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Welcome to this weekly update in the run-up to the US presidential election on November 3. This week: Trump and Biden hold separate question sessions, a batch of polls, and the battle for the Senate.

Town hall against town hall

My name is Matthijs le Loux. I write about foreign news for Press and have been reporting on American politics since 2014.

In this update I mainly deal with less obvious developments and ‘side paths’ and I share facts, interesting sources and short analyzes to give you more context. On other working days you can read a shorter edition with an overview of the election news until 3 November.

Donald Trump and Joe Biden didn’t face each other in a debate yesterday as originally planned, but the two did face each other in an indirect way. Biden answered questions from the audience during a town hall from ABC News, while Trump did the same at the same time NBC News.

It did not yield many surprises: both candidates continued on the path they had taken.

President Trump ruziede met NBCmoderator Savannah Guthrie, who regularly asked critically. She especially managed to get him on the closet by asking him about his half-hearted convictions against white supremacists. Trump said outright for the first time that he condemns them.

He refused to do the same for the right-wing conspiracy movement QAnon, which has accused Democrats of a secret child abuse network, among other things. “I don’t know anything about it,” was all Trump wanted to say about it. “I have heard that they are very much against pedophilia. They fight very hard against it.”

The questioning session with Joe Biden was a lot more sluggish. Under the inspiring eye of ABCmoderator George Stephanopoulos gave the Democrat long answers about his plans to fight the coronavirus and help the economy on top of it.

Biden again held back when asked if he intends to increase the number of judges in the Supreme Court. He was new seemed to promise to tell the voters before 3 November what he thinks about this. “They do have a right to know where I am,” he said. “And they have a right to know before they vote.”

The former vice president was also confronted with his support for a now-controversial crime law in 1994. He seemed to be briefly in his own bosom, but immediately afterwards stated that most of the problems with the law were due to the way that states that had applied.

Joe Biden during the ABC News Q&A session on Thursday. (Photo: ANP)

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