ORLANDO, Fla, — The one, and only, vice presidential debate on Wednesday night in Salt Lake City was marked by several things: candidates not answering direct questions, interruptions, a fly landing on Vice President Mike Pence’s head, and off in the distance the sound of a dog barking.
Less than 12 hours after the vice presidential debate concluded, President Trump called into Fox News and announced that he would not be taking part in the second planned presidential debate, set to take place in Miami next week.
Due to the President’s diagnosis and hospitalization for COVID19, the nonpartisan commission that schedules the debates began moving forward with a virtual debate. The President said he would not take part in a virtual debate, with his campaign saying they would be holding a rally instead.
When asked if he would still attend, Democratic nominee Joe Biden said he would follow the advice of the Commission and would not speculate as to what the president may ultimately end up doing, suggesting the president may change his mind.
More than 1.1 million votes have already been cast in Florida as of Thursday morning. These are all vote by mail ballots (Democrats: 591,839 — Republicans: 327,075 — NPA: 218,017). Florida won’t start in-person early voting until October 19.
Today Judge Mark Walker of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida is hearing a case that could re-open the Florida voter registration portal. The system crashed Monday night forcing the governor to reopen it on Tuesday. Plaintiffs argue that was not enough time or enough notice and thousands of voters
According to the Real Clear Politics average of polls of Florida, Joe Biden leads Donald Trump by 4.5, with just one state poll conducted in October showing the race tied. By comparison in 2016 with 26 days left in the race, Hillary Clinton was ahead of Donald Trump by 3.2 in the RCP average. Trump won the state by 1.2 points.
With the president off of the campaign trail as he recovers from coronavirus, his campaign is turning to surrogates including the vice president. On Saturday Vice President Mike Pence will make two stops in Central Florida: one in Orlando and another in The Villages.
According to Advertising Analytics, ad spending has already passed $6.77 billion with more than 3 weeks left to go.