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Photos: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Two striking symbols — the border wall and America's first Black president — did the campaigning yesterday for presidential candidates trying to turn out bases that are worlds apart.

The state of play: Arizona, a state that President Trump won handily in 2016 but where polls now show Joe Biden leading, was firmly on both men's minds.

Trump visited Arizona for a photo-op at his "unclimbable" border wall. Trump decried "agitators" who tear down monuments.

  • At a church in Phoenix, he addressed a massive, mask-free gathering of young supporters at an indoor hall, telling them: "The left is not trying to promote justice or equality or lift up the downtrodden."

President Obama joined a Biden campaign event for the first time — a virtual fundraiser that instantly became the campaign's biggest single haul, with 175,000 guests and $7.6 million in donations.

  • Without naming either man, Obama said that his Republican predecessor George W. Bush had "a basic regard for the rule of law and the importance of our institutions" and that "there was still a sense of a shared American idea that we could build on." By contrast, he suggested Trump and his enablers have "gone at the very foundations of who we are and who we should be."
  • Obama spoke of a "great awakening" of young people who are inspired to correct centuries of injustice, and suggested a vote for Biden was less about partisanship than patriotism.

Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon told supporters that Biden now sees Arizona, along with two redder states, Texas and Georgia, as being within the margin of error and target-worthy. 

  • Obama is expected to do several events with Biden throughout the campaign, not just fundraisers. But his presence also gives Trump an opportunity to replay some of his greatest hits and gripes against Obama and attack everything Trump says the old administration did wrong — ultimately trying to marry Biden to that image for voters.

Go deeper

Focus group: Ohio swing voters unhappy but unmoved by debate

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The chaotic first presidential debate didn't do much to change some voters' minds here, with several voters who previously supported President Trump deciding to stick with him, even if they were embarrassed by his debate performance.

Why it matters: Most people's minds were made up before Tuesday's debate. But these voters' feelings show how much the pandemic may be hurting Trump in battleground states.

The top Republicans who aren't voting for Trump in 2020

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said last week that he cannot support President Trump's re-election.

Why it matters: Hogan, a moderate governor in a blue state, joins other prominent Republicans who have publicly said they will either not vote for Trump's re-election this November or will back Biden.

Oct 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump pushes back on changes to upcoming presidential debates

Photo: Jim Watson, Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump suggested Thursday that he'll resist any moves that could cut off candidates' microphones in the next debate if he continues to talk over his opponent and the moderator.

  • "Why would I allow the Debate Commission to change the rules for the second and third Debates when I easily won last time?" he tweeted.

The big picture: White House and campaign officials insist Trump is still committed to two remaining debates, despite the fallout from Tuesday, including poor reviews and discussions of new guardrails.