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US Presidential Elections 2020 LIVE: Biden courts Latino voters in first trip to Florida as nominee; Trump denies downplaying virus

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According to the survey, 66 per cent Indian-Americans currently favour Biden and 28 per cent favour Trump while six per cent were undecided. (File)

US Presidential Elections 2020 LIVE news updates: Joe Biden made his first trip to Florida as the Democratic presidential nominee with an urgent mission to boost support among Latinos who could decide the election in one of the nation’s fiercest battleground states. “More than any other time, the Hispanic community, Latino community holds in the palm of their hand the destiny of this country,” Biden said Tuesday during a Hispanic Heritage Month kickoff event in Kissimmee.

A win for Biden in Florida would dramatically narrow Trump’s path to reelection. But in a state where elections are often decided by a percentage point, there are mounting concerns that Biden may be slipping, particularly with the state’s influential Latino voters.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has made inroads into the Indian-American vote bank, the biggest ever by a Republican president, according to a survey which has sent worrying signals to the Democrats that the support of this influential ethnic community can no longer be taken for granted. The survey by Indiaspora and Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Data on Tuesday showed that a majority of Indian-Americans still favour former vice president Biden, the Democratic Party’s nominee in the November 3 US presidential election.

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22:00 (IST)16 Sep 2020

‘Not Plan A’: Charities are stepping up to pay for elections

As Congress balks, well-funded nonprofits are donating hundreds of millions of dollars to help state and local officials run elections during the pandemic a sudden infusion of private cash in what was once considered a core government function. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, earlier this month announced they will donate $300 million to two nonpartisan nonprofits.

The groups, the Center for Tech and Civic Life and Center for Election Innovation and Research, will funnel the money to local officials working to ensure that everyone can vote and every vote can be counted,” Zuckerberg said in announcing the donation. The Center for Tech and Civic Life had already doled out more than $20 million from other donors money that allowed the city of Philadelphia to double its election budget and quadruple its mail-ballot-processing capacity.

20:44 (IST)16 Sep 2020

Transgender activist wins Delaware state senate primary

Transgender activist Sarah McBride won a Democratic state Senate primary in Delaware on Tuesday and is poised to make history as the first transgender person elected to the state’s General Assembly.

McBride, who interned at the White House during President Barack Obama’s administration, made history at the 2016 Democratic National Convention by becoming the first transgender person to speak at a major party convention. She later served as national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign.

McBride defeated Joseph McCole on Tuesday to advance to the November general election. The Senate district in contention stretches from northern Wilmington to the Pennsylvania border, and has been held by Democrat Harris McDowell since 1976. McDowell, who is retiring and endorsed McBride, is the longest-serving legislator in Delaware history.

19:50 (IST)16 Sep 2020

VP Mike Pence missing from some Michigan ballots

President Donald Trump … and “Spike?” Local election clerks in Michigan downloading absentee ballots for residents overseas were given ballots that listed Trump’s Republican running mate as Jeremy Cohen, who is the Libertarian Party candidate for vice president, the Michigan Secretary of State’s office said.

Vice President Mike Pence wasn’t on the ballot next to Trump. Cohen, whose nickname is “Spike,” is running with Jo Jorgensen.

It was a “temporary error” that was fixed within 90 minutes Tuesday, said Tracy Wimmer, a spokeswoman for Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

“Approximately 400 ballots were downloaded by clerks during this period; we don’t know how many were sent,” Wimmer said.

Clerks were told to reissue correct ballots and tell voters to ignore the erroneous ballot if they received one.

“If a voter does happen to return the incorrect ballot instead of the correct ballot, it will still count. The clerk will be instructed to duplicate a vote for Trump onto a ballot for Trump/Pence,” Wimmer said.

19:29 (IST)16 Sep 2020

Trump denies downplaying virus, casts doubt on mask usage

Fielding compelling questions about voters’ real-world problems, President Donald Trump denied during a televised town hall that he had played down the threat of the coronavirus earlier this year, although there is an audio recording of him stating he did just that.

Trump, in what could well be a preview of his performance in the presidential debates less than two weeks away, cast doubt on the widely accepted scientific conclusions of his own administration strongly urging the use of face coverings and seemed to bat away the suggestion that the nation has racial inequities.

“Well, I hope there’s not a race problem,” Trump said Tuesday when asked about his campaign rhetoric seeming to ignore the historical injustices carried out against Black Americans.

Face-to-face with everyday voters for the first time in months, Trump was defensive but resisted agitation as he was pressed on his administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and why he doesn’t more aggressively promote the use of masks to reduce the spread of the disease.

“There are people that don’t think masks are good,” Trump said, though his own Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly urges their use.

19:22 (IST)16 Sep 2020

Biden courts Latino voters in 1st trip to Florida as nominee

Joe Biden made his first trip to Florida as the Democratic presidential nominee with an urgent mission to boost support among Latinos who could decide the election in one of the nation’s fiercest battleground states.

“More than any other time, the Hispanic community, Latino community holds in the palm of their hand the destiny of this country,” Biden said Tuesday during a Hispanic Heritage Month kickoff event in Kissimmee. You can decide the direction of this country.

A win for Biden in Florida would dramatically narrow Trump’s path to reelection. But in a state where elections are often decided by a percentage point, there are mounting concerns that Biden may be slipping, particularly with the state’s influential Latino voters. An NBC-Marist poll released last week found Latinos in the state about evenly divided between Biden and Trump. Democrat Hillary Clinton led Trump by a 59 per cent to 36 per cent margin among Latinos in the same poll in 2016 and Trump won Florida by about 1 percentage point.

18:41 (IST)16 Sep 2020

Trump making dent in Indian-American vote bank; majority still support Biden: Survey

US President Donald Trump has made inroads into the Indian-American vote bank, the biggest ever by a Republican president, according to a survey which has sent worrying signals to the Democrats that the support of this influential ethnic community can no longer be taken for granted.

The survey by Indiaspora and Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Data on Tuesday showed that a majority of Indian-Americans still favour former vice president Biden, the Democratic Party’s nominee in the November 3 US presidential election. It found that 74-year-old Trump, seeking re-election, is making a big dent into the Indian-American vote bank despite the fact that Biden has a strong relationship with the community and played a key role in bilateral ties over the past few decades. Biden, 77, also scripted history last month by selecting Senator Kamala Harris, 55, as his running mate.

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Since the nomination, many have taken to social media to congratulate the US president. (AP/PTI Photo)

In America’s leading presidential battleground, there’s mounting anxiety among Democrats that the Biden campaign’s standing among Latinos is slipping, potentially giving President Donald Trump an opening in his reelection bid. That’s fueling an urgent effort by Biden, Harris, and their allies to shore up older voters, suburbanites, and African Americans to make up for potential shortcomings elsewhere.

Concerns about Biden’s strength in Florida were driven in part by an NBC-Marist poll released last week, which found Latinos in the state about evenly divided between Biden and Trump. Hillary Clinton led Trump by a 59% to 36% margin among Latinos in the same poll in 2016, the Associated Press reported.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump held an indoor rally in the state of Nevada in open defiance of state regulations and his own administration’s pandemic health guidelines. Addressing a massive, mostly maskless crowd, Trump said that the nation was making the last turn in defeating the virus. This was the first rally held indoors since June. His previous rallies, though held outdoors have been seeing a mix of large crowds and lack of social distancing measures.

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