tv American Voices With Alicia Menendez MSNBC October 18, 2020 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
i'll see you back here next weekend at 5:00 p.m. eastern. up next, my colleague, alicea menendez picks up our news coverage. >> thanks, as always, reverend sharpton. i'm alicea menendez, live in miami, florida, a state always critical to election day, which is now just over two weeks away. in this final stretch, both candidates are on the trail. donald trump remains on the attack ahead of a week that brings us their final debate. and a final pitch by joe biden, for a man who knows a thing or two about being president. also tonight, covid numbers spiking again, almost no state is immune. hospitals fear what's coming and how that feeling of being over it is leading to more americans getting it. plus, democracy is working. we are hours away from this crucial battleground kicking off early in-person voting, as ballots fill to the brim in states we did not expect and in numbers on pace for turnout we haven't seen since before the
"titanic" set sail. this is "american voices." . election day is two weeks from tuesday and as early voting shatters records coast-to-coast, its importance is suddenly taking on new life. covid cases across the united states are starting to look downright scary, especially in the midwest and great plains, where states like wisconsin and noud are getting crushed. the "milwaukee journal sentinel" reports hospitalizations in wisconsin have tripled in the last month. the situation is so bad that state fairgrounds now serve as a field hospital. north dakota is hurting, too. we'll dig into the situation there with a reporter on the ground a little later this hour. but first, how the trump campaign responded this morning when pressed on the latest crisis in containing the virus. >> the reality is, i go out
there -- >> there are more than 220,000 dead americans, lara. there's literally no objective health expert who thinks that the president has done a good job with this pandemic. we have the highest death rate in the entire world. >> that's not true. jake, here's what i'll tell you, we are coming out of it. we're seeing the death rate decrease dramatically. >> no. >> we also have a huge population, wherever you want to compare us to canada, compare us to europe. we're doing actually much better than europe is. >> no, we're not. >> not only with the virus, but financially. >> we are. these are numbers. you can go look them up. >> i have. >> the president isn't spending much time worrying about the pandemic that is raging across the country. in fact, the rules are so loose at rallies these days, a sitting member of state congress was recently allowed to crowd surf in georgia. really? instead, the president spent this weekend on the trail attacking democratic governors who are taking this seriously. >> what you're doing in michigan has been amazing. now, you've got to get your
governor to open up your state, okay? and get your schools open! get your schools open! the schools have to be open, right? [ chanting: lock her up ] >> lock her -- lock 'em all up. >> and at a campaign stop in north carolina, joe biden laid out what's at stake. >> his selfish behavior is no surprise. now as a consequence of all of this overwhelming lying and negligent and irresponsible action, it's come to how many chairs were empty at the dining room table last night because of this negligence? >> let's bring in gabe deben debt ty, "new york" magazine national correspondent, sahil kupor, alexi mcammond, axios political reporter and msnbc contributor, and christina grier, associate professor of political science at fordham university. she is also the author of "black ethnics." all right, good to see you all.
alexi, i want to start with you. you have both lara trump and governor whitmer herself. here's what they said this morning about the president's comments. >> he wasn't doing anything, i don't think, to provoke people to threaten this woman at all. he was having fun at a trump rally. and quite frankly, there are bigger issues than this right now for everyday americans. people want to get the country reopened. they want to get back to work. >> it's incredibly disturbing that the president of the united states ten days after a plot to kidnap, put me on trial, and execute me -- ten days after that was uncovered -- the president is at it again and inspiring and incentivizing and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism. it is wrong. it's got to end. it is dangerous. not just for me and my family, but for public servants everywhere. >> alexi, a campaign surrogate says he was just having fun and then you have the governor
there, reminding us of what's at stake. the fact that there is actual violence that was being planned in light of these comments. i mean, we keep talking about suburban women, right? those voters that the trump campaign is after. i can't imagine that this message lands well with them. >> you know, i've been thinking a lot about this. like, i don't know which focus group data the trump campaign is using to decide that that is a strong political message to win over suburban women, him standing up in front of a crowd and begging him to please like him while he is repeatedly attacking these women in elected office. there's governor gretchen whitmer in michigan and senator kamala harris, who is of course now joe biden's running mate. one of them, we do these monthly focus group with obama/trump voters around the upper midwest for axios. the day after this news came out about the plot to kidnap and hurt governor whitmer, we talked to michigan voters. and a lot of them are trump supporters, a lot of them are going to be re-elected again.
and it was scary hearing them say things like, yeah, kidnapping is bad, but i understand why people are angry. she's not handling things well. and that is really reflected in the way that we're hearing trump talking about her from the top on down. and his supporters think that that type of rhetoric is okay. and that is the type of climate that he is contributing to. >> i mean, dr. grier, we keep hearing about the fact that so much of his messaging and so many of the places that he is choosing to go in the final days of this campaign are really about rallying up and enthusing his base and not necessarily about expanding the field. yet his attacks, they grow stronger and louder each day. i wonder what you -- is it even fair to call this a strategy. or to call this a tactic. >> it's a desperation tactic in the sense that the president has not used the past four years to expand his base at all. he's just drilled down and given them the red meat that they wanted, but now he and various
members of his party, especially several senators who are in serious trouble for re-election are recognizing that the electoral math does not look good, not for him, and not for them, as senators and people down the ticket. so normally when a president is going for re-election, he has the coattails to pull people down the ticket to actually help them cross the finish line now we're seeing senators trying to pull the president across the finish line and there are far too many americans who are utilizing the opportunity to vote early, because they're definitely afraid that the only way this president is going to win is by theft. whether it's voter suppression, voter disenfranchisement or some dirty tactics that we know that he's not above using. so we're seeing so many americans going out and actually trying to make sure that they aren't disenfranchised. and as alexi said, recognizing that his rhetoric is really dangerous for the country. there's some people who are immune to it and they're unbothered by the racism, the anti-semitism, the just blatant lies that the president tells, but there are quite a few americans who have been
undecided, not between joe biden and donald trump, but undecided as to whether they are going to sit on the sidelines or actually participate. and those are the people we're seeing coming out and saying, you know what, it's actually been a very stressful four years. covid has made it worse. my circumstances are not better. and we actually need a change in leadership in the country. >> well, to that point about covid, gabe, you have new cbs battleground polling with two weeks to go, you have biden holding an edge over donald trump in both wisconsin and arizona. talk to me both about what wisconsin and arizona mean for pa pa paths to victory. and also whether or not you believe at this point, this proximity to the election, does a referendum on the president's handling of the pandemic become the final measure of this election? >> well, i don't think it's a question of the final measure. no matter what the president has tried to spin this as, this has been the overwhelming issue for americans across the country, essentially since march, if not earlier than that, for some
people, obviously. but, this has just become more and more the central question of this election, over the last seven months. and so this is why you see the president try to talk about other things, because poll after poll in the states like wisconsin and arizona, which, by the way, it's very difficult for him to win without one or both of them, although there are some very, very narrow patz he's trying to convince himself that there's still a possibility of, in these states, his numbers are terrible with respect to the covid -- the covid handling. and so i was talking recently, for example, with a recent democratic governor of wisconsin, jim doyle. and he essentially said, listen, there are families all over state that are in desperate straits right now because of this president. and he doesn't have a vemessagen terms of turning this around for them. there's not that much time. and as we've been talking about, so many early votes have already been cast, in states like these, especially, it's very difficult for the president to try and change the topic when overwhelmingly, the most important issue for voter after
voter after voter in many different kinds of communities, not just the kind of suburban women that we're talking about, that he's specifically targeting, this is the most paterni important issue in every single poll. >> sunil, there are two stories, two threads that i want you to help me weave together. on one hand, you have senate republicans moving away from the president as dr. grier alluded to earlier, because they fear that they will be, as many have said, a bloodbath. and then on the other side, tough biden campaign warning democrats not to get too comfortable, not to take biden's lead for granted. how do you understand those two stories to be playing out side by side? >> you said there are a couple of things going on here. joe biden's campaign manager put out a memo that we obtained on nbc news, essentially warning supporters of the campaign that this election isn't over. that their data, sources that i'm speaking to tell me that the biden campaign has data that
shows the race cloefser than th public polls do. and they warned in this memo that some of the states that are likely to decide this race like arizona and north carolina are close. they're at about three points. that's the kind of thing where turnout can make a difference. and they're very, very eager to avoid a repeat of 2016, where a lot of democratic voters who wanted hillary clinton to win didn't feel personally jazzed about her, decided that she probably had this in the bag, because the polls showed her with a big lead, so she stayed home. the biden campaign is very, very worried about complacency, they don't want that to happen, and part of this is any good campaign trying to keep their supporters energized. >> alexi, senate set to vote on a skinny ppe relief deal on wednesday. you have mitch mcconnell just yesterday saying that the senate would consider any deal reached between the administration and house democrats. how much chance is there, alexi,
that a deal like that passes the senate? and also, do you have a sense as you talk to voters about how much is sort of economic realities, the fallout from the ha handling of this pandemic is weighing on their minds as they head into this election? >> look, we saw how president trump literally walked away from the possibility of a deal, just a couple of weeks ago, as millions of americans are in need of health and leadership so that is the dynamic heading into these negotiations. while there are good faith actors, we know that the president pulls the strings and holds the power and we know how it is when it actually comes down to signing a deal and getting something done. i talk to voters all the time who hear -- or who say things about the economic stimulus check that they received before and how that $1,200 is really helpful for them. and that is part of the reason why some folks are willing to stick with trump again. but now they're finding themselves in these dire economic situations, stitching together two or three jobs, living paycheck to paycheck. and meanwhile, president trump,
all they hear from him is the economy is great, unemployment is low, everybody is happy, and these people are not feeling that reflected in their own personal financial situation, but they don't hear that from president trump. >> dr. grier, i want you to take a listen to what speaker pelosi said this morning about a timeline for any relief deal. take a listen. >> if you don't get that agreement -- if you don't get that agreement in the 48-hour deadline you set, what happens? >> well here's the thing, the 48 only relates to if we want to get it done before the election, which we do. >> dr. grier, i want you to weigh in on both the politics of who is under the most pressure to get this done, but also underscore for us the reality of what americans are dealing with here. because it's very easy to talk about this in terms of machinations that happen on capitol hill and to lose sight of the fact that a lot of americans are suffering right now. they don't really care how it gets done, but they want to see it done. what does this mean for them? >> i think the people that have the most skin in the game are the american people. as gabe mentioned, you know,
most americans have been dealing with the coronavirus since march. so far too many people have actually been unemployed since march. we know that eviction notices have come at the end of the summer. and the desperate there, especially as so many children are home and parents are, you know, not only watching them, but also feeding them throughout the day. the democrats obviously want a deal. this is what we've seen time and time again. republicans give tax breaks to their friends and to the wealthy. they want to shrink the government. democrats come in, they have to expand the size of the government. they have to rebuild the social safety net to actually take care of hundreds of millions of americans, who have had benefits and jobs taken away from them. the issue that the president face that is he consistently talks about the economy. that was his main priority in february and march. and the economy is actually not the same thing as the pocketbook issues that americans face. so when they go to the polls, these past few weeks, but also on november 3rd, for so many, they're going to ask themselves, am i financially better off
today than i was four years ago? the vast majority of americans are going to say no. some will stick with trump, because they like the racism, the homophobia, the anti-semitism, but if we're being honest about how he has failed and how his party has failed to provide for the american people, because of political partisanship and just backbiting that's actually not necessarily, it will be interesting to see if the republicans are actually held accountable for essentially holding the american people hostage financially during what is arguably one of the greatest crisis in the past century. >> gabe, there are so many story lines happening right now that if they were happening in a different election might be dominating our coverage, like the president's taxes and the reporting on the president's taxes. like the spike in covid cases that we're seeing in some pockets of this country. like the confirmation hearings for judge amy coney barrett to the supreme court. i mean, what do you think is most going to be in focus for voters in the next two weeks?
>> well, i think one thing that's pretty interesting here is that there is essentially a consensus among pollsters and among people involved with many campaigns, both up and down the ballot that i've been talking to, that the covid crisis is far and away the most important thing, because they don't -- people -- regular people, including many people watching this, surely -- and watching the end of the campaign don't think of this as just a health crisis, as just an economic crisis, as just a security crisis. it's all of the above. but one of the things that i'm really watching here, not just from joe biden, but from a lot of democratic challengers running for senate seats, for example. they think they can win back the senate for the party, is essentially this message that everything you just said, this overall turmoil and chaos needs to stop, not only for everyone's mental health, but for the health of the country. and that's why you see joe biden essentially say, can we please just calm down here? and that's why, for example, the other day when they had their dueling town halls, people close to joe biden were like, the reason that we got more viewers
than donald trump is because people don't want this chaos anymore. with so much stuff going on, we have barely even mentioned the fact that a major governor of a major state, there was a plot to kidnap her, as we were -- earlier, recently. all of this stuff is happening, and people, regular voters do associate this with president trump. and he's been trying to, that's one of the reasons he's been trying to essentially say, look at the top line of the economy, everywhere else is great, folks. and regular voters don't see it that way and you see that in the polling every single day. >> all right, gabe, suhil, alexi and dr. grier, thank you all. up next, the fight against fatigue. why being tired of life during coronavirus is leading to more of us getting it. and we'll take you to north dakota, where this virus is taking a rapid told and lowering the chances of finding an icu bed should you need one. and later, american voices heard in record numbers, an explosion of voter participation reminding all of us that even when she's hurting, this democracy still stands. ds
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tonight, north dakota has a serious covid problem. at this hour, nearly 32,000 people have been infected, which nor north dakota is huge. it means more than 4% of the entire state's population has contracted the virus. in just the past 14 days, a 68% rise in new cases. it's putting so much strain on hospitals and testing facilities that plans are now being explored to meet surge capacity. and despite the clear threat to the people of north dakota, still, no statewide mask mandate. msnbc reporter gary grumbeck is with me now from bismarck. gary, what's behind those numbers in north dakota? >> reporter: alicea, gurg the spring and summer here in north dakota, folks thought they were out of the woods. the hospitals were not filled. they were able to handle any of the covid patients that came in
and there were not that many covid patients throughout the state at all. once it got colder, that's where things started to set in a little bit. what's causing that? most people i've talked to here in north dakota tell me it's simply covid fatigue. people are over it. they're over the restrictions, over the lockdown, other things being closed and they want to get back to life as normal, or least the new normal. >> we're going to talk a little bit about that covid fatigue coming up with a doctor, but while i have you, i do want to ask, still no mask mandate in north dakota. are officials there beginning to rethink that. >> some officials are beginning to rethink that. it's a tale of local officials versus state officials. i've talked to a number of local and health officials who tell me, a mask mandate would help their communities and require people to have masks when they go out to public places, which would in turn curb the spread of coronavirus. that's hair hotheir hope. but state official have a very different view of it.
here's what one has to say. >> from my perspective, the mask mandate, it's going to be hard to enforce. you know, i think there's a segment of the population that doesn't want to do this. they feel it's not something that they feel that the government should be forcing on them. >> now, one local health official here in bismarck told me without a mask mandate, she feels like things will get a lot worse before day get better. alicea? >> gary grumbatch, thanks so much. this past week, america surpassed 8 million covid cases. that's an 18% rise in new cases koe coast-to-coast. on friday, more than 70,000 new infections were reported. the highest single-day rise since july. 18 states added more new infections over the past week than in any other during the pandemic. as you can see, a number of them in the upper midwest. why is this happening?
here's dr. anthony fauci on friday. >> you kind of got to think about the country as a gigantic forest. and when there's fires in one part of the forest, the other part of the forest is vulnerable. so if you want to get control of things, you've got to be consistent, and unfortunately, we haven't done that as well as i think we could. >> i would like to welcome dr. kavita patel, the former white house health policy director for the obama administration. she is also an msnbc medical contributor. all right, dr. fauci ringing the alarm about covid fatigue, leading many to just stop practicing safety measures. so doctor, as we enter the holiday season, no clear sign of when a vaccine might be available? what can officials do policy wise to counter that fatigue and as dr. fauci said, to start trying to get a handle on the fact that this is a moving threat. >> these are great questions, alicea, and very important for
policymakers to do a couple of things to help individuals battle covid fatigue. we need to make it incredibly easy to have these essentials. masks, keeping distance and washing your hands become part of a routine. the way to fight any type of behavioral routine is to make it easy to actually do the things that keep all of us safe. so you just ran a segment about mask mandates, but we should make it so easy that when you walk into a store to go shopping, that there's masks readily available, even if you forgot yours. and on a policy level, you still heard about testing being a problem. it's getting better, we're doing about 1 million to 1.2 million tests a day, if you're scared and frustrated and you want to understand, we need to make tests wildly available and free. and third, i think as americans, we have to remember, it's our actions, not just that keep ourselves safe, but the people we love and the people that are vulnerable, the most vulnerable to this virus. as we head into the holidays,
alicea, it's tempting, but keep the gatherings small, and swap out the things that we sacrifice for things that bring us pleasure, but just in a different way. >> dr. patel, i take your point about the availability of masks and other resources. and at the same time, some of this comes down to information as you well know. just this morning, twitter removed a tweet from trump health adviser dr. scott atlas that said "masks don't work." are you surprised, should any of us be surprised that this kind of rhetoric is still coming from the administration? >> i'm not surprised. it's misinformation and it's the most egregious when it comes from our president and from the scientific adviser s around the president. so we have to do what we can to combat that misinformation by giving data. this is not political, it's not emotional. when people have masks on, you can cut the spread of the virus by half. do you cut it completely? no. but you can make a difference with this. and again, it's about protecting everyone else, including you.
and i think those are important points. but i also think that, you know, i see my own children getting better about washing hands. like, we are able to do this by acknowledging how our individual actions can keep us safe. but the fatigue is real. you shouldn't deny it. and we have to work to protect health care workers, educators, essential workers, and that's the holiday spirit that all americans have. and we need to tap into that. it's important now more than ever, alicea. >> and especially when we see what's happening at some of these big gatherings. the sturgis motorcycle rally is now being blamed for 300 cases, at least one death. there are cases now being tied to trump campaign events in minnesota, other places, as well. how much could these big events contribute to the rise we're seeing in cases? >> these are incredible super spreader events. and that means that one person can infect so many people. and so these events, it's no shock that many of the sources of cases around the country are from these rallies, large
gatherings, and yes, they happen to be in places like the midwest, florida, california, and new york, areas that we're still continuing to battle with area hot spots. so that -- all of these data points lead to the conclusion that it really is not safe to have these types of open gatherings, even if you're outdoors. we're now finding data this can be airborne for a lot longer than we expected. so we have to go back to the basics. we know it's hard, but we can do it. and we can stem this tide. but i am looking at these numbers, alicea, 70,000 new cases in 24 hours and we're probably about a month behind europe, where they're seeing lockdowns there. and that's incredibly concerning, as that puts us right at thanksgiving and at the holidays. i hope americans can listen and fight that fatigue. >> dr. patel, thank you, as always. up next, why are latino evangelicals either on the fence or flocking to trump? plus, amid so many headlines about what's going wrong with this pandemic, a story about
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here in florida, latinos will make up a record 17% of the state's registered voters this year. and latino evangelicals, a small but steady portion of the electorate are key to president trump's lasting latino support, especially in states like arizona and florida. as jennifer medina writes in "the new york times," among hispanic evangelicals cheering for mr. trump, christianity is almost a kind of nationality, one that supercedes all else. in the president, they see a president who is protecting abortion. also with us, republican strategist, mike madrid. he's cofounder of the lincoln project and former republican caucus and political director for the california republican party. good to see you both.
jenny, talk to me about how faith factors into these voters' thinking. >> alicea, for a lot of these people that i've spoken to, faith is the number one issue. and it's not just abortion, it's also this sense of religious liberties that they really feel like president trump is protecting. and that's the number one issue. but i want to be clear, it's not all, as you know, evangelicals, the pastor that i featured happened to be somebody that is very much against trump. so there is a lot of diversity, even within this small community. >> right, and jenny, how much of where there is pushback, how much of that has to do with the immigration policies we've seen from this administration? >> that's a great question. almost all of it has to do with either immigration or this feeling of sort of aechbnti-lat and feeling like they are under attack or people they know are under attack for their ethnicity. and there's this interesting divide between florida and arizona. a lot of people i spoke with in
florida say they don't feel under attack. and those people who the president is attacking aren't them, whereas in arizona, there was a much more feeling of solidarity and connection with the people the president speaks about. >> right. which goes back to what we always talk about, right? levels of a culturation. for someone like you, a strategist who is actively working to make sure that latinos come out to vote, that they come out to vote against donald trump, how do you factor in everything that jenny just reported? >> look, what jenny has offered absolutely right. and what we have known is it's not just a pro-trump support, the evangelical community, which tends to be more recently migrated, have lower education levels and lower income levels is really the base of support for the republican party and has been since about the mid-1990s. so this is a factor that we've been dealing with as republicans for a whole range of election cycles now. and what i would suggest,
though, it's also very limited. what we see is there's not much appeal beyond this evangelical base. you don't see catholics or people of other faith that are voting in the same way and the same pattern. so turnout ultimately does help the democratic party. the higher number of turnout you get as a strategist, you focus as a democrat on turnout, as republicans, we have historically focused on what we call the break. the percentage of the number of evangelicals that you could get to actually come out and vote. historically, that sits at about a 27% range. every once in a while, depending on the candidate, like a george w. bush, races that i worked on years ago, you could get over and up into the mid-30s range with latino support, but overwhelmingly, this core constituency for the republican party is the backbone of this evangelical backbone. >> jenny, let me take a step back and talk a little bit about why we're talking about this. because you would ordinarily in an election where you had a republican incumbent president
expect that that candidate would get 30% or so of the latino vote. that's about the numbers you're seeing this time. but i think the reason that it has surprised so many people is because there are a lot of questions about what it is about donald trump specifically that is appealing to these voters. it's a lot of the reporting you've done over the course of this election. in addition to your piece on evangelicals, you had another piece about the sort of macho man appeal of donald trump and the reason that this is appealing specifically to latino men. what did you hear from them? >> a lot of men see him as the symbol of economic success. that he is the person whoiz achieved the thing that they dream of, which is to become rich. and he is a boss. and he is a boss that they want to either work for or emulate.
and the gender gap between latinos and latinas, there's much more propensity for trump among latino men than there are among women. >> and i want you to pick up, mike, on why you think that is, but i also want to show the lincoln project dropped this ad featuring actor edward james almost targeting latino voters. take a listen. >> we don't dodge the military, and we don't dodge taxes, so why would we vote for a tax dodger? a draft dodger? and a man with no regard for our familias? this election, we're dodging you, donald trump. >> mike, talk to me about this ad. >> yeah, so this ad actually speaks directly with a cultural appeal to the u.s.-born hispanic male, which jenny and i have
actually talked quite a bit about. because it's that demographic specifically, which has this trumpiness about it that we've identified over the past, since at least 2016 and it's gotten actually a little bit stronger since then. i think jenny's actually absolutely right. she's talking about this perception of what a wealthy, successful person in the united states looks like, to this demographic. there's also some economic anxiety and i think one of the peculiarities of u.s.-born hispanic men voting and becoming more trumpy is they're really in many ways acting just like their noncollege-educated white counterparts. with one possible and very significant exception of being that on the white side of the aisle, it's about identity and grievance politics. it's white identity politics. so we ran this ad literally to push a lot of these latino males back. they're not as sticky as we call it. they may be kind of trumpish.
when there's a cultural appeal, it brings them right back away from the republican candidate that's espousing a lot of these anti-latino, anti-community ideals. that's why we scripted it exactly that way. i think edward james almost did a fantastic job with that ad. >> african-americans hit hardest by this pandemic, when you were talking to these voters, how much is that factoring into their thinking? >> the voters who support president trump don't see him connected to that, at all. they see this as something that's out of his control. he's tried to do all the right things on economics, he's tried to do the right things on the virus, they will say. and so they just don't see it, at all. but among democrats, or people who are voting for biden, of course, this is the number one issue. for many, many people, and particularly for latinos for the very reasons you said, alicea. you know, the other point i wanted to make is that there's been this sort of congressional wisdom, i think, among democrats, and even among reporters that trump was going to be the biggest unifier of
latinos. and that, of course, as mike mentioned, has turned out not to be true. >> all right, jenny and mike, thank you both. as mentioned earlier, in-person early voting begins here in florida tomorrow. and if early voting throughout the rest of the country is any indication of what's to come here, watch out, folks. we'll dig deeper into why these long lines and long wait times to vote come with a silver lining when "american voices" returns after this break. "ameri rerntus after this break humira patients,... ...this one's for you. you inspired us to make your humira experience even better... with humira citrate-free. it has the same effectiveness you know and trust, but we removed the citrate buffers, there's less liquid, and a thinner needle... with less pain immediately following injection. ask your doctor about humira citrate-free. and you can use your co-pay card to pay as little as $5 a month. humira can lower your ability to fight infections. serious and sometimes fatal infections,... ...including tuberculosis, and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened,... ...as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems,...
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we're back tonight from miami, florida, a state now hours away from kicking off in-person early voting in the 2020 election. early voting by mail, of course, has been underway for some time. tomorrow morning, 378 early voting sites will open in 52 of florida's 67 counties. the remaining counties will open early voting sites in the following days. all counties must have early voting sites open and in operation by october 24th. what happens here matters. to say florida is pivotal to presidential elections would be, well, an understatement. hanging chad, anyone? and while we won't know until we know, as the saying goes, what we're seeing across the country already, well, it is huge. as of last night, an estimated 26 million americans had already cast a ballot, representing 16% of all votes cast in the 2016 presidential election.
and if that is not wild on its own, think about this. eight states are not even reporting their early voting totals yet. and there's a little more than two weeks of voting left. it is a record shattering avalanche fueled by voter enthusiasm, despite a pandemic. and in some cases, by the pandemic. coast-to-coast, democrats compromise more than 50% of these early votes. and then there's the wear factor. huge voter turnout in states that historically don't. case in point, texas. in just the first three days of early voting, 15% of all registered voters in texas had cast a ballot. that's nearly 900,000 voters per day. we're seeing proof of those numbers in places like harris county, texas, home to houston, where lines snaked through parking lots and down city streets, which brings us to the
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