WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 24th October, 2020) US President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden a day after their final debate sparred over the future of the fossil fuel industry which could affect millions of workers in battleground territory, the same day courts shot down Republican efforts to curb mail-in voting in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as the overall early ballot count crossed the 50-million mark.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden tried to reassure oil industry workers they would keep their jobs after comments he made during his final debate with Trump. During last night's debate, Biden said as president he would transition from the oil industry, which must be replaced by renewable energy over time.
"We are not going to get rid of fossil fuels," Biden told reporters as quoted by The Hill on Friday. "We are getting rid of the subsidies for fossil fuels, but we're not getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time." The comments reportedly were made in Tennessee last night after Thursday's debate.
Trump tried to take advantage of the misstep in a tweet on Friday: "I hope Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and all of the rest were listening last night. High energy prices, massive jobs losses! Vote Trump."
Biden's lead has stabilized nationally at around 8 percent in recent surveys, but the polling in major battleground states such as Florida and Pennsylvania show tight races. Biden is ahead in eight of the top 12 swing states, but within the margin of error in all of them except Michigan.
Some 63 million people, around one fifth of the total population of the United States and around 40 percent of the estimated voting public watched the second and final debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Thursday.
Interest in the final debate dropped from the 73.1 million people that had tuned into the first presidential debate on September 29. The viewing figures also did not measure up to the 71.5 million viewers that tuned into the final debate between Trump and then Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on October 19, 2016.
The total number of early votes stood at 50,312,171, the project said on Friday. Of those, 35,079,446, or more than 70 percent were in the form of mail-in ballots, the project said. Only 15,232,725 people, or around 30 percent, less than half the mail-in number, had voted in person so far, it said.
"County boards of elections are prohibited from rejecting absentee or mail-in ballots based on signature comparison," Judge Debra Todd wrote in the court's opinion on Friday. The Trump campaign lost a similar court case in New Jersey later in the day.
Meanwhile, the Trump re-election campaign and the Nevada Republican Party are asking a judge to temporarily halt early ballot-counting in Clark County amid transparency concerns at the polls, a lawsuit revealed.
MCCONNELL DENIES HEALTH PROBLEMS.
Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell running for reelection in the US state of Kentucky against a Democratic candidate who leads him in the polls, denied he was suffering from health problems after being seen in public with badly discolored and bruised hands. McConnell denied there was anything wrong with him, Politico reported. The majority leader is ahead of challenger Amy McGrath, a former fighter pilot, by about 9 points on average in three recent polls.