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Pennsylvania Is A Key State For Trump And Biden Campaigns

Nov 3, 2020


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The spine of the Steve James documentary series City So Real is the 2019 campaign that led to Lori Lightfoot becoming mayor of Chicago. But the heart of it is the conviction that no single election, no matter how hard-fought and no matter how high-stakes, is the single cause of or cure for problems that are systemic and longstanding. Director Steve James (Hoop Dreams, but also fine films like Life Itself and Abacus: Small Enough To Jail) may not have gotten the story he anticipated when he started, but the one he tells here has arrived right on time.

Updated at 7:25 a.m. Wednesday ET: As of early morning Wednesday ET, The Associated Press has not yet called the presidential race in valuable Pennsylvania, leaving its 20 electoral votes highly contested.

New Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett heard her first oral arguments at the Supreme Court on Monday. Participating by phone with the other justices, a practice followed by the court since the coronavirus pandemic, she asked questions in turn in a set of cases that presented difficult procedural questions but no headlines.

The court said she did not participate in the court's work last week after being sworn in so she would be prepared for oral arguments this week.

Among those anxiously watching the U.S. presidential election is a Guatemalan mother and her teenaged son who have taken refuge in a church in Austin, Texas, for the entirety of Donald Trump's presidency.

Hilda and Iván Ramirez are ensconced in the Sunday school wing of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, which has given them sanctuary from deportation for more than four and a half years.

What is it, why do we have it, and why hasn't it changed? Born from a rushed, fraught, imperfect process, the origins and evolution of the Electoral College might surprise you and make you think differently about not only this upcoming presidential election, but our democracy as a whole.

This video is based on the Throughline podcast sereis on the history of our election system called (mis)Representative Democracy.

Episode 1: The Electoral College

VIDEOS: 2020 Election

Nov 2, 2020

These three videos offer context on 2020's presidential election, especially regarding the electoral college.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit


ISIS gunmen stormed Afghanistan's largest university. They killed 19 people in an hours-long attack Monday. It was the second attack by the Islamic State on a learning center in just 10 days, as NPR's Diaa Hadid reports from Islamabad.


Across the country, there are growing concerns that intense divisions over the presidential election will not end when the polls close. From coast to coast, cities are preparing for possible protests and even civil unrest. NPR's David Schaper reports.

DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: Here's something happening right now all across the country.


President Trump narrowly won Pennsylvania in 2016. This year, the question is whether big turnout in the Democratic strongholds of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia can deliver his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, a win.

In particular, Philadelphia has been a focus for Trump; four years ago, only 15% of the city's voters picked him. Trump has claimed — with little evidence — that the local election system is corrupt. His critics say the president is trying to suppress turnout in the city.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

Eta, the slow-churning storm barreling towards the eastern coast of Central America, was upgraded to "a major hurricane" Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

It is now a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour, according to the NHC's 4 p.m. ET advisory, which adds the storm could produce "life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds, flash flooding and landslides."

Tomorrow is it. The end of voting. Up for grabs: the White House, and also the Senate. Republicans currently hold the Senate with a 53-47 majority. But with 35 seats on the ballot, the race is heating up.

On today’s show, we took a look at some of the close races, and why the balance of power in the chamber will determine the direction of governance for the next four years.

Since 1776, Americans have voted in 58 presidential elections. And every time, the losing candidate has conceded and power was peacefully transferred from the outgoing to incoming president.

Former National Security Agency contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden announced Monday he plans to seek Russian citizenship, while also maintaining his U.S. nationality.

Snowden made the announcement on Twitter as he retweeted his wife, Lindsay's, message from Oct. 28 announcing the couple are expecting a baby. Snowden said they are seeking Russian citizenship to ensure they will be able to live with their future son.

Plywood window coverings have blanketed high-end shopping areas of big U.S. cities ahead of Tuesday's election.

It's an eerie sight in a country built on the idea of a peaceful transition of power. In fact, that kind of signal is exactly why city authorities have generally advised business owners not to board up, promising stepped-up security measures.

This election year, millions of Americans are voting either in person or through the mail. Only a handful of states allow online voting.

A federal judge in Texas is hearing a challenge to drive-thru voting in Harris County, the state’s largest that includes the city of Houston. Republicans are seeking to throw out some 127,000 ballots cast at drive-thru polling stations in the county ahead of Election Day.

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Nineteen sixty eight was a year of upheaval in America. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy had been assassinated, and the country was embroiled in protests over the war in Vietnam.

That summer, several prominent anti-war activists, including Abbie Hoffman and Tom Hayden, were accused of crossing state lines and conspiring to start a riot at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The trial that followed transfixed the nation.

In Florida, people with felonies who’ve completed their sentences and paid all outstanding court fees and fines are able to vote in this election.

Here & Now‘s Tonya Mosley checks in with Desmond Meade, president and executive director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, on the group’s efforts to raise money to pay off fines and fees and get people registered to vote.

NPR senior Washington editor and correspondent Ron Elving joins Here & Now‘s Robin Young to discuss the final weekend of campaigning in the 2020 presidential race and looks ahead to Election Day on Tuesday.

This article was originally published on

The Upswing, written by Robert D. Putnam in partnership with Shaylyn Romney Garrett, argues that history holds the answers for how to move out of today's tumultuous age.

Putnam is the Malkin Research Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University and author of 14 books. Garrett is a social entrepreneur, writer, and founding contributor to "Weave: The Social Fabric Project," an Aspen Institute initiative.

Don't underestimate the power of doodling. In a democracy, Mo Willems says, "voting is a lot like doodling. It's a form of self-expression, and you discover sort of who you really are as you do it." On Election Day (7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT) on the Kennedy Center's website, Willems will encourage self-expression for anyone who tunes in to Democracy Doodle 2020, regardless of age or political persuasion.

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Gunmen stormed the campus of Kabul University in the Afghan capital today. At least 19 people are dead; another 22 are injured. NPR's Diaa Hadid is on the line. She covers Afghanistan from her base in Islamabad.

Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET

Gunmen disguised as policemen stormed Kabul University in the Afghan capital in an hours-long assault on Monday, killing at least 19 people and wounding 22 more, including students who jumped out of windows to flee the attackers. It is the second attack on a learning center in Kabul in recent days, and comes amid a spike in violence across the country.

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The strongest storm of the year has hit the Philippines, leaving at least 16 people dead and tens of thousands homeless. NPR's Julie McCarthy reports on the aftermath of Typhoon Goni.

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Just like everything else this year, Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is different. One commemoration in East Los Angeles included a socially distanced car parade. Decked-out lowriders cruised down Whittier Boulevard in a caravan, past Evergreen Cemetery, all the way to Self Help Graphics & Art in Boyle Heights.