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Florida showdown in Trump's battle with Biden


US President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden are rallying their supporters in the battleground of Florida this morning, visiting the same city hours apart.

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Opinion polls indicate Biden has a significant edge across the US but his lead is tighter in battleground states.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday showed Trump had essentially moved into a tie with Biden in Florida, with 49 per cent saying they would vote for Biden and 47 per cent for the president.

With its 29 electoral votes, the state is a major prize in Tuesday’s election.

Trump will stage an outdoor rally in Tampa while Biden will hold a drive-in rally later in Tampa where attendees will remain in their cars.

More than 74 million people have already voted in the US, absentee or by mail, and Trump and Biden are trying to energise the millions more who will vote on November 3.

While the election day vote traditionally favours Republicans and early votes tend toward Democrats, the coronavirus pandemic has injected new uncertainty.

The United States has also registered a surge in new coronavirus cases in the run-up to next week’s presidential election, with more than 80,000 new cases and 1000 deaths reported on Wednesday.

“We are on a very difficult trajectory. We’re going in the wrong direction,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, task force member and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

However, Trump has continued to insist this week the US was “rounding the turn” on the virus.

Biden’s approach has been different, saying he will deal honestly with the American people and let science drive decisions on the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, hackers stole $US2.3 million ($A3.3 million) from the Wisconsin Republican Party’s account that was being used to help re-elect US President Donald Trump in the key battleground state, the party’s chairman says.

The party noticed the suspicious activity on October 22 and contacted the FBI on Friday, Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt said.

“There’s no doubt RPW is now at a disadvantage with that money being gone,” he said.

Hitt said the hackers were able to manipulate invoices from four vendors who were being paid to send out direct mail for Trump’s re-election efforts and to provide pro-Trump material such as hats that could be handed out to supporters.

Invoices were altered so when the party paid them, the money went to the hackers instead of the vendors, Hitt said.

He said it appears the attack began as a phishing attempt.

Trump won Wisconsin by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016 and it remains a key swing state this year.

Trump planned his third visit to the state in a week on Friday.

Biden also planned to campaign in Wisconsin on Friday.

 – AAP

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