2020 presidential race

President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden both travel to northern Minnesota on Friday, as the contested state begins its early voting period.

Trump plans to hold a rally at an airport in the city of Bemidji on Friday evening. Meanwhile, the former vice president will visit a union training center in Duluth.

Where the major party presidential campaigns are spending their money on TV advertising can tell you a lot about where they're focusing their efforts.

And based on that, it's pretty clear that the race between President Trump and Joe Biden is coming down to just six swing states — Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona. They are getting the lion's share of the TV advertising money from the campaigns and outside groups supporting them.

President Trump's campaign says it knocks on a million doors a week. Joe Biden's campaign hasn't knocked on any doors to talk to voters for months. In lieu of in-person meetings, Democrats are focused on conversations they can have virtually.

A new form of political expression is becoming more popular due to COVID-19 restrictions — car caravans. In Boerne, New Braunfels and other parts of Texas, large “Trump Trains” roll through town on a regular basis.


Democrats could find a growing problem for their party with a voter named Gretchen, sitting outside a brew pub in the rural northern Minnesota town of Aitkin.

"I'm kind of disillusioned, and I'm really confused," she said. "I'm a registered Democrat, but yet, I see all of this stuff that I kind of disagree with." Gretchen asked not to be identified with her last name because she fears sharing her politics could hurt her family's business.

Three months after becoming San Francisco's district attorney in 2004, Kamala Harris faced a trial by fire.

Harris had just won her first run for office by positioning herself slightly to the right of her liberal predecessor and by promising to run a more professional office as the city's top prosecutor. She pledged to tackle domestic violence and sex trafficking and stand up for those who had felt ignored.

The 2020 presidential election is likely once again to feature religion as a campaign issue, if the Republican and Democratic conventions are any indication.

Speakers at the Republican National Convention this week touted the religious credentials of their own candidates, but they were equally determined to question the faith of their opponents, with Joe Biden their main target.

Former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz told the convention that the Democratic candidate is a Catholic "in name only," citing his support for abortion rights.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is adding three more districts to its Texas target list, expanding an already ambitious battlefield in the state.

It's been a brutal year for Americans.

The relentless spread of COVID-19, the ensuing economic crisis and the reckoning around social injustice has made this a year like none other.

NPR wanted to know how these cataclysmic, consequential events have affected American families and how those experiences might shape their political choices in the upcoming presidential election.

From Texas Standard:

Reviews for Joe Biden's speech accepting his party's presidential nomination on closing night of the Democratic National Convention were generally positive – even from Republicans, like Karl Rove. Democrats, perhaps more predictably, praised the speech. 

That includes the chair of the Texas Democratic Party, Gilberto Hinojosa. He told Texas Standard that Biden's speech came from the heart, and provided a contrast between Biden and President Donald Trump.

"I think it was a speech that told America what he was all about, and what he stood for, and why he believed it was important that we unite together to save our democracy," Hinojosa said. 

President Trump loves talking about the booming stock market. It's not so clear Wall Street loves him back.

For the first time in a decade, deep-pocketed donors from the halls of finance are giving more money to Democrats than Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a research group that tracks money in politics.

The Democratic National Convention kicks off Monday night and will take place from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET each evening through Thursday, when it will end with the official selection of former Vice President Joe Biden to be the Democratic nominee.

This convention will look and feel different from past years because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Democratic event was supposed to take place in person in Milwaukee before the coronavirus hit, but now it's going to take place all virtually and be a big TV production with speakers and guests located across the country.

If Joe Biden wins the presidency, his Justice Department will face a decision with huge legal and political implications: whether to investigate and prosecute President Trump.

So far, the candidate is approaching that question very carefully.

In a recent interview with NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro, Biden said: "I will not interfere with the Justice Department's judgment of whether or not they think they should pursue a prosecution."

Joe Biden picked California Sen. Kamala Harris to be his vice presidential running mate.

It's a historic pick. But there's a lot more to it than that.

Here are five takeaways:

1. Biden picking Harris is a statement on what it means to be American.

Biden picking Harris as his running mate is historic. No Black or South Asian American woman has ever been on a major-party ticket in U.S. history. Black voters, especially Black women, are pillars of the Democratic Party and were key to Biden's victory in the contest for the nomination.

Updated at 7:10 p.m. ET

The top counterintelligence official in the U.S. government warned Friday of ongoing interference and influence efforts by China, Russia and Iran.

William Evanina, who leads the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said that the U.S. government has assessed that China prefers President Trump losing the election, because Beijing considers him "unpredictable," while Russia is working to undermine Democrat Joe Biden.

On the door for the McLennan County Republican Party headquarters on a February night, a flyer read, "Black Voices for Trump." Inside, 50 or so faces — virtually all of them white — looked up at the speaker before them.

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden says if elected, he would not tear down the parts of the barrier along the U.S. Southern border built during the Trump administration — but he would cease construction.

"There will not be another foot of wall constructed on my administration, No. 1," he told NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro during an interview with journalists from the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Former national security adviser Susan Rice told NPR she's "honored and humbled" to be on Joe Biden's shortlist for vice president and that her lengthy tenure in the executive branch would make her an effective No. 2.

One of a series of reports looking at Joe Biden's potential running mates.


California Rep. Karen Bass was a relative unknown on the national stage until just a few months ago. Now she is among the contenders to be Joe Biden's pick for his vice presidential running mate.

One of a series of reports looking at Joe Biden's potential running mates


Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, one of several candidates said to be under consideration as Joe Biden's presidential running mate, has seen her profile rise fast in recent weeks as the first-term mayor has spoken out against the state of Georgia's Republican-led pandemic response and spoken forcefully to protesters in her city.

Updated at 4:52 p.m. ET

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, laid out a key plank of his economic agenda for the country — dubbed "Build Back Better" — in a half-hour speech Thursday, offering a competing vision of economic nationalism that President Trump has trumpeted in recent years.

Here's one way of understanding just how far off the map the U.S. economy is right now: The U.S. has now had two straight months where it has added more jobs than it did in all of 2019.

John Farner considers himself a lifelong Republican. He worked on George W. Bush's 2000 campaign and then took a job in the administration's Commerce Department.

But Farner was skeptical when he saw Donald Trump step onto the GOP stage. And in 2016, he chose not to vote for any presidential candidate.

This November is different, Farner said. The past 3 1/2 years have made it clear that he needs to pick a side, that it's no longer sufficient to simply abstain.

Presidents seeking a second term generally campaign on a unifying message, highlighting the work they've done and what they hope to accomplish for the American people in the years ahead.

President Trump is choosing instead to reprise the most divisive and racialized themes of his 2016 campaign. But he's doing it at a very different time for the nation, in the midst of a pandemic, recession and racial reckoning.

"You would think that he was a challenger running against an incumbent who had done a terrible job," said Cornell Belcher, a Democratic pollster.

President Donald Trump would beat former Vice President Joe Biden in Texas by 4 percentage points if the election were held today, according to a new poll from the University of Texas and the Texas Politics Project.

One of a series of reports looking at Joe Biden's potential running mates


Many progressives are loudly calling for Joe Biden to pick Elizabeth Warren as his running mate. They insist the liberal senator, who's long been a darling of the left, would help the presumptive Democratic nominee win over skeptical young voters.

After weeks of protests against police brutality and racism, and amid a renewed spike in coronavirus cases, the number of voters disapproving of the job President Trump is doing is at an all-time high, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds.

Trump's approval rating sits at just 40% overall, while a record 58% disapprove.

President Trump has made it clear that he does not support allowing all registered voters access to mail ballots this fall, even during a pandemic. But he keeps changing his story about why he's opposed.

One of a series of reports looking at Joe Biden's potential running mates


More than a month before former Vice President Joe Biden's stated deadline for naming his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris is seen as the consensus front-runner to become Democrats' vice presidential nominee.

Speculation about running mates can be wrong, of course. Ultimately, the choice is Biden's and Biden's alone — just as it was Barack Obama's call to tap Biden in 2008.

First in a series of reports looking at Joe Biden's potential running mates


Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., has a rising national profile.

Pages