hopscotching schedule is reminiscent of 2016, when Mr. Trump flew from state to state for multiple events a day in his private plane.
Except then there was no pandemic, and this time the final stages of the presidential race are coinciding with a surge in cases and hospitalizations. “We’re rounding the corner. It’s going away,” Mr. Trump claimed inaccurately at Thursday’s debate.
The virus’s surge ensures that even Mr. Trump’s well-attended rallies can be a political liability, a reminder to voters fearful of the pandemic of his regular disregard for expert and public health advice.
His rival, Joseph R. Biden Jr., will return to the campaign trail after a week dominated by debate preparations and capped by a speech on Friday in Delaware on the coronavirus, which the former vice president has made a centerpiece of his campaign and his closing argument. His opening line at the debate was counting the 220,000 dead Americans. “Anyone who’s responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America,” he said.
On Saturday, Mr. Biden will make two stops in Pennsylvania, both for drive-in rallies, a new style of event that his campaign has popularized during the pandemic. The first will come in Bucks County, outside of Philadelphia, and the second in the northeastern county of Luzerne, a former Democratic stronghold and one of three Pennsylvania counties that Mr. Trump flipped in 2016.
Pennsylvania is a top focus for the Biden campaign. Along with Mr. Biden’s appearances this weekend, Senator Bernie Sanders will be in western Pennsylvania on Saturday, holding a get-out-the vote event in Pittsburgh and a drive-in rally with the state’s lieutenant governor.
In a sign of Pennsylvania’s potential as the 2020 tipping point, the Biden campaign dispatched President Barack Obama there earlier in the week for his first in-person event of the general election. On Saturday, Mr. Obama will be in Miami for his second in-person event.
With only 11 days left until Election Day, Senator Kamala Harris of California, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, took her party’s case to Black voters in Atlanta, where she once again called President Trump a racist.
“People have asked me,” Ms. Harris told the crowd at an outdoor rally at Morehouse College “Do you think he’s a racist?”
“Yes, yes,” she said, answering the question.
“Because you see, it’s not like it’s some random one-off,” she said. “We’ve seen that pattern. Going back to him questioning the legitimacy of Barack Obama. Going back to Charlottesville.”
And, she added, “Donald Trump said there are fine people on both sides.”
With Mr. Trump aggressively courting Black voters, Ms. Harris addressed those in the crowd who might be considering voting for the president’s re-election.
“We need a president who acknowledges systemic racism, who acknowledges the history of America,” she said, “and uses that bully pulpit and that microphone in a way that speaks truth with an intention to address the inequities and bring our country together.”
With polls showing Mr. Biden tied with Mr. Trump in Georgia, Ms. Harris urged the crowd to honor civil rights leaders by voting.
“It has to do with those men and women who shed blood on Edmund Pettus Bridge and so many other places,” she said. “We’re not going to let anyone mess with our right to vote.”
Ms. Harris, a graduate of Howard University, a historically Black institution, met earlier in the day with student leaders from historically Black colleges and universities as well as other Black voters from various walks of life.
After leaving Morehouse, Ms. Harris stopped at a mural honoring Representative John Lewis of Georgia, who was among civil rights activists who were attacked on the Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., in 1965.
Saturday in Georgia is known as “Mandatory Saturday” voting, because polling locations will be open in all of the state’s 159 counties. Already, 2.3 million people in Georgia have cast early ballots.
A state appeals court in Texas blocked Gov. Greg Abbott from limiting ballot drop boxes to one per county, upholding a lower-court ruling and setting up a likely showdown at the Texas Supreme Court.
The expected appeal by Mr. Abbott, a Republican, to the state’s highest court means the existing additional drop boxes in other counties are unlikely to be in operation immediately, if at all.
This month, Mr. Abbott issued an executive order that limited drop boxes in Texas to one per county, regardless of the county’s population. As a result, major population centers like Harris County, home to 4.7 million people and the second-most populous county in the country, had to consolidate to one ballot drop-off location from 12.
The decision led to a long line of snaking cars around Houston’s NRG Arena, the lone drop-box location for Harris County, and an outcry from voting rights activists, who said that limiting the number of boxes amounted to voter suppression.
But though the edict from Mr. Abbott lessened the options to drop off ballots, voters in Harris County have been turning out in record numbers. According to state records, 6.4 million ballots have already been cast in Texas, and nearly 90 percent of those have been cast in person. More than one million people have voted in Harris County alone.
FRANKLIN, Wis. — President Trump had just been on “Fox and Friends,” demanding that his attorney general “act” against his opponent before the election. He had, the day before, called Joseph R. Biden Jr. a “criminal,” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci a “disaster,” government scientists “idiots” and members of the news media “real garbage.”
Ivanka Trump, meanwhile, was visiting suburban Milwaukee and here for none of this.
“I learned that the first ice cream sundae was created in this amazing state!” the president’s oldest daughter and senior White House adviser said from a small stage of a sunlit function room overlooking a pond.
There would be no mentions of Hunter Biden in here, no reference to Hillary Clinton, nothing about “Barack Hussein Obama,” China Virus, witch hunts, fake news, Antifa or rigged elections.
Instead, the first daughter came armed with local fun facts and pleasing asides speaking to white, suburban female voters who have become her father’s demographic kryptonite. They have been fleeing his coalition with such abandon that he has recently been reduced to begging. “Suburban women, will you please like me?” the president pleaded at a rally in Pennsylvania last week.
By wide margins, they do not, especially the white suburban voters who went for Mr. Trump last time. A remarkable 56 percent of white women said they held a very unfavorable view of the president in a New York Times/Siena College poll. These include many independents and former Republicans who self-identify as moderate or conservative and are likely to be put off by the president’s more boorish inclinations.
As much as it’s possible, the Trump campaign is trying to deploy the first daughter as a demographic paratrooper targeting at-risk women of the changing suburbs.