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The Hill's Campaign Report: What the latest polling says about the presidential race | Supreme Court shoots down GOP attempt to block NC mail ballot extension

The Hill's Campaign Report: What the latest polling says about the presidential race | Supreme Court shoots down GOP attempt to block NC mail ballot extension
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Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail:

LEADING THE DAY:

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There was an avalanche of new polling out today telling us about where the race stands with the election only days away. The bottom line — there is nothing to indicate the fundamentals of the race have changed, which is good news for Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE.

The Democratic nominee will head into the final weekend before Nov. 3 with a lead in the national polls and battleground states over President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE at a time when tens of millions of people have already voted.

Here’s a look at the state by state breakdown of new polls released in the past few hours:

National

The latest Harvard CAPS-Harris poll finds Biden opening up an 8 point advantage nationally, effectively doubling his lead over the same poll from last month.

Analysts say Trump needs to be within 3 or 4 points nationally of Biden to have a shot at winning the Electoral College.

Florida

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Trump and Biden were both in Florida today, underscoring the importance of a critical swing state that has been decided by 1 point or less in the past two elections.

Four polls of the Sunshine State were released today, with each showing Biden ahead by between 3 points and 5 points.

The Hill-Harris poll finds Biden leading 50 to 47, which is within the poll’s margin of error.

A Quinnipiac University survey also found Biden ahead by 3 points. That survey found Biden only leading by 16 points among Hispanics in the state, down from Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden to name longtime aide Blinken as secretary of State: report Understanding mixed results in Pennsylvania key to future elections What's behind the divisions over Biden's secretary of Labor? MORE’s 27 point margin in 2016.

But a Monmouth University survey that found Biden ahead by 5 points in Florida found him matching Clinton’s margin among Latinos, almost exactly.

Trump needs to win Florida to have a realistic shot at a second term.

North Carolina

This is another state that appears to be on the knife’s edge. Trump was supposed to hold a rally in Fayetteville today, but it was scrapped because of bad weather.

The Hill-Harris poll finds North Carolina is essentially a dead heat, with Biden holding a small 49-48 advantage.

North Carolina is another must-win state for Trump.

Pennsylvania

The Hill-Harris poll finds Biden leading by 5 points in the Keystone State, which might be Trump’s best shot at holding one of the three former “blue wall” states he flipped in 2016.

The polls are worse for Trump in Wisconsin and Michigan.

A Quinnipiac survey of Pennsylvania released Thursday found Biden ahead by 7 points. Biden holds double-digit leads in that poll with women, people of color and even seniors, who have historically leaned toward Republicans.

Texas

A UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion survey is the latest to find Trump and Biden running even in Texas, the traditionally red state that appears up for grabs in 2020. The poll found Trump at 48 and Biden. Trump led Biden by 3 points in the same poll from last month.

But it’s not all bad for Trump…

Biden has announced a late trip to Minnesota, a state that hasn’t gone for the GOP nominee since 1972, the longest such streak in the nation.

It’s possible that the Biden campaign is feeling nervous about their chances there as the Trump campaign has gone all in to flip the state red.

Biden and Trump will both be in the state on Friday. 

It is exceedingly rare for Minnesota to be getting this kind of attention in a presidential election year, but the Trump campaign is spending big on the airwaves there. Their strategy is to maximize turnout in the rural parts of the state and hope that overcomes the Democratic advantage in the Twin Cities region.

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Trump lost Minnesota by less than 2 points in 2016 despite not spending or campaigning there.

Biden to campaign in Minnesota as GOP ups pressure in ‘sleeper’ state, by Alexander Bolton.

FROM THE COURTS:

North Carolina mail ballots that arrive at election offices up to nine days after Election Day will be counted so long as they’re postmarked by Nov. 3. The Supreme Court on Thursday denied a Republican bid to knock down a state court-approved agreement to push back the deadline for mail ballots to be received by election officials, delivering a second blow to Republican efforts to block a mail ballot deadline extension in the state. On Wednesday night, the court rejected an effort by the Trump campaign and North Carolina Republicans to reverse a six-day mail ballot due date extension.

Democrats have generally favored extending the receipt-date for mail ballots, arguing that doing so is necessary to accommodate voters during the coronavirus pandemic and at a time when budget shortfalls have raised fears of Postal Service delays. Republicans, meanwhile, have argued that by relaxing state voting restrictions, judges have unlawfully deprived states of their ability to manage their own elections. 

The Supreme Court also turned down a request by Pennsylvania Republicans on Wednesday to fast-track an effort to block the state’s mail ballot due-date extension, effectively allowing ballots received up to three days after Election Day to be counted.

The Hill’s John Kruzel has more on the mail ballot cases here and here.