Politics & Policy

Why it matters: While Democrats fight to convince voters that they should be the ones tasked with taking down President Trump, the current administration is powering ahead on efforts to restrict immigration, unleash business and reshape the U.S. role in the world.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat — Study: Trump campaign rallies likely led to over 700 COVID-related deaths.
  2. World: Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England — Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike — Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdowns amid surge of infections.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  5. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.

Study: Trump campaign rallies likely led to over 700 COVID-related deaths

Supporters gather before President Trump arrives for a rally at the Bemidji Regional Airport on Sept. 18 in Bemidji, Minnesota. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Eighteen Trump campaign rallies "ultimately resulted" in more than 30,000 incremental confirmed COVID-19 cases and "likely led to more than 700 deaths," researchers at Stanford University concluded in a study published Friday.

Why it matters: The Trump campaign has come under repeated fire for being lax about mask requirements and refusing to adhere to social distancing and other local guidelines at its events, which sometimes draw thousands of people.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The massive early vote

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Early voting in the 2020 election across the U.S. on Saturday had already reached 65.5% of 2016's total turnout, according to state data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic and its resultant social-distancing measures prompted a massive uptick in both mail-in ballots and early voting nationwide, setting up an unprecedented and potentially tumultuous count in the hours and days after the polls close on Nov. 3.

Tensions flare following police killing of Black man outside Portland

In Vancouver, Wash. — 12 minutes from Portland, Ore. — demonstrations intensified following the fatal shooting of a 21-year-old Black man, Kevin Peterson Jr., who was fatally shot Thursday by sheriff's deputies.

The state of play: Hundreds of people gathered Friday night, with signs reading "Honk for Black lives," The Oregonian reports. Windows were broken, flags torched and federal agents in riot gear surrounded a federal building — cautioning demonstrators that trespassing could result in arrest.

Where candidates are headed 72 hours before Election Day

Courtesy of Fox News. Photo: Jose Juarez/AP

On the final weekend of the 2020 electoral cycle, candidates are criss-crossing the country to make their closing arguments in America's battleground states.

The state of play: The Biden campaign will will have running mate Sen. Kamala Harris making multiple stops in south Florida while the former VP appears in Flint and Detroit, Michigan on Saturday.

Retailers batten storefronts in anticipation of election turmoil

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Retailers across the U.S. are boarding up their storefronts and tightening security ahead of predicted unrest in response to next week's election.

The big picture: Black Lives Matter protests earlier this year resulted in more than $1 billion worth of property damage. This time around businesses are hoping to avoid the same outcome if election results spark activism or conflict.

Cities board up, activists mobilize ahead of Election Day

Workers board up Walgreens on U Street NW in D.C. yesterday. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Ahead of Election Day, activists in the nation's capital are training demonstrators, forming rapid-reaction teams and organizing events that are expected to draw large crowds, AP's Ashraf Khalil reports.

The state of play: Multiple groups led by Black Lives Matter and Shutdown DC are planning an eight-hour event at Black Lives Matter Plaza, one block from the White House. It will include a giant screen showing election results, DJs and performances by bands playing go-go music.

Trump's legacy is shaped by his narrow interests

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

President Trump's policy legacy is as much defined by what he's ignored as by what he's involved himself in.

The big picture: Over the past four years, Trump has interested himself in only a slim slice of the government he leads. Outside of trade, immigration, a personal war against the "Deep State" and the hot foreign policy issue of the moment, Trump has left many of his Cabinet secretaries to work without interruption, let alone direction.

Acting DHS chief calls on Twitter to "commit to never" censoring content

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf sent a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Friday, calling on him to "commit to never again censoring content" on the platform.

Driving the news: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan said on Thursday the platform locked his account and removed a tweet about the effectiveness of the border wall.

Oct 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

First look: Reid Hoffman launches $1M ad urging election patience

Screengrab of ad

Billionaire and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, one of Democrats' biggest donors, tells Axios he's launching a $1 million digital ad campaign in battleground states urging voters to be patient with election results and prepare for no winner to be known on Nov. 3, no matter what "some people" may prematurely declare via Twitter.

Driving the news: The three-minute ad, titled "We Count! A Patriotic Musical Extravaganza," features the voice of "The Big Bang Theory's" Jim Parsons and Broadway star Barrett Doss. The spot will appear on Facebook targeting voters in the swing states of Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Stephen Miller says Trump to continue aggressive immigration agenda if re-elected

President Trump in the Oval Office last year as Guatemala signed a safe third country agreement to restrict asylum applications to the U.S. from Central America. Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty

President Trump intends to ramp up his existing immigration agenda, "raising and enhancing the standard for entry" to the U.S. if elected for a second term, senior adviser Stephen Miller told NBC News.

Why it matters: The Trump administration has faced backlash throughout the president's first term for making it harder for legal immigrants and undocumented border-crossers hoping to enter the country.

Biden eyeing two relief efforts if elected, adviser says

Axios political reporter Hans Nichols (left) and Biden policy adviser Stef Feldman. Photo: Axios

If Joe Biden gets elected, he will work to provide two relief packages — a short-term package before inauguration "that delivers relief to working families" and a long-term one to "build back" the economy, his campaign's policy director, Stef Feldman, said Friday at an Axios virtual event.

Why it matters: Biden advisers don’t know what the state of the economy will be, but they are preparing for the worst. They want to move quickly with short-term relief before attempting a broader recovery package that will take time — and political capital — to achieve, Axios politics reporter Hans Nichols says.

Republicans gear up for day-of and post-Election Day litigation

Voters wait in line to cast their early ballots Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Republican Party officials say they're already looking to Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Nevada as likely battlegrounds for post-election lawsuits if the results are close.

The big picture: As pre-election lawsuits draw to a close, and with President Trump running behind Joe Biden in national and many battleground state polls, Republicans are turning their attention to preparations for Election Day and beyond, and potential recounts.

Kudlow: Trump would continue deregulation, tax cuts in second term

Photo: Axios

If President Trump gets reelected, he will continue deregulation and lowering taxes, White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Friday at an Axios virtual event, contending that the president's policies led to "three years, pre-pandemic, of a boom,"

Why it matters: Trump's re-election campaign has been focusing on the prepandemic economy as voters are casting their ballots.

Oct 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Transportation companies help voters get to the polls

Photo: Wang Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Ride-hailing companies and other tech mobility firms are trying to make sure all eligible citizens have an opportunity to vote.

Why it matters: A 2016 Harvard study found 14% of eligible voters cited transportation as a barrier to casting their ballot.

Oct 30, 2020 - Economy & Business

How Trump and Biden would steer the future of transportation

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden would likely steer automotive policy in different directions over the next four years, potentially changing the industry's road map to the future.

Why it matters: The auto industry is on the cusp of historic technological changes and the next president — as well as the next Congress — could have an extraordinary influence on how the future of transportation plays out.

Oct 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Instagram partners with ATTN: to encourage young people to vote

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Instagram is funding a slate of new memes, Reels, Stories and IGTV videos from ATTN:, the millennial-focused digital media company, to empower young people to vote.

Why it matters: Instagram and its parent Facebook are pushing to promote more civic engagement ahead of the election — and ATTN: is one of the top creators of social change-focused videos on the platform.

Texas early voting surpasses 2016's total turnout

Early voting in Austin earlier this month. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Texas' early and mail-in voting totals for the 2020 election have surpassed the state's total voter turnout in 2016, with 9,009,850 ballots already cast compared to 8,969,226 in the last presidential cycle.

Why it matters: The state's 38 Electoral College votes are in play — and could deliver a knockout blow for Joe Biden over President Trump — despite the fact that it hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976.

Mike Allen, author of AM
Oct 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Dingell warns Democrats to pay attention to Michigan union members

Rep. Debbie Dingell speaks at an event with Jill Biden yesterday in Westland, Mich. Photo: Emily Elconin/Reuters

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), whose constant working of constituents had her worried ahead of Donald Trump's upset of Hillary Clinton, tells Axios she's talking to union workers who want more attention from Joe Biden.

The state of play: Dingell — whose district is a mini-America that includes auto and steel plants, Ford headquarters, and the country's largest population of Arab Americans — said she definitely thinks Joe Biden is ahead in Michigan.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Oct 30, 2020 - World

How Biden might tackle the Iran deal

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Four more years of President Trump would almost certainly kill the Iran nuclear deal — but the election of Joe Biden wouldn’t necessarily save it.

The big picture: Rescuing the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is near the top of Biden's foreign policy priority list. He says he'd re-enter the deal once Iran returns to compliance, and use it as the basis on which to negotiate a broader and longer-lasting deal with Iran.

Kamala Harris, the new left's insider

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images     

Progressive leaders see Sen. Kamala Harris, if she's elected vice president, as their conduit to a post-Biden Democratic Party where the power will be in younger, more diverse and more liberal hands.

  • Why it matters: The party's rising left sees Harris as the best hope for penetrating Joe Biden's older, largely white inner circle.

If Biden wins, Harris will become the first woman, first Black American and first Indian American to serve as a U.S. vice president — and would instantly be seen as the first in line for the presidency should Biden decide against seeking a second term.

Oct 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

Oct 30, 2020 - World

New Zealanders vote to legalize euthanasia in referendum

A voter casts her referendum and election ballots in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Rebecca Falconer/Axios

New Zealanders have voted to back the End of Life Choice Bill, which allows voluntary euthanasia for adults living in the country who have terminal illnesses, preliminary results announced by the NZ Electoral Commission show.

By the numbers: 65.2% voted in favor of the bill and 33.8% opposed it.

Oct 30, 2020 - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.

Oct 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Court rules Minnesota absentee ballots must be received by 8 p.m. Election Day

An election judge drops a ballot in a ballot box at a drive through drop-off for absentee ballots in Minneapolis. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

An appeals court on Thursday ruled that Minnesota absentee ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day to be counted.

Why it matters: The ruling, which comes just five days before the election, blocks the state's plan to count absentee ballots arriving late so long as they're postmarked by Nov. 3 and delivered within a week of the election. Now those ballots must be set aside and marked late.

Oct 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Twitter labels tweet from RT implying voter fraud in U.S. elections

Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Twitter on Thursday labeled a tweet from Russian state media outlet RT (formerly Russia Today) that included a video implying widespread voter fraud is plaguing, and potentially delegitimizing, the U.S. election.

Why it matters: It's the first time Twitter has labeled RT's account with a civic integrity label, or a designation used to highlight efforts to manipulate or interfere in elections or other civic processes.

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