The Rundown for November 5, 2020

TRUMP, BIDEN DOWN TO THE WIRE… Joe Biden continued his push toward the 270 Electoral College votes required to win the 2020 presidential election yesterday when he flipped the key battleground states of Wisconsin and Michigan. As of late last night, news outlets that had declared him the victor in Arizona gave Biden 264 electoral College votes to President Trump’s 214. Biden leads nationally by roughly 3-1/2 million votes and his 71,611,171 votes are the most of any presidential candidate in American history, passing Obama’s 2008 record of more than 69.4 million. While Arizona and its 11 delegates were in dispute, final votes were also being tallied in Pennsylvania (20 delegates), North Carolina (15 delegates), Georgia (16 delegates) and Nevada (6 delegates). As Americans were awaiting the outcome, Biden issued a call for unity. “To make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as enemies,” he said during an address. Trump kept a low public profile yesterday but his campaign filed lawsuits to stop ballot counting in Michigan and Pennsylvania, and to prevent the counting of absentee ballots in Georgia that it claims arrived after the deadline on Election Day. The Biden campaign announced that it was “not worried at all” about legal threats because there isn’t a convincing “constitutional argument put forward in any court by the Trump campaign that would challenge the legitimacy of any of the results in a real way.” Supporters of President Trump demonstrated outside the outside the TCF Center in Detroit yesterday and demanded that poll workers “stop the count.” Police were called after the demonstrators tried to push their way inside the building. A separate demonstration at the Maricopa County, Arizona, Election Center involved hundreds of Trump supporters demanding to be allowed inside.

NGOP HOLDING ON TO SENATE MAJORITY… Republicans remain on track to retain their Senate majority following Tuesday’s balloting. Democrats stayed alive with Gary Peters’ re-election in Michigan but faces an uphill climb. The GOP could clinch majority if incumbent Thom Tillis holds on to his lead over Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham in North Carolina, David Perdue holds off Democratic rival Jon Ossoff in Georgia or Kelly Loeffler defeats Rafael Warnock in a January Georgia runoff.

6 STATES, D.C. EASE OFF RECREATIONAL DRUGS… Six states, along with the District of Columbia, took steps to legalize recreational drug laws in Tuesday’s elections. Oregon became the first state to legalize the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. Voters in the District of Columbia decriminalized the use of magic mushrooms and other psychedelic substances with the passage of Initiative 81… New Jersey and Arizona voters legalized the recreational use of marijuana… In South Dakota, voters decisively legalized marijuana for medical use. Another South Dakota measure that legalized the recreational use of marijuana was on its way to passage… In Mississippi, a majority of voters approved an initiative that would set up a medical marijuana program for patients with debilitating conditions… Montana appeared set to legalize the recreational use of marijuana with a minimum buying age of 21.

STATE ELECTION HIGHLIGHTS… Colorado voters struck down Proposition 115, a measure that sought to ban abortions after 22 weeks of pregnancy. Voters in Louisiana passed an amendment to the state constitution that would limit abortion protections… Mississippi voters have approved the design of a new state flag, which will include an image of a magnolia, the state flower and the phrase “In God We Trust.” The previous state flag, which featured the Confederate Battle Cross, was retired in June amid nationwide protests against racial injustice… Voters in California sided with companies such as Uber and Lyft to prevent the state from enacting a local labor law that would have forced companies to provide basic benefits to independent contractors… Florida voters have approved a ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $15.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 9,477,709 and the nation’s death toll stands at 233,651, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The U.S. surpassed 100,000 new COVID-19 cases in a single day for the first time yesterday. Seventeen states reported record numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations, while Maine, Minnesota, Idaho and Indiana set single-day records for new infections.

U.S. LEAVES PARIS AGREEMENT… The U.S. officially left the Paris Agreement yesterday, three years after President Trump announced his intention to withdraw the nation from the international climate change forum. Trump claims American participation could be economically detrimental and cost 2-1/2 million Americans their jobs by 2025. The accord is a collective agreement among nearly 200 countries that aims to prevent the earth’s temperatures from rising 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial revolution temperatures. That’s the value that climate scientists have determined will have disastrous consequences if exceeded.

ENTERTAINMENT
WARNER BROS. APOLOGIZES FOR ‘WITCHES’
… Warner Bros. has apologized amid backlash over its film “The Witches.” The studio was hit with heavy criticism over the depiction of Anne Hathaway’s character in the film. Hathaway plays the villainous Grand High Witch, who is shown with hands that resemble the limb abnormality ectrodactyly, known as “split hand.” “The Witches,” which is based on the Roald Dahl novel of the same name, was previously adapted as a 1990 film.

SAGET ELIMINATED FROM ‘THE MASKED SINGER’… Comedian and actor Bob Saget was eliminated from “The Masked Singer” in last night’s episode. The Fuller House alum wore the Squiggly Monster mask for the competition. Rapper Busta Rhymes was the first costumed celebrity eliminated this season. Actor Mickey Rourke later took himself out of the competition, and TV icon Brian Austin Green, retired pro football player/sports commentator Mark Sanchez and talk-show host Wendy Williams were subsequently cut from the show.

SPORTS
TONIGHT’S NFL SCHEDUL
E…
Green Bay (5-2) is at San Francisco (4-4)

NFL PLAYERS ON COVID LIST… The San Francisco 49ers yesterday placed four players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, left tackle Trent Williams and wideouts Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel have been ruled out of tonight’s game against the Green Bay Packers… The Detroit Lions have placed quarterback Matthew Stafford on the reserve/COVID-19 list and don’t know his status for Sunday’s game against the Vikings. 11-year-veteran Chase Daniel would get the start if Stafford can’t play.

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