Election 2020 Today: Debate stakes high, Trump’s tax bind
Here’s what’s happening Tuesday in Election 2020, 35 days until Election Day:
TODAY’S TOP STORIES:
DEBATE STAKES: The first debate between President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, could be a pivotal moment in a race that has remained unchanged in the face of historic tumult. The debate will offer a platform for Trump and Biden to outline their different visions for a country facing multiple crises, including racial justice protests and a pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 Americans and cost millions of jobs.
TRUMP’S TAXES: Revelations that Trump is personally liable for more than $400 million in debt are casting a shadow that ethics experts say raises national security concerns he could be manipulated to sway U.S. policy by organizations or individuals he’s indebted to. Kathleen Clark, a government ethics expert at Washington University in St. Louis, says that a separate financial statement from Trump would shed little light on his business dealings if he does not disclose who his business partners are in his various holdings.
DEFINING MOMENT: As a presidential candidate in 2016, Trump masterfully defined and denigrated his opponents with cutting nicknames and a say-anything debate style, and repeatedly drew his rivals into the controversies he created. That’s proven more difficult for Trump in the 2020 race, where he has struggled to control the contours of the campaign against Biden.
TRUMP DEFECTORS: Trump’s reelection depends largely on energizing his seemingly immovable base of support. But there are defectors, and they are finding each other on social media and sharing their stories. Their numbers are small but in a close election their votes could make the difference. The latest from the America Disrupted series.
WISCONSIN PURGE? The state Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in a case that could result in the purging of about 130,000 people from voter rolls in the hotly contested battleground state. Attorneys for both sides, however, don’t expect a decision until after the Nov. 3 election.
VISION 2020: What’s the difference between absentee voting and mail voting? There really isn’t any difference. Both refer to the practice of filling out ballots that are sent to voters through the mail and returned either that way or at drop boxes or other designated places. Trump has tried to confuse the two terms by claiming that absentee balloting is fine, while mail balloting is not. Absentee voting, the president sometimes argues, means someone has to request a ballot as opposed to automatically getting one in the mail, which he calls mail voting.