Kristen Welker: 5 things to know about the moderator of Thursday's presidential debate
Kristen Welker has been criticized by President Trump as "terrible & unfair." Get to know the White House correspondent ahead of the last debate.The NBC News White House correspondent and "Weekend Today" co-anchor will moderate the debate at Belmont University in Nashville (9 EDT/6 PDT). The second presidential debate was axed after Trump declined to participate virtually, following his COVID-19 diagnosis. Instead, he and Biden held dueling town halls , and the former vice president beat Trump in the Nielsen ratings.
Election Day is four days away, and more than half the number of Americans who voted in 2016 have already cast their ballots, as polls continue to show Democratic nominee Joe Biden with a large national lead over President Donald Trump, along with a smaller advantage in several key states.
The deadline for early voting ends Friday in several states where the race is tight, including Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Texas – and on Saturday in the key states of Florida and North Carolina. Though early turnout appears to favor Democrats in many states, Republicans are gaining ground quickly in Florida and other early voting states.
Debate transcript: Trump, Biden final presidential debate moderated by Kristen Welker
As the race enters the home stretch, the USA TODAY average of averages, which is based on data from RealClearPolitics and FiveThirtyEight, finds Biden up 8.3 percentage points over Trump nationally. That is nearly a full point higher than Biden was at the end of September but 2 points lower than the 10.1-point edge he held in mid-October.
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The polls were also shifting in Trump's favor ahead of his upset win over Hillary Clinton in 2016, but that trend was more pronounced and her lead was not as big as Biden's heading into the election. Four days before Election Day that year, Clinton's average lead was about 2.1 percentage points.
If the states end up breaking according to their current polling averages, and assuming the non-swing states go the way they did in 2016, Biden would win decisively in the Electoral College, even if he lost Ohio, which is tied. But Biden's polling average advantage is greater than 5 points in just four of twelve swing states and the race will hinge on what happens in the races where Biden's margin is thin enough to leave the candidates in a virtual dead heat.
The week in polls: Trump gains in 9 of 12 swing states, but Biden still leads in 10 of them
With just eight days to go to Election Day, both national polls and swing state surveys make it clear the race between Trump and Biden is tightening.President Donald Trump gained on his Democratic challenger Joe Biden in national polling averages, and in nine of 12 contested states. But Biden still holds a sizable lead in the national polls and is still ahead of Trump in 10 of the 12 states that could decide the election.
Last week in polls: Trump gains in 9 of 12 swing states, but Biden still leads in 10 of them
USA TODAY average of averages: Biden 51.7%, Trump 43.4% (Biden +8.3)
On Monday: Biden 51.4%, Trump 42.9% (Biden +8.6)
Net change: Trump +0.3
RCP: Biden 51.3%, Trump 43.5%
FiveThirtyEight: Biden 52.0%, Trump 43.2%
Four days before 2016 election: Clinton +2.1
Swing state averages
Arizona: Biden +1.4
USA TODAY average of averages: Biden 47.8%, Trump 46.4%
Monday: Biden 48.8%, Trump 46.1% (Biden +2.7)
Net change: Trump +1.3
Florida: Biden +1.7
USA TODAY average of averages: Biden 48.6%, Trump 46.9%
Monday: Biden 48.9%, Trump 47.0% (Biden +1.9)
Net change: Trump +0.2
Georgia: Biden +1.0
USA TODAY average of averages: Biden 48.0%, Trump 47.0%
Monday: Biden 47.6%, Trump 47.1% (Biden +0.5)
Analysis: Where the swing states stand in Trump-Biden battle
Democratic nominee Joe Biden enters the final weekend before Election Day with polls showing him as the favorite to win the White House.Polls were off in several key swing states in 2016, and President Trump blindsided the experts with victories in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.But it would take a larger polling error for history to repeat itself in 2020.Nationally, Biden leads Trump by 8 points in the RealClearPolitics average. At this point in 2016, Hillary Clinton's lead over Trump had shrunk to 1.6 points after FBI Director James Comey announced he had reopened an investigation into her use of a private server.
Net change: Biden +0.5
Iowa: Biden +0.6
USA TODAY average of averages: Biden 47.2%, Trump 46.6%
Monday: Biden 47.4%, Trump 46.3% (Biden +1.1)
Net change: Trump +0.5
Michigan: Biden +7.3
USA TODAY average of averages: Biden 50.4%, Trump 43.1%
Monday: Biden 50.5%, Trump 42.7% (Biden +7.8)
Net change: Trump +0.5
Minnesota: Biden +6.4
USA TODAY average of averages: Biden 49.1%, Trump 42.7%
Monday: Biden 49.4%, Trump 42.3% (Biden +7.1)
Net change: Trump +0.7
Nevada: Biden +5.1
USA TODAY average of averages: Biden 49.1%, Trump 44.0%
Monday: Biden 49.6%, Trump 43.8% (Biden +5.8)
Net change: Trump +0.7
North Carolina: Biden +1.3
USA TODAY average of averages: Biden 48.6%, Trump 47.3%
Monday: Biden 49.1%, Trump 47.2% (Biden +1.9)
Net change: Trump +0.6
USA TODAY average of averages: Trump 46.4%, Biden 46.4%
Monday: Trump 47.4%, Biden 46.4% (Trump +1.0)
Net change: Biden +1.0
Pennsylvania: Biden +4.7
USA TODAY average of averages: Biden 50.0, Trump 45.3%
Monday: Biden 50.0%, Trump 44.6% (Biden +5.4)
Net change: Trump +0.7
Texas: Trump +1.8
USA TODAY average of averages: Trump 48.1%, Biden 46.3%
Monday: Trump 48.1%, Biden 46.8% (Trump +1.7)
Net change: Trump +0.1
Where Biden and Trump stand in the polls 1 day out from Election Day
President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are neck-and-neck in the polls in crucial battleground states like Texas and Ohio. Biden has solid leads over Trump in key states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. It's election eve in the US and former Vice President Joe Biden is leading President Donald Trump in the national polls. Biden also has leads over Trump in a number of key battleground states, but the candidates are neck-and-neck in crucial states like Texas and Ohio.The former vice president has an 8.
Wisconsin: Biden +7.9
USA TODAY average of averages: Biden 51.1%, Trump 43.2%
Lane County Elections workers David Campbell, left, and Matt Eva remove ballots from the dropbox at the election offices on Charnelton Street on Oct. 26, 2020, in Eugene, Oregon. More than 40 percent of ballots have been returned by voters in Lane County.
Lane County Elections worker Elaine Erwin prepares ballot envelopes before they are scanned for signatures on Oct. 26, 2020, in Eugene, Oregon. More than 40 percent of ballots have been returned by voters in Lane County.
The Friends of Mt. Hope have placed plastic covers over Susan B. Anthony's headstone in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester, NY as well as her sister's Mary Anthony's headstone. "I Voted Today" stickers on their headstones, Oct. 26, 2020 have been placed on them since early voting started Saturday. The covers are to protect the old headstones.
I Can't Believe This Social Security Bonus Was So Easy
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A voter walks toward election officials who are wearing face shields, mask and gloves at a Vote Center located at the Staples Center on the first weekend of early in-person voting on October 25, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Voters in Los Angeles County are now able to vote in person at any Vote Center located within the county.
A worker sanitizes a hand rail at a Vote Center located at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on the first weekend of early in-person voting on October 25, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Voters in Los Angeles County are now able to vote in person at any Vote Center located within the county.
People walk out of a Vote Center located at Compton College on the first weekend of early in-person voting on October 25, 2020 in Compton, California. Voters in Los Angeles County are now able to vote in person at any Vote Center located within the county.
President Donald Trump walks with Wendy Sartory Link, Supervisor of Elections Palm Beach County, after casting his ballot for the presidential election, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in West Palm Beach, Fla.
An election worker moves returned ballots from a sorting machine behind at the King County Elections office Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Renton, Wash. Election officials there said that 280,000 county ballots had already been returned, nearly 20% of the total sent to voters. Washington state is one of five states, along with Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, and Utah, that conduct elections entirely by mail-in voting.
People wait in line to vote outside of an early voting site, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Miami Beach, Fla. Florida begins in-person early voting in much of the state Monday. With its 29 electoral votes, Florida is crucial to both candidates in order to win the White House.
Poll workers receive Vote-by-Mail ballots in a drive thru system setup at the Election Headquarters polling station on Oct.19, 2020 in Doral, Florida. The poll workers placed the ballots into an official ballot drop box after receiving them. The early voting ends on Nov. 1. Voters are casting their ballots for presidential candidates President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
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Cook County jail detainees check in before casting their votes after a polling place was opened in the facility for early voting on Oct. 17, 2020 in Chicago, Ill. It is the first time pretrial detainees in the jail will get the opportunity for early voting in a general election.
A Miami-Dade election worker feeds ballots into a voting machines during an accuracy test at the Miami-Dade Election Department headquarters on Oct. 14, 2020 in Doral, Florida. The test was done as the county prepares for the November 3rd election where President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden are facing off against each other.
People wait in line to fill out a ballot at the Southeast Library on Hickory Hollow Parkway on the first day of early voting on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, in Antioch, Tenn. Other states have reported big turnouts in early voting for the November presidential race.
Workers at the Miami-Dade County Election Department move racks of vote-by-mail ballots onto a U.S. Post Office truck to be delivered to voters on Oct. 1, 2020 in Doral, Fla. The Miami-Dade County Elections Department mailed out more than 530,000 vote-by-mail ballots to voters with a request on file for the November 3, 2020 General Election.
A Miami-Dade County Elections Department employee loads a cart of vote-by-mail ballots into a truck for transport to a local U.S. Postal Service office, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in Doral, Fla. The department mailed out more than 530,000 vote-by-mail ballots Thursday to voters that requested them for the Nov. 3 general election.
Election worker Nancy Wilcox looks through mail-in ballot requests Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, at the Johnson County election office in Olathe, Kan. The office has processed more than 100,000 mail-in ballot requests so far as more people than normal are expected to vote by mail due to concerns about the new coronavirus.
Election workers open and sort mail-in ballot requests Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, at the Johnson County election office in Olathe, Kan. The office has processed more than 100,000 mail-in ballot requests so far as more people than normal are expected to vote by mail due to concerns about the coronavirus.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Polling averages show Trump gaining on Biden in most swing states. Will it be enough?
Jill Biden will be historic first lady: Just call her ‘Professor FLOTUS’ .
Jill Biden promises to be a busy first lady: She plans to keep her day job as a college English professor in northern Virginia.After all, she continued teaching at Northern Virginia Community College during the eight years she served as second lady, working closely with the historic then-first lady Michelle Obama.