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Americans again headed to the polls Wednesday, even as coronavirus continued its nationwide surge. On the campaign trail, President Trump and Sen. Kamala Harris visited Arizona, a state Trump won by 3.5 points in 2016. Current polls indicate the race in the battleground state could be closer this year. Meanwhile, Joe Biden cast his own ballot in his home state of Delaware. Lisa Desjardins reports.
On a day when the coronavirus continued its surge, and as U.S. financial markets took a dive, millions more Americans headed to the polls to vote early.
The intensity of the campaign heated up, and the candidates hit the hustings hard again, trying to win over any who have yet to vote.
Lisa Desjardins reports.
It's getting close now, less than a week left, and, today, the presidential campaign trails intersected in battleground Arizona.
President Donald Trump:
President Trump hosting rallies near Phoenix and in the north, Bullhead City.
With your vote, you can send the wealthy liberal hypocrites a message that they will never forget. Under Biden's cruel and senseless lockdowns, countless Americans will die. The Biden plan will crush you, will crush your family.
We will crush the virus, and you will have an economy the likes of which we have never had before.
Meanwhile, Democratic vice presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris was to meet Black leaders in Phoenix and spent the morning with Latina business owners in the southern corner of the state, Tucson.
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.:
We have seen how women and small businesses have suffered in the midst of the COVID virus, but Joe and I are committed to supporting them and giving them more resources.
President Trump carried Arizona in 2016 by three-and-a-half points, and polls show it may be even tighter this time.
In Delaware, it was voting day for Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, who cast early ballots in Wilmington. That's also where Biden held a briefing and gave remarks on his biggest argument against Mr. Trump: his response to the coronavirus epidemic.
Former Vice President Joe Biden:
We will start on day one doing the right things. We will let science drive our decisions. We will deal honestly with the American people. And we will never ever, ever, ever quit.
The American people deserve so much better than this. Just look at what happened last night in Omaha after Trump — after the Trump rally ended.
Biden was talking about this, President Trump's event yesterday with thousands in Omaha, Nebraska. The campaign said it asked the audience to wear masks, but many did not.
The issue making headlines happened after the speech, as shuttle buses to parking areas got stuck in traffic and didn't arrive, leaving hundreds in freezing temperatures for hours.
Today in the Midwest, Vice President Pence spent the day running defense in Michigan and Wisconsin, two other key states he and the president won narrowly four years ago.
Vice President Mike Pence:
Just six days away from a great victory all across the state of Wisconsin and all across America, when we reelect President Donald Trump for four more years!
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
As candidates scramble, millions of voters stand still in lines that keep setting early voting records, and in some places are raising questions about access and tests of patience, like, in Indiana, where, rain or shine, early voters are waiting in up to seven hour lines to cast their ballot.
In the rain, in the cold, wife complaining.
Legal battles over voter suppression have piled up across the country, as states grapple with voting changes amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In Texas, the state Supreme Court yesterday upheld Republican Governor Greg Abbott's order limiting counties to one drop-off site for absentee ballots.
It is shaping up as a national barn burner, and six more days are left.
For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Lisa Desjardins.
In a related development, a former Homeland Security Department chief of staff announced that he was Anonymous, the official who claimed in 2018 to be part of an internal resistance to President Trump.
Miles Taylor said today that Mr. Trump's failings have cost American lives. The White House, in turn, branded Taylor a liar and a coward.
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Lisa Desjardins is a correspondent for PBS NewsHour, where she covers news from the U.S. Capitol while also traveling across the country to report on how decisions in Washington affect people where they live and work.
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