Five days until the US elections: What you need to know

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Simply 2020

Trump and Biden will both touch down in Florida today as a record number of Americans cast their votes early.

Election Day in the United States is next Tuesday when President Donald Trump hopes to be re-elected and former Vice President Joe Biden aims to end Trump’s time in the White House after only one term.

The two will be crisscrossing the country, campaigning for support in battleground states over the next few days, and in one case, almost running into each other in the same city. Today, the two will hold duelling campaign events hours apart in Tampa, a city in the important battleground state of Florida, where the candidates are running neck-and-neck in polls.

More than 76.5 million Americans have already cast their ballots either by mail – a process expanded in many areas due to the global coronavirus pandemic – or during in-person early voting. That number represents more than 55 percent of the total number of votes cast for the 2016 presidential election. Approximately 60 percent of voting-eligible Americans have participated in recent presidential elections, though some are predicting that number will rise this year.

Where the candidates are today

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will hold rallies in Tampa, Florida and Fayetteville, North Carolina. They will also stop to visit troops at Fort Bragg, North Carolina this afternoon.

Biden will campaign in Broward County and Tampa, Florida today.

Vice President Mike Pence will visit Iowa and Nevada, while Kamala Harris participates in virtual campaign events, including a joint event with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Poll position

A flurry of national polls was released yesterday as all but one showed Biden with a lead among likely voters ranging from five to 12 points. His average lead, according to RealClearPolitics, which compiles polling, is 7.5 percentage points.

Reuters/Ipsos polls in Florida, Arizona and North Carolina show extremely tight races in all three states.

In Florida, Biden and Trump are statistically tied – with Biden at 49 percent support among likely voters and Trump at 47 percent. On the question of who would better handle the pandemic, voters favoured Biden over Trump with 48-42 percent respectively. As for the handling of the economy, voters said Trump over Biden with 52-41 percent respectively.

In Arizona, Biden and Trump are also statistically tied with 48-46 percent for Biden. Biden holds an eight-point advantage there on the pandemic question and Trump leads 50-44 percent on the question of the economy.

And in North Carolina, it is 49-48 percent to Biden, another statistical tie. Biden is up four points on the question of the pandemic; Trump leads on the economy by eight.

The margin of error in the Reuters/Ipsos polls is roughly 4 percent.

In case you missed it

Presidential polling: Americans pointed fingers at pollsters after Hillary Clinton lost to Trump, blaming them for their wrong assessments of voter sentiment leading up to the 2016 election. Al Jazeera’s William Roberts answers the question: Can you believe the polls this year that suggest Biden will win?

Battleground Texas?: It has not voted for a Democrat for president since 1976, but Biden’s backers are bullish about his chances in Texas this time around. Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, will barnstorm the state on Friday, an unusual campaign visit for a Democratic ticket this close to Election Day.

Fact checks: As they deliver their closing campaign arguments to Americans, we take a look at some of Trump and Biden’s oft-repeated falsehoods.

Coronavirus: Al Jazeera spoke to some former Trump supporters who are angry at the president’s handling of the pandemic.

US House elections: There are several dozen competitive congressional races this year, though the Democrats’ control of the House is not at risk this time around.

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