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Live Updates on the 2020 Election and Biden vs. Trump Polls

Miami-Dade County Elections Department workers processed mail-in ballots for Florida’s primary election in August.Credit…Scott McIntyre for The New York Times

It has been clear for months that it is unlikely a winner in the presidential election will be declared on election night this year, as many battleground states expect unprecedented surges in mail-in ballots, which take much longer to process, certify and tabulate than traditional in-person voting.

But two tweets from President Trump Thursday morning erroneously sought to blame states that are automatically mailing out ballots to registered voters for the likely delays and baselessly stated that the results “may NEVER BE ACCURATELY DETERMINED,” an assertion dismissed by elections experts.

There is absolutely no evidence that states that automatically send out mail-in ballots to all voters have had issues with accuracy, and some such as Colorado, Washington and Oregon have been conducting their elections mostly by mail for years. Mail-in voting is considered especially secure and accurate because it has a clear paper trail, which makes recounts easier.

There is also little likelihood that the states that are automatically sending out ballots will have much of an impact on the Electoral College, and therefore contribute to any prolonged wait for a winner in the presidential election. Nine states and Washington, D.C., automatically mail out ballots; of those, only Nevada is a true battleground state. The rest are either reliably blue or red, and will likely be called within minutes of polls closing for either Mr. Trump or Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic nominee.

The states that will likely need more time to count ballots are ones that are no-excuse absentee ballot states, where anyone who wants to vote by mail can do so but must proactively request their ballot.

Mr. Trump and his wife, Melania, have both voted this way in the past, and the president, while not always very clearly, has said he supports absentee ballots.

“Solicited Ballots (absentee) are OK,” he wrote in a tweet on Thursday.

Battleground states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Florida and North Carolina are no-excuse absentee states.

Election officials in many of those states have indicated that they will need more time to process the expected torrent of mail-in ballots, as they experienced in the primaries. Election officials in Philadelphia, for example, needed a week to fully tabulate votes after the June primary.

Mr. Trump’s tweets are the latest in a series of inaccurate posts he has published for months on social media about the efficacy of mail-in ballots. It is part of what has been a longtime conundrum for social media companies that have debated how to handle posts by Mr. Trump, a world leader whose posts are typically considered newsworthy.

Twitter, for its part, began adding labels to some of Mr. Trump’s tweets in May marking them as misleading, and it added one such label on Thursday. The service has been stricter with other leaders. In March, tweets from the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, and the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, that promoted unproven cures for the coronavirus were removed.

Christopher Wray, the F.B.I. director, testified Thursday before the House Committee on Homeland Security.Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

Christopher Wray, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said during a House Homeland Security committee hearing on Thursday that Joseph R. Biden Jr. was the primary target of Russia’s ongoing online disinformation campaigns.

Mr. Wray said that while Russia has not successfully hacked any election systems, the influence campaign on social media has sought to raise skepticism of the Democratic candidate.

“We certainly have seen very active, very active efforts by the Russians to influence our election in 2020,” Mr. Wray said on Thursday. “An effort to both sow divisiveness and discord, and I think the intelligence community has assessed this publicly, to primarily to denigrate Vice President Biden in what the Russians see as a kind of an anti-Russian establishment.”

Mr. Wray’s comments echoed a statement made by last month by William R. Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, who said Russia has used a range of techniques to target Mr. Biden. China has also sought to influence American politics, intelligence officials have said, although Russia presents a much more immediate threat.

While Mr. Wray and Mr. Evanina issued blunt warnings of the Russian disinformation campaign, Attorney General William P. Barr has been less forceful. Asked on CNN earlier this month if he accepted that Russia was attempting to interfere in the election, Mr. Barr said, “I accept that there is some preliminary activity that suggests that they might try again.”

The Department of Homeland Security was also scrutinized earlier this month after it emerged that the agency declined to publish a July 9 intelligence document warning of Russian attempts to denigrate Mr. Biden’s mental health. That bulletin also warned of China and Iran’s efforts to target Mr. Trump. At the time, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, Chad F. Wolf, said he questioned the quality of the report and sent it back for revision.

An updated version of the bulletin dated Sept. 4 obtained by The Times still includes warnings of Russia’s efforts to target Mr. Biden with additional details on how the nation’s tactics compare to China and Iran.

“Iranian and Chinese overt influence actors have promoted unsubstantiated narratives that question the mental health of President Trump,” analysts said in the bulletin. “These efforts probably fall short of Russia’s more sustained, coordinated malign influence operations across multiple overt and covert platforms to undermine other U.S. politicians.”

President Trump has consistently denied accusations of assault from the dozens of women who have come forward with stories dating back to the 1970s.Credit…Oliver Contreras for The New York Times

A woman on Thursday added her voice to the chorus of those who have accused President Trump of sexual assault or misconduct over the past 40 years, coming forward in an interview with The Guardian to say that he kissed and groped her against her will at the United States Open tennis tournament in 1997.

The woman, Amy Dorris, a former model, said she was invited, along with her boyfriend at the time, to Mr. Trump’s private box to watch the tennis match. Ms. Dorris was 24.

“He just shoved his tongue down my throat and I was pushing him off,” Ms. Dorris said, explaining she met Mr. Trump through the boyfriend, Jason Binn. “And then that’s when his grip became tighter and his hands were very gropey and all over my butt, my breasts, my back, everything.”

She added: “I was in his grip, and I couldn’t get out of it. I don’t know what you call that when you’re sticking your tongue just down someone’s throat. But I pushed it out with my teeth. I was pushing it. And I think I might have hurt his tongue.”

In a statement, the Trump campaign denied Ms. Dorris’s account. “The allegations are totally false,” Jenna Ellis, a legal adviser to the Trump campaign, said in a statement. “We will consider every legal means available to hold The Guardian accountable for its malicious publication of this unsubstantiated story. This is just another pathetic attempt to attack President Trump right before the election.”

Mr. Trump has consistently denied the accusations from more than two dozen women who have come forward with stories of unwanted groping, kissing and assault, dating back to the 1970s. In the case of Natasha Stoynoff — a journalist who claimed Mr. Trump assaulted her when she was conducting an interview with his wife, Melania Trump — the president made her claim a punchline at a rally.

“Look at her. … I don’t think so,” he said.

Mr. Trump is currently the subject of a defamation lawsuit from the author E. Jean Carroll, who has accused him of raping her in a Manhattan department store in the 1990s. In an unusual move last week, the Justice Department moved to replace the private legal team defending the president with government lawyers. Ms. Carroll sued Mr. Trump last November, claiming that he lied by publicly denying he had ever met her.

In her interview with The Guardian, Ms. Dorris explained that the reason she had waited so long to come forward with her story was because she felt protective of her twin daughters. But they had also inspired her to speak out, she said.

“Now I feel like my girls are about to turn 13 years old and I want them to know that you don’t let anybody do anything to you that you don’t want,” she said. “And I’d rather be a role model. I want them to see that I didn’t stay quiet, that I stood up to somebody who did something that was unacceptable.”

Louis DeJoy, the postmaster general, is a major donor to President Trump.Credit…Pool photo by Tom Williams

Just weeks before Election Day, officials in both parties are preparing for an extraordinary flood of mail-in ballots — and increasingly toxic politics over voting.

A private telephone conference scheduled today between dozens of secretaries of state from around the country and Louis DeJoy, the postmaster general, is expected to give a glimpse into the acrimonious state of voting by mail and the blame game likely to follow should voting devolve into election chaos. Democrats have pushed hard to expand mail voting, while Republicans have fiercely opposed such moves, falsely linking them with fraud.

Several secretaries of state said in interviews that they intended to use the session to voice concerns about operational and policy changes that have slowed mail delivery. Already, the Postal Service faces a temporary restraining order blocking the sending of a postcard urging voters to “plan ahead” if they intended to vote by mail. Election officials in Colorado and several other states say the mailer was filled with misinformation.

A report published Wednesday by Senator Gary Peters of Michigan, the top Democrat responsible for postal oversight, found that controversial operational changes instituted by Mr. DeJoy over the summer had delayed nearly 350 million pieces, or 7 percent, of the country’s first-class mail over five weeks.

Distrust over voting by mail is running particularly high, with Democrats accusing Mr. DeJoy, a major donor to the president, and the Republican majority installed by Mr. Trump on the postal board of governors of sabotaging the Postal Service to help the president. Mr. Trump, meanwhile, has spent months stoking false claims that mail-in voting is rife with fraud and is being used to rig the election.

All of this rancor comes as absentee voting is already underway in multiple states. By the end of this week, voters will be able to cast in-person ballots in eight states.

Dan Coats, President Trump’s former director of national intelligence, called on Congress on Thursday to create a nonpartisan panel to reassure Americans that the results of the election are legitimate.

In a New York Times Op-Ed, Mr. Coats wrote that the panel was needed to “save our democracy.”

The proposed commission would monitor systems that were already in place to count, evaluate and certify election results, Mr. Coats wrote. In doing so, it could confirm that election laws and regulations had been “scrupulously and expeditiously followed — or that violations have been exposed and dealt with — without political prejudice and without regard to political interests of either party.”

The goal, he added, was to “firmly, unambiguously reassure all Americans that their vote will be counted.”

Hours after Mr. Coats’s proposal was published, Mr. Trump, his former boss, once again sought to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the upcoming election.

“Because of the new and unprecedented massive amount of unsolicited ballots which will be sent to ‘voters,’ or wherever, this year, the Nov 3rd Election result may NEVER BE ACCURATELY DETERMINED, which is what some want,” Mr. Trump tweeted Thursday morning. “Stop Ballot Madness!”

Mr. Coats’s proposal represents a striking departure from the approach taken by his successor, John Ratcliffe, who has tried to limit congressional briefings on foreign election interference.

Mr. Coats, a former Republican senator from Indiana who was national intelligence director from early 2017 until mid-2019, angered the president by providing unwelcome assessments of Russia and its efforts to undermine the 2020 elections. He left office in frustration, according to former senior administration officials.

Mr. Ratcliffe, a former Republican congressman from Texas who fiercely defended the president during the Russia investigation, has downplayed such threats, an approach the president prefers.

In his Op-Ed, Mr. Coats did not refer to Mr. Trump or his supporters directly. But he made his case in the starkest possible terms.

Our democracy’s enemies, foreign and domestic, want us to concede in advance that our voting systems are faulty or fraudulent; that sinister conspiracies have distorted the political will of the people; that our public discourse has been perverted by the news media and social networks riddled with prejudice, lies and ill will; that judicial institutions, law enforcement and even national security have been twisted, misused and misdirected to create anxiety and conflict, not justice and social peace.

If those are the results of this tumultuous election year, we are lost, no matter which candidate wins. No American, and certainly no American leader, should want such an outcome. Total destruction and sowing salt in the earth of American democracy is a catastrophe well beyond simple defeat and a poison for generations.

Requests for comment from the White House and congressional leaders were not immediately returned.

Mark Kelly, the Democratic Senate nominee in Arizona, with supporters in Phoenix last year.Credit…Conor E. Ralph for The New York Times

Joseph R. Biden Jr. holds a four-point edge over President Trump among registered voters in Arizona, though that advantage fades when the sample focuses only on likely voters, according to a Monmouth University poll released Thursday.

When assuming relatively high turnout, the poll found that Mr. Biden had 48 percent support among likely voters while Mr. Trump had 46 percent. Under a low-turnout model, the candidates were evenly split at 47 percent each.

Looking at all registered voters, Mr. Biden was at 48 percent and Mr. Trump was at 44 percent. In all three scenarios, the differences were within the poll’s margin of error.

Mark Kelly, the Democratic Senate nominee, maintains his steady advantage over Senator Martha McSally, the Republican incumbent, according to the poll.

But Mr. Kelly, an astronaut and husband of former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, has had larger leads in other surveys than in the Monmouth poll, which showed him at 50 percent and Ms. McSally at 46 percent among likely voters in a turnout model anticipating a slightly higher participation rate than in 2016. That difference was also within the margin of error.

Arizona, the poll found, is one of the few battlegrounds in which a third-party candidate is likely to play a significant role on the presidential level. The Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen gets between 3 and 4 percent of the presidential vote, depending on the turnout model used.

The news for Mr. Biden was a little rosier when the poll examined critical regions in the state.

In Maricopa County, home to Phoenix, Mr. Biden held a 6-point lead among likely voters — a nine-point swing from 2016, when Mr. Trump won the county by 3 percentage points.

Mr. Biden held big leads in the four counties Hillary Clinton won — Apache, Coconino, Pima and Santa Cruz — with his level of support surpassing that of Mrs. Clinton in 2016.

The former vice president’s core strength in Arizona was among Latino voters, who backed him by a roughly two-to-one margin over Mr. Trump. That is nearly identical to Mrs. Clinton’s performance with that group in 2016, according to exit polls.

Veterans and military families were split evenly between the two candidates, according to the Monmouth poll.

Only one Democratic presidential candidate has prevailed in Arizona in the past 70 years: Bill Clinton in 1996.

The poll also found solid support for ballot measures that would impose an income tax surcharge on high earners and that would legalize marijuana for recreational use.

The poll, which polled 420 registered voters, was conducted between Sept. 11 and 15. It has a margin of error of 4.8 percentage points, although that number climbs when looking at specific subgroups.

The Biden campaign did not dispute that Joseph R. Biden Jr. would raise taxes, but insisted that taxes would not increase for those making less than $400,000 a year.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

As President Trump ramps up advertising claiming that Joe Biden will raise taxes and destroy the economy, Biden campaign officials are punching back, describing Mr. Trump as a president who “looks down on working people.”

“Joe Biden sees this election as Park Avenue versus Scranton,” Kate Bedingfield, Mr. Biden’s deputy campaign manager, said in a call with reporters on Thursday, referring to Mr. Biden’s Pennsylvania hometown. “We’ve got a president in Donald Trump who can only see as far as Wall Street and who looks down on working people.”

“Joe Biden just has a fundamentally different view of what it means for the economy to be doing well than Donald Trump does,” she continued. “Joe Biden believes the economy is not doing well unless middle-class families and working people are doing well.”

The call came as Mr. Trump’s campaign has released a set of television ads that attack Mr. Biden’s tax policies and assert that Mr. Trump has built “the strongest economy we’ve ever seen.”

“If Joe Biden gets elected, we can kiss goodbye to the economy that we’ve been enjoying,” a woman who describes herself as a small-business owner says in one ad. “He’s going to raise taxes, he’s already said that.”

The Biden campaign in its call did not dispute that he would raise taxes, but insisted that taxes would not increase for those making less than $400,000 a year.

“I want to be very, very clear about something: If you make under $400,000 — if you are an individual who makes under $400,000 — you will not pay a penny more in taxes when Joe Biden is president. Period. End of story,” Ms. Bedingfield said. She accused Mr. Trump of engineering “a huge tax giveaway for the super wealthy and for corporations.”

Mr. Trump’s approval ratings on the economy remain high, and allies have been urging Mr. Biden to focus more on Mr. Trump’s stewardship of the economy. Last week, during a campaign stop at an auto workers union in Michigan, he sketched a plan to keep more jobs in the United States.

A demonstration outside the Capitol in 2017 after the House narrowly passed a Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.Credit…Nicholas Kamm/Agence-France Presse–Getty Images

As Donald J. Trump ran for the White House, he promised to “come up with a great health plan” that would replace the Affordable Care Act with something better that maintained its biggest selling point: protecting people with pre-existing medical conditions.

Once elected, he swore he had a “wonderful plan” and would be “putting it in fairly soon.”

On Tuesday night, President Trump returned to the theme during a town-hall-style meeting broadcast on ABC, where he was taken to task by Ellesia Blaque, an assistant professor at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. She told him she had a congenital illness, demanded to know what he would do to keep “people like me who work hard” insured.

“We’re going to be doing a health care plan very strongly, and protect people with pre-existing conditions,” Mr. Trump told her, adding, “I have it all ready, and it’s a much better plan for you, and it’s a much better plan.”

But after four years, the unkept promise may be catching up to Mr. Trump. There still does not seem to be any plan, because other than abolishing the Affordable Care Act — which requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions and which the White House is asking the Supreme Court to overturn — the Republican Party cannot agree on one.

And with tens of thousands of Americans losing their coverage to a coronavirus-induced economic turndown, fears of inadequate or nonexistent health insurance have never been greater.

“What the public wants to know is, ‘Where am I going to get health insurance and how much is it going to cost me,’ and that plan didn’t really provide any kind of direction for getting answers to that,” said James C. Capretta, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who advised President George W. Bush on health policy.

Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, at 10 Downing Street on Wednesday.Credit…Neil Hall/EPA, via Shutterstock

Though Joseph R. Biden Jr. holds no official government position, the Democratic nominee is fast becoming a factor in calculations by foreign leaders eyeing the possibility of a return to pre-Trump diplomatic norms.

Case in point: Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, was forced to respond to concerns from Mr. Biden that rewriting the United Kingdom’s withdrawal agreement with the European Union could imperil the Good Friday Agreement, which ended decades of bloody conflict in Northern Ireland.

Congressional Democrats have warned that the landmark pact, signed in 1998, could be weakened as Britain works out international agreements that have been impacted by Mr. Johnson’s manifold Brexit maneuvers.

Mr. Johnson’s plan to override a landmark agreement with the European Union, a move his government has admitted would violate international law, has brought potential repercussions to a possible trade agreement with the United States.

“We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit,” Mr. Biden, who has spoken often of his Irish Catholic roots, wrote on Twitter late Wednesday. “Any trade deal between the US and UK must be contingent upon respect for the Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period.”

A spokesman for Mr. Johnson responded soon after, saying that the Brexit legislation being debated by Parliament was intended “precisely to make sure that the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement is upheld in all circumstances.”

“We continue to remain absolutely committed to no hard border and no border infrastructure between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland,” he told reporters in London.

Jeff Gruver was planning to vote for Joseph R. Biden Jr. in November until he found out on Friday he would not be voting at all.Credit…Octavio Jones for The New York Times

MIAMI — Jeff Gruver voted for the first time ever in March, casting an enthusiastic ballot for Bernie Sanders in Florida’s presidential primary.

He planned to vote for Joseph R. Biden Jr. in November until he found out on Friday he could not vote at all. A federal appeals court ruled that Floridians with felony criminal records, like him, could not vote unless they paid all their outstanding court fines and fees — in his case, at least $800.

Mr. Gruver does not have the money. And he does not want to take any risk that his vote could be deemed illegal. Like more than a million other ex-felons, he has learned that even an overwhelming 2018 vote approving a state referendum to restore voting rights to most people who had served their sentences does not necessarily mean that they will ever get to vote.

The gutting last week of the effort to re-enfranchise former felons is a cautionary tale about the messy process of citizen-led ballot initiatives and how a dominant political party can exert its power long after voters have spoken.

“The political climate in Florida — it just kind of feels rigged by one group in power over the other,” said Mr. Gruver, 34, who runs a homeless shelter in Gainesville and more than a decade ago did a total of about 10 months in jail for cocaine possession and violating the terms of his probation.

Here are the daily schedules of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates for Thursday, Sept. 17. All times are Eastern time.

Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Afternoon: Hosts a virtual fund-raising event.

Afternoon: Hosts a virtual Rosh Hashana event.

8 p.m.: Holds town-hall-style event in Scranton, Pa., telecast live on CNN.

President Trump

11:30 a.m.: Attends credentialing ceremony for newly appointed ambassadors in the Oval Office.

2:30 p.m.: Delivers remarks at White House Conference on American History at the National Archives in Washington.

9 p.m.: Holds a campaign rally in Mosinee, Wis.

Kamala Harris

Afternoon: Attends a conversation hosted by She Can Win, a Democratic women’s group.

Afternoon: Attends a community conversation with Latino leaders and elected officials.

Mike Pence

To be determined.

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party’s presidential nominee, ran for governor of New York in 2018.Credit…Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court delivered a pair of significant victories to Democrats on Thursday, blocking a third-party presidential candidate from the ballot this fall and extending the state’s deadline for receiving mail-in votes.

Early in the day, the court ruled that the Green Party and its candidate, Howie Hawkins, failed to follow electoral procedures and cannot appear on the ballot this fall — a significant win for Democrats seeking to recapture a battleground state that narrowly swung to President Trump in 2016.

The high court, by a 5-to-2 margin, partially reversed a lower court decision that had permitted Mr. Hawkins, an environmental activist from New York, to appear on the ballot, while kicking off his running mate.

The decision removed a final hurdle for county boards of elections, who can now mail ballots to registered voters who have applied for them.

The case has been a focal point for both major-party campaigns, which have been focusing intensely on a state that had been reliably Democratic since Harry Truman’s election in 1948. In 2016, the Green Party’s nominee, Jill Stein, drew nearly 50,000 votes — more than Mr. Trump’s 44,000-vote margin of victory.

Later, the court extended the state’s mail ballot deadlines, a move opposed by Republicans and the Trump campaign. The decision is likely to increase voter participation and could delay the release of final results from a state that could determine the outcome of the national election.

State law requires mail-in ballots to be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day, but this year because of the pandemic they will be counted if received by 5 p.m. the Friday after the election.

The high court also greenlighted the use of drop boxes for ballots and denied attempts by the Trump campaign to post poll watchers outside of their home counties.

Monthslong demonstrations in Portland, Ore., have intensified and inflamed issues of crime and race.Credit…Brandon Bell for The New York Times

Attorney General William P. Barr has ratcheted up his involvement in partisan politics in recent days, floating federal sedition charges against violent protesters and the prosecution of a Democratic mayor; asserting his right to intervene in Justice Department investigations; warning of dire consequences for the nation if President Trump is not re-elected; and comparing coronavirus restrictions to slavery.

Mr. Barr’s comments came in remarks on Wednesday at a college event, an interview with Chicago journalists and a call with federal prosecutors last week.

  • Sedition comments: Mr. Barr told prosecutors in the call to consider charging rioters and others who had committed violent crimes at protests in recent months with sedition, according to two people familiar with the call. The highly unusual suggestion to charge people with insurrection against lawful authority alarmed some on the call, which included U.S. attorneys around the country, said the people, who spoke only anonymously because they feared retribution. The remarks were first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

  • Weighing charges against Seattle’s mayor: The attorney general has also asked prosecutors in the Justice Department’s civil rights division to explore criminally charging Mayor Jenny Durkan of Seattle for allowing a police-free protest zone near the city’s downtown for weeks this summer, according to two people briefed on those discussions. The directives are in keeping with Mr. Barr’s approach to prosecute aggressively in cities where protests have turned violent. But in suggesting prosecuting Ms. Durkan, a Democrat, Mr. Barr also took aim at an elected official whom President Trump has repeatedly attacked.

  • Presidential contest: Mr. Barr told a Chicago Tribune columnist in an interview published Monday that the nation could find itself “irrevocably committed to the socialist path” if Mr. Trump lost the election and that the country faced “a clear fork in the road.”

  • Comparing virus restrictions to slavery: Speaking at an event hosted by Hillsdale College on Wednesday, Mr. Barr said that some state governors had overreached in enacting stay-at-home orders and closing businesses. “Other than slavery, which is a different kind of restraint, this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history,” he said.

  • Intervening in D.O.J. investigations: Mr. Barr said in his speech at the event that as the nation’s top law enforcement official, he had the right to intervene in investigations and to overrule career lawyers, castigating his own department and attacking what he described as politically motivated inquiries.

    His remarks scanned as a rebuke of career Justice Department lawyers who have questioned his level of involvement — a management style in which he has cast himself as the ultimate authority on almost every issue that the department faces, including antitrust settlements, criminal prosecutions and civil litigation.

    “Because I am ultimately accountable for every decision the department makes, I have an obligation to ensure we make the correct ones,” he said.

THE UPSHOT




State polls
National polls


  • Another good day for Biden in Wisconsin: An ABC News/Washington Post poll Wednesday found Joseph R. Biden Jr. up by six points among likely voters in Wisconsin, putting him in a strong position in the state, hovering at or above 50 percent with a consistent lead in an unusual number of recent high-quality surveys.

    Wisconsin was a “tipping point” state in 2016 and many thought it would be a real challenge for Mr. Biden. The state’s white working-class voters swung hard to President Trump in 2016, and Mr. Biden seemed to be weaker in Milwaukee’s suburbs than in suburbs elsewhere. And the unrest in Kenosha seemed to give Mr. Trump another opening. But it didn’t lead to a change in the state of the race, and that might say something about the national political environment.

  • An eye-popper in Minnesota: ABC News/Washington Post also released a poll of neighboring Minnesota, showing Mr. Biden ahead by 16 points in a state Hillary Clinton won by under 2 percent. The poll is probably an outlier, but Mr. Biden’s lead in Minnesota is large, and it’s real.

  • An even bigger eye-popper in Maine: Quinnipiac released a poll of Maine with very strong results for Democrats: a 12-point lead for Sara Gideon, who is trying to unseat the incumbent Republican senator, Susan Collins; and a 21-point lead for Mr. Biden. A word of caution: Quinnipiac has leaned quite a bit to the left in this cycle.

  • A split between state and national polls? State polls this week have shown strong results for Mr. Biden. But national polls show stability, or even a bit of tightening. It’s hard to know what to make of the split. It could be just noise: The national polling is sparse and often of questionable quality. But there may be a real split, driven by demographics: Most of the great results for Mr. Biden in recent state polls have come in overwhelmingly white states, and there are plenty of national (and state) poll results suggesting that Mr. Biden is running ahead of Mrs. Clinton among white voters but faring worse among nonwhite voters.

    That could lead to seemingly surprising results for Mr. Biden in overwhelmingly white states like Minnesota and Maine without corresponding national leads. That would not necessarily be a bad trade for Mr. Biden. Mrs. Clinton probably would have traded a few points nationwide for greater support in the Midwest.

  • Good news for Democrats in the Senate: Quinnipiac found a tie in South Carolina between Senator Lindsey Graham and his Democratic challenger, Jaime Harrison.

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