A new Times/Siena College poll shows the president facing a stiff challenge from Joe Biden in Iowa, Georgia and Texas. In Boston, a new challenger is entering the mayoral race.
A former top military commander under Trump is among 489 security leaders who say he is unfit for office.
President Trumpâs refusal on Wednesday to commit to a peaceful transfer of power enraged Democrats and again put Republicans in a difficult position as their party leader continued to make remarks aimed at delegitimizing the election.
And this was no typical Trump provocation: Acceding to the will of the voters is the linchpin of American democracy.
âAny suggestion that a president might not respect this constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable,â Senator Mitt Romney of Utah said on Wednesday night.
For Republicans hoping to retain the White House and the Senate, it was something else: unhelpful.
G.O.P. lawmakers and strategists have, for the first time in weeks, expressed optimism about their prospects. Their hope: that the coming fight over filling the Supreme Court seat held by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will turn attention away from Mr. Trump and the coronavirus and refocus it on a more partisan, red-and-blue clash.
His comments about the transfer of power were only his latest provocation â of the day. Earlier Wednesday, he flatly predicted that the presidential election would end up in the Supreme Court and said that was why he wanted a full slate of justices, barely concealing his hope for a friendly majority on the court.
âI think this will end up in the Supreme Court and I think itâs very important that we have nine justices, and I think the systemâs going to go very quickly,â Mr. Trump said of the need for a quick confirmation process.
The night before, at a rally near Pittsburgh, Mr. Trump hurled xenophobic attacks at Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who immigrated to the United States from Somalia as a girl in the 1990s.
âSheâs telling us how to run our country,â the president said. âHow did you do where you came from? How is your country doing?â
The night before that, at another rally, Mr. Trump said the coronavirus âaffects virtually nobodyâ â never mind that the countryâs death toll from the virus just crossed 200,000.
This is all to say that the Republican hopes of the Supreme Court fight reshaping the election will have to contend with a president determined, intentionally or not, to keep the focus on himself.
President Trump is on the defensive in three red states he carried in 2016, narrowly trailing Joseph R. Biden Jr. in Iowa and battling to stay ahead of him in Georgia and Texas, as Mr. Trump continues to face a wall of opposition from women that has also endangered his partyâs control of the Senate, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times and Siena College.
Based on a New York Times/Siena College poll of likely voters from Sept. 16 to Sept. 22.
Mr. Trumpâs vulnerability even in conservative-leaning states underscores just how precarious his political position is, less than six weeks before Election Day. While he and Mr. Biden are competing aggressively for traditional swing states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida, the poll suggests that Mr. Biden has assembled a coalition formidable enough to jeopardize Mr. Trump even in historically Republican parts of the South and Midwest.
A yawning gender gap in all three states is working in Mr. Bidenâs favor, with the former vice president making inroads into conservative territory with strong support from women. In Iowa, where Mr. Biden is ahead of Mr. Trump, 45 percent to 42 percent, he is up among women by 14 percentage points. Men favor Mr. Trump by eight points.
In Georgia, where the two candidates are tied at 45 percent, Mr. Biden leads among women by 10 points. Mr. Trump is ahead with men by a similar margin of 11 percentage points.
Mr. Trumpâs large advantage among men in Texas is enough to give him a small advantage there, 46 percent to 43 percent. Men prefer the president to his Democratic challenger by 16 points, while women favor Mr. Biden by an eight-point margin.
Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Wednesday shied away from two major issues of deep importance to Democrats, giving cautious responses to reportersâ questions about the police shooting of Breonna Taylor and President Trumpâs imminent nomination for the Supreme Court.
Several hours after a grand jury in Kentucky declined to charge any officers in the killing of Ms. Taylor, indicting one for endangering her neighbors during a raid, Mr. Biden said in response to a reporterâs question that he had ânot seen the reportâ and that he knew only broad information.
âI was told going in that thereâs one charge against one of the officers. I donât know the details,â Mr. Biden said, before vowing âto try to find that outâ on his plane ride home from Charlotte, N.C.
Pressed for a fuller response, Mr. Biden again responded, âI donât know the details, so Iâm reluctant to comment.â
âA federal investigation remains ongoing, but we do not need to wait for the final judgment of that investigation to do more to deliver justice for Breonna,â Mr. Biden said in the statement. He said the use of âexcessive forceâ needed to be addressed and made an appeal against violence.
Asked what he thought of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who is considered Mr. Trumpâs leading contender, Mr. Biden said: âI donât know her. I just know whatâs reported in the press,â before repeating his talking points on the court.
Mr. Bidenâs hesitancy to engage with top-of-mind issues reflected the risk-averse approach he has taken to several facets of his campaign, including limited interactions with voters who might challenge him and relatively few exchanges with reporters during a period of restricted travel and press availability because of the coronavirus.
And it underscores the gamble Mr. Bidenâs campaign has made for months: that American voters will reward his sober, measured approach to politics, which stands in sharp contrast to Mr. Trumpâs.
The two Republicans on the North Carolina Board of Elections resigned in protest late Wednesday, after elections officials on Tuesday agreed to extend the deadline for receiving mail ballots in North Carolina by six days.
In their letters of resignation, the two Republicans, Ken Raymond and David Black, both claimed they had been misinformed about the settlement that had extended the deadline for ballots to be counted.
Justin Clark, President Trumpâs deputy campaign manager, called the resignations a âcourageous stand against the egregious and collusive settlement agreement their Democrat counterparts created that would significantly rewrite North Carolinaâs election law â 40 days out from Election Day.â
Mr. Clark also accused âliberal activistsâ of trying to ârigâ the election. In North Carolina, where polls show Mr. Trump tied or narrowly trailing Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Trump campaign has mounted an assault against the integrity of the state elections board. Mr. Clark accused Democratic activists of suing âto move Election Day even further out so they can harvest ballots after the polls close to steal the election for Joe Biden.â
A group called the North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans had sued the state last month demanding changes to election rules to account for mail delays and accommodate voters fearful of the coronavirus.
In an agreement settling the lawsuit that was signed on Sept. 22, the state elections board acceded to several of the groupâs demands.
Under the settlement, ballots postmarked by Election Day will be counted if they are received by Nov. 12 â six days after the previous deadline.
In addition, voters who make mistakes on their mail-in ballots, like missing signatures or addresses, may correct those errors until Nov. 12. Drop boxes for mail-in ballots will be set up outside early voting sites and at county elections offices.
The agreement was immediately criticized by the stateâs Republican lawmakers and Trump campaign officials, who indicated that they planned to continue a legal fight to overturn it â and that they would pursue similar legal strategies in other battleground states like Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Michigan, where judges could extend the period during which votes can be counted.
North Carolina, which Mr. Trump won by four percentage points in 2016, is critical to his re-election, especially as his polling numbers have recently slipped in the industrial Midwest, and advisers are increasingly worried about his chances in the state.
Joseph R. Biden Jr. has piled up endorsements from officials who would likely have backed almost any Republican not named Donald Trump, but one name leaps from the lengthy list of 489 national security experts who announced their support for Mr. Biden on Thursday: Gen. Paul J. Selva.
General Selva, a retired four-star Air Force general with 40 years in uniform, served as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Presidents Obama and Trump from 2015 until his retirement in July 2019.
In that capacity, he was the second-highest ranked officer in the country, putting him at the center of major military decisions made on the presidentâs watch, and in frequent proximity to Mr. Trump.
âThe current president has demonstrated he is not equal to the enormous responsibilities of his office; he cannot rise to meet challenges large or small,â read the âOpen Letter to Americaâ signed by several platoons-worth of experts, ex-generals and former top administration officials, some of whom served under Republican presidents.
âThanks to his disdainful attitude and his failures, our allies no longer trust or respect us, and our enemies no longer fear us,â they wrote, citing what they said was Mr. Trumpâs failure to confront aggression by North Korea and Russia. âOnly F.D.R. and Abraham Lincoln came into office facing more monumental crises than the next president.â
General Selva, a decorated pilot who served in the Gulf War, joins a host of other former top Trump military and national security advisers â from the former National Security Adviser John Bolton to many lesser-known Pentagon officials â who have questioned Mr. Trumpâs capacity to serve as commander in chief.
At least two other former military leaders on the list also served under Mr. Trump: Adm. Paul Zukunft of the Coast Guard, who retired in 2018, and Vice Adm. P. Gardner Howe III, a retired Navy SEAL commander.
Here are the daily schedules of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates for Thursday, Sept. 24. All times are Eastern time.
9:55 a.m.: Pays respects to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with Melania Trump, at the Supreme Court.
4 p.m.: Takes part in a âCops for Trumpâ listening session, with Ivanka Trump, in Minneapolis.
MILWAUKEE â For 15 years, Johnny Miller worked the polls at a church on Milwaukeeâs North Side. He was born in Mississippi, where, he said, his family was terrorized by the Ku Klux Klan for attempting to cast ballots. This background makes him feel âa deep historical tie with trying to get people to vote.â
In 2020, he is aware of a different threat when it comes to working the polls: the coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Miller, who is 70 and has a heart condition, said the risk was too high. Ten of his friends have died from Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.
The pandemic is making voting more complicated, with higher stakes. But, activists note, itâs just one more thing to worry about on top of strict identification and mail-in ballot laws that can disproportionately make it difficult for eligible low-income voters, and Black and Latino voters, to cast their ballots.
In 2016, President Trump won Wisconsin by just 23,000 votes â the first time a Republican presidential candidate carried the state since 1984. Turnout was down that year by almost 19 percent for Black voters and 6 percent for Latino voters, which is part of the reason turnout groups are focused on those populations this year.
Polls show a close race between Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Mr. Trump, but disapproval by a majority of Mr. Trumpâs handling of the virus.
Across the cityâs predominantly Black North Side and Latino South Side, organizers and activists are registering new voters and helping others navigate the system.
âBlack people have been intimidated not to vote since we were three-fifths of a man,â Mr. Miller said, referring to a clause in the original U.S. Constitution. He described a lack of voter education which, in his view, has led to disenfranchisement in the North as a âa different form of Jim Crow.â
Bostonâs 2021 mayoral race heated up further on Thursday with the announcement that Andrea Campbell, the first Black woman to serve as City Council president, will enter the race, presumably challenging the cityâs popular incumbent and a fellow Democrat, Mayor Marty Walsh.
Ms. Campbell is the second woman to enter the race for a position that has only ever been occupied by white men. City Councilor Michelle Wu, a protÃ©gÃ© of Senator Elizabeth Warren and a favorite of city progressives, entered the race last week.
Unlike Ms. Wu, Ms. Campbell, 38, is a native of Boston. She spent her childhood bouncing among foster families, often on public assistance, as her father served a prison sentence before thriving in Bostonâs public schools and attending Princeton University. She served as deputy legal counsel in the administration of Gov. Deval Patrick.
Ms. Campbell has focused heavily on the issues of policing and racial injustice, returning often to the painful story of her twin brother, Andre, who served a series of prison terms and died in pretrial custody, at 29, of an untreated illness.
âHow did two twins born and raised in the city of Boston have such different outcomes?â she said last week. âIt started with a story. My brother continues to be my inspiration, he gives me that oomph.â
Ms. Campbell faces an uphill battle against her two rivals. Mr. Walsh, who has yet to declare a run for a third term, has received high marks for his handling of the coronavirus, and enjoys the considerable benefits of incumbency in Boston. No incumbent mayor has been defeated in this city since 1949.
President Trumpâs refusal to commit to peacefully transfer power if he loses the election finds him again threatening to undermine the democratic process. New polls show him in tight races with Mr. Biden even in some red states. Read live updates.
Joe Biden and Donald Trump need 270 electoral votes to reach the White House. Try building your own coalition of battleground statesÂ to see potential outcomes.
Early voting for the presidential election starts in September in some states. Take a look at key dates where you live. If youâre voting by mail, itâs risky to procrastinate.
News – 2020 Election Live Updates: Refusing to Commit to a Peaceful Transfer of Power, Trump Again Undermines Democracy