2020 U.S. ELECTION: What you need to know right now

(Reuters) – A bad-tempered first debate marked by personal insults, President Donald Trump’s repeated interruptions and a moderator who never had full control left political pundits on the left and right and viewers around the world unimpressed.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the first 2020 presidential campaign debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, held on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., September 29, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

– Down in opinion polls with five weeks to go until the Nov. 3 election, the fractious debate is unlikely to move the needle for Trump. Rival Joe Biden’s asking, “Will you shut up, man?” was the one of the key takeaways of the night, according to a Reuters summary.

– Rick Bender, who owns a coal processing plant in eastern Pennsylvania, voted for Trump in 2016. He is struggling to keep workers employed because coal prices are so low. Still, he plans to vote for Trump again come November. He is not alone.

– Trump and Biden both campaign on Wednesday in battleground states that traditionally decide presidential elections. Trump is in Minnesota, while Biden and wife Jill make a whistlestop train tour through Ohio and Pennsylvania.


The chaotic debate fueled investor doubts about an orderly transfer of power after the election. U.S. equity futures fell and volatility indicators turned jumpy. “If the attempt was to change the minds of anyone undecided I don’t think this debate, such as it’s called, did the job,” said Quincy Crosby, chief market strategist of Prudential Financial, in Newark. “It was out of control.”


Unimpressed. That was the overwhelming view from Europe of the candidates’ Tuesday night debate performances. “The debate left many observers across the political spectrum unimpressed by the verbal brawling they had witnessed,” wrote The Sun, Britain’s most-read newspaper.


A sizable minority of Republicans say Trump has not paid his fair share of taxes and worry that his family business has influenced his decisions in office, yet most are still voting to give him a second term, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling released on Tuesday.

Seven in 10 Republicans said they saw the president as “a successful businessman who knows how to avoid taxes.” Only about three in 10 Republicans said they believed the New York Times report on Trump’s tax returns.

Follow Reuters election polling here. 


Expected events and Reuters coverage on Sept. 30:

– TV ratings expected for the first 2020 US presidential debate (12:00 ET/16:00 GMT)

– Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden takes ‘train tour’ through Ohio, Pennsylvania

– Trump holds rally in Minnesota (19:00 ET/23:00 GMT)

– U.S. stocks set for sharp quarterly gain but a decline for September (13:00 ET/17:00 GMT)

 Media customers can find complete multimedia coverage on the Reuters Connect planning calendar here.

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