With 14 days to go until Election Day, and President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden racing toward Nov. 3, voters are turning out in record numbers to cast their ballots early.
Roughly 35 million Americans have already voted in the 2020 election, reflecting an extraordinary level of participation and interest despite unprecedented barriers brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
In the final weeks of campaigning, the president remains on defense as his approval rating drags. He's hosting rallies this week mostly in states he won in 2016 including Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia.
Biden, maintaining a nationwide lead in polls -- his largest lead of the election, according to FiveThirtyEight's average -- has no public events on his schedule this week so far ahead of Thursday's final presidential debate with Trump. Staying off the trail ahead of debates is a pattern for the former vice president.
Polls indicate a huge pre-Election-Day edge for Biden and a sizable Trump advantage among those who plan to vote on Nov. 3 itself. Trump has sowed doubt in the mail-in ballot process -- and imminent election results -- for months.
The rhetoric between candidates is expected to heat up ahead of their second and final showdown in Nashville.
All 50 states plus Washington, D.C., currently have some form of early voting underway. Check out FiveThirtyEight’s guide to voting during the COVID-19 pandemic here.
- Trump delivers shorter-than-usual speech at chilly rally
- Former Trump fundraiser pleads guilty to illegal lobbying
- FLOTUS no longer traveling with POTUS to Pennsylvania, spokeswoman cites lingering cough
- Trump slams debate changes ahead of Thursday showdown
- With coronavirus concerns a factor, it's all tied up in North Carolina: Poll
- Early voting by the numbers
- Trump's Fauci feud keeps campaign focus on COVID-19
Trump delivers shorter-than-usual speech at chilly rally
Exactly two weeks from Election Day, President Trump delivered a shorter-than-normal speech at a packed rally in cold Erie, Pennsylvania, Tuesday night where he continued to downplay the pandemic despite surging cases around the country and claimed Joe Biden would bring "depression, doom and despair" if elected.
Trump, who remarked how cold it was (about 50 degrees and windy) multiple times throughout the night, spoke for only 57 minutes Tuesday night after holding back-to-back rallies in Arizona on Sunday. After spending the last few days raging at the press, Dr. Anthony Fauci (who was not mentioned), and calling for multiple opponents to be locked up -- the president's speech Tuesday night was tamer by Trump's standards.
The president blasted Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf for keeping restrictions on the state amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and not fully opening up the economy, with Trump continuing to claim that the U.S. is "rounding the turn" and eager to return to "normal life."
"We're rounding the turn on the pandemic -- 56%, and it's a record. Epic job growth. Safe vaccines that quickly end the pandemic. It’s ending. Normal life -- that's all we want," he said. "You know what we want? Normal life. Normal life will finally resume, and next year will be the greatest economic year in the history of our country."
But the U.S. is far from "rounding the turn" with over 41 states seeing increases in COVID-19 cases and 42 seeing an increase in hospitalizations, according to The COVID Tracking Project. Trump tried using Florida as an example of a state that previously saw a spike, recovered and opened up their economy, but the state is now also seeing an increase in cases, positivity rate, hospitalizations and daily deaths.
"You know, Florida’s open. All these -- Florida had a surge, great governor, surge went down," Trump said. "Arizona had a surge, went down -- great governor. Texas had a surge, went down. You guys never opened. What the hell is going on in Pennsylvania, right?"
First lady Melania Trump, who had been scheduled to appear, ended up canceling due to a lingering cough.
-ABC News' Will Steakin
Trump to campaign in Pennsylvania without Melania
Struggling in the polls in battleground Pennsylvania and targeting the votes of suburban women, Trump had hoped for an assist from his wife Melania Trump at a rally this evening, but a "lingering cough" from her recent bout with the coronavirus scuttled the plan, according to the first lady's spokeswoman.
Instead, the president will make the trip to the northeastern Pennsylvania city of Erie without her, part of an attempt to defend his narrow win in Pennsylvania in 2016. Fewer than 2,000 votes separated him from his Democratic opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Four years earlier, then-President Barack Obama won the state by nearly 17%.
Recent polls have shown former Biden with a clear lead in Pennsylvania. In a Quinnipiac poll released Oct. 7, the Democratic nominee led by 13% among likely voters. A poll from Monmouth University published the day prior showed a similar lead, with Biden up 12% among registered voters. FiveThirtyEight's Pennsylvania polling average shows Biden leading by 6.4%.
-ABC News’ Jordyn Phelps and Ben Gittleson
Biden tests negative for COVID-19
Biden underwent testing for COVID-19 today and tested negative, his campaign said.
This is Biden's twelfth negative test the campaign has announced since Trump tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month.
-ABC News' Molly Nagle
Former Trump fundraiser pleads guilty to illegal lobbying
Former Republican National Committee finance co-chair and top Trump campaign fundraiser Elliott Broidy pleaded guilty today to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws.
Prosecutors said during the plea hearing Broidy agreed to take an $8 million retainer from Jho Low, a Malaysian fugitive, in exchange for asking the administration to drop its investigation into the theft of billions from a Malaysian government investment fund. The effort was ultimately unsuccessful.
Broidy must forfeit $6 million dollars as part of the plea agreement.
-ABC News' Aaron Katersky