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The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden barnstorm the Midwest | Texas sets statewide turnout record | Trump, Tillis trail in NC

The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden barnstorm the Midwest | Texas sets statewide turnout record | Trump, Tillis trail in NC
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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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Happy Friday — we’re four days away from Election Day. 

Today the candidates are barnstorming the Midwest. Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation US records 2,300 COVID-19 deaths as pandemic rises with holidays MORE is hitting Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE is visiting Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. 

The visits once again highlight the important role the Midwest will play in deciding the election. Four years ago, Trump flipped Michigan and Wisconsin, contributing to his surprise victory over Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College Federal workers stuck it out with Trump — now, we're ready to get back to work Biden soars as leader of the free world MORE

But four years later, the polls are telling a very different story. A New York Times-Siena College poll released earlier this week showed Biden leading Trump in Michigan by eight points, 49 percent to 41 percent. In Wisconsin, an ABC News-Washington Post survey released this week showed Biden up 17 points over Trump, 57 percent to 40 percent. 

Meanwhile, Minnesota is emerging as a late battleground state despite being reliably Democratic in the past. A Survey USA poll released earlier this week shows Biden up by five points in the state, while a Trafalgar Group poll shows him up less than three points over Trump. The president’s visit to Minnesota suggests he is working to to flip blue states like he did in 2016. 

Iowa is turning out to be a nail-biter at the presidential and Senate level. The Real Clear Politics polling average shows Biden leading Trump by just 1.2 percentage points in the Hawkeye State. Trump won the state by 10 points in 2016. 

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At the Senate level, a Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday shows incumbent Republican Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstThe Memo: Trump plows ahead with efforts to overturn election More conservatives break with Trump over election claims Peggy Noonan: 'Bogus dispute' by Trump 'doing real damage' MORE leading her Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield by just one point. Other recent polls have shown Greenfield narrowly leading Ernst. 

Biden and Greenfield campaigned together in Des Moines on Thursday. 

The weekend ahead will also be jam packed for both candidates — Biden and former President Obama will head to Michigan on Sunday, while Trump visits Pennsylvania. 

READ MORE:

Trump to hold 14 rallies in final three days, by Brett Samuels.

Trump, Biden to barnstorm Pennsylvania ahead of Election Day, by Jonathan Easley.

Positive Trump polls spark debate in polling circles, by Jonathan Easley.

Confident Democrats can’t help second guessing Biden, by Amie Parnes.

RECORD-BREAKING TURNOUT:

Texas voters set an all-time record for turnout in the state — and Election Day is still four days away.

Early vote tallies out of the state on Friday show more than 9 million ballots cast so far in the 2020 general election. That beats the previous turnout record of 8,969,226 set in 2016. Remember: We’re not just talking about the early votes cast in 2016, but the total number of votes. There’s also still a day of early voting left in Texas, so the number of votes cast will only increase. And millions more people could vote on Election Day itself, putting the state on track for a serious increase in voter turnout.

Voters in Texas do not register with a political party, so the numbers can’t tell us how many Democrats, Republican or independents have voted. What’s more, the sky-high early voting numbers don’t tell us anything about how the presidential election in the state will play out. But it’s testament to the intense motivation to vote in one of the closest-watched and most-polarized elections in modern U.S. history. At least 85 million people have already voted in the 2020 election, according to the U.S. Elections Project. By comparison, about 58 million people cast early in-person votes or mail ballots in 2016.

Max has more on the Texas early-voting numbers here.

Texas could deliver political earthquake, by Niall Stanage.

POLLING:

If Trump wins in 2020, it will require a greater polling miss than the one that happened in 2016.

The latest NBC News-Marist poll of North Carolina finds Biden ahead by 6 points. That’s the largest advantage in months, and it comes in a state that Trump must win to have a pathway to a second term.

Meanwhile, Democrat Cal Cunningham leads Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisNorth Carolina — still purple but up for grabs Team Trump offering 'fire hose' of conspiracy Kool-Aid for supporters Loeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection MORE (R-N.C.) in the poll by 10 points, a bad sign for GOP hopes to maintain a majority in the Senate.