Here are the main events that occurred in Politics this week:
1. 2020 Election: Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Democrats Regarding Vote-By-Mail Challenges In North Carolina, Pennsylvania
The US Supreme Court on October 28 dealt setbacks to Republicans by allowing extended deadlines for receiving mail-in ballots in next Tuesday’s election in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, states pivotal to President Donald Trump’s re-election chances. With their new colleague, Amy Coney Barrett immediately recusing herself, the justices’ action means a September 17 ruling by Pennsylvania’s top court allowing mail-in ballots that are postmarked by Election Day and received up to three days later to be counted will remain in place for now. The Supreme Court already had rejected a prior Republican request to block the lower court ruling on October 19. This time, the justices opted not to fast-track their consideration of an appeal of the state court ruling by the Republican Party of Pennsylvania to hear and decide the case before the election. The conservative-majority court on October 28 also rejected a request by Trump’s campaign to block North Carolina’s extension of the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots, in another key battleground legal loss for Republicans.
2. 2020 Election: Backers of QAnon On Path To Congress
More than two dozen candidates for Congress in the November 3rd elections have endorsed or given credence to QAnon or promoted QAnon content online, the non-profit watchdog group Media Matters says. Two are independents; the rest are Republicans. At least one of them is expected to be elected to the House of Representatives next week, and a second has a good chance. The FBI has listed QAnon as a domestic terrorism threat. The unfounded conspiracy theory, which began in 2017 with anonymous web postings from “Q,” posits that President Donald Trump is secretly fighting a global cabal of child-sex predators that includes prominent Democrats, Hollywood elites, and “deep state” allies. Messages pushed online by its adherents aim to vilify and criminalize political rivals with unfounded allegations. The ADL civil rights group called it “an amalgam of both novel and well-established theories, with marked undertones of antisemitism and xenophobia.”
3. Trump Administration Sets Record Low Limit For New US Refugees
The Trump Administration has slashed the number of refugees it will allow to resettle in the US in the coming year, capping the number at 15,000, a record low in the country’s refugee program’s history. President Donald Trump finalized his plan in a memo overnight and said the ceiling for fiscal 2021, which started this month, includes 6,000 unused placements from last year “that might have been used if not for the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Republican president, seeking re-election on November 3, has taken a hard line toward legal and illegal immigration, including sharply curbing refugee admissions every year since taking office in 2017.
4. 2020 Election: Promising Early Vote Numbers Boost Joe Biden’s Chances In Texas
Less than a week before Election Day, Joe Biden is tantalizingly close to a prize that has eluded generations of Democratic presidential candidates: Texas. Public opinion polls show Biden and Republican President Donald Trump tied in the state. They also suggest the former vice president is leading among those helping to set its staggering early vote totals. As of October 27, nearly 8 million Texans had cast ballots, approaching 90% of the entire 2016 vote, a higher percentage than any state in the country, according to the US Elections Project at the University of Florida. Trump appears to have the edge with voters planning to cast ballots on November 3, according to polls, which also show him improving his standing among Hispanics in Texas, a huge constituency, mirroring modest gains he has made with that demographic nationally since 2016. Texans do not register by party, which makes it difficult to say with certainty who is leading in early voting. A Biden win in Texas, which has not voted for a Democratic nominee for president since Jimmy Carter narrowly won the state in 1976, would end any chance of Trump’s re-election. Since 1976, the only elections years when the Democrats came close in Texas were 1992 and 1996.