President Trump and Joe Biden are both campaigning in Florida on Thursday, converging on the Sunshine State as polls show a tight race with five days to go before Election Day.
The two candidates will appear in Tampa for events just hours apart, with the president holding a rally in the afternoon before a Biden event in the evening. Mr. Trump then travels to Fayetteville, North Carolina, for his second rally of the day, while Biden is holding a drive-in rally in Broward County before he heads to Tampa.
The busy day of campaigning comes in the wake of two moves by the Supreme Court that could shape the outcome of the race in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, two crucial states for the president's reelection efforts.
In a ruling Wednesday evening, the court declined to expedite review of a GOP challenge to a Pennsylvania Supreme Court order extending the deadline for mail-in ballots by three days, but left open the possibility of reviewing the case after the election. In North Carolina, the justices5-3 to allow an extension of the deadline until November 12 to stand.
Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was confirmed and sworn in this week, played no part in either ruling.
Where the candidates are speaking on Thursday
Here's the rundown of events for both candidates on Thursday:
U.S. economy rebounded strongly in the third quarter
The U.S. economy grew at a record annualized rate of 33.1% between July and September, clawing back much of the ground it had lost during the coronavirus-fueled shutdown earlier in the year, the Commerce Department said Thursday.
Increased consumer spending, private investment and exports drove the increase, which was partly offset by falling government spending as stimulus funds dried up and states slashed their budgets.
The rebound puts the nation's gross domestic product — the total value of all the goods and products the economy produces — at $21.16 trillion for the three months ending in September. That's below its level at the end of last year.
"[W]hile it's appropriate to be pleased that growth rebounded strongly in the third quarter, it can't obscure the fact that large parts of the economy are still reeling from the Covid hit," Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, wrote in a research note.
Read more here.
Supreme Court declines to expedite review of Pennsylvania election dispute
The Supreme Court declined to expedite review of a case challenging an extension of Pennsylvania's deadline for accepting absentee ballots, saying there is not enough time before the election to resolve the matter while leaving open the possibility of tossing out ballots after Election Day.
The dispute centers on an order by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that extended the deadline for mail-in absentee ballots until November 6, if they were postmarked by Election Day. The state Republican Party asked the Supreme Court to place the state court's ruling on hold, which failed in a 4-4 vote. The party then asked the high court to expedite consideration of the merits of the case before the election.
Writing on Wednesday, Justice Samuel Alito made clear that he supported overturning the state court's decision to scrap the extended deadline, noting that state law explicitly set the deadline for 8 p.m. on Election Day.
"It would be highly desirable to issue a ruling on the constitutionality of the State Supreme Court's decision before the election. That question has national importance, and there is a strong likelihood that the State Supreme Court decision violates the Federal Constitution," he wrote. "The provisions of the Federal Constitution conferring on state legislatures, not state courts, the authority to make rules governing federal elections would be meaningless if a state court could override the rules adopted by the legislature simply by claiming that a state constitutional provision gave the courts the authority to make whatever rules it thought appropriate for the conduct of a fair election."
But Alito said he concluded "there is simply not enough time at this late date to decide the question before the election." Alito's statement was joined by Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas. Newly confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett took no part in the deliberations, the court noted.
Alito hinted that the justices could revisit the dispute and decide on the merits of the state court's ruling after the election.
"Although the Court denies the motion to expedite, the petition for certiorari remains before us, and if it is granted, the case can then be decided under a shortened schedule," he wrote. Alito said Pennsylvania officials' decision to segregate ballots received after Election Day means "a targeted remedy will be available" should the court rule the deadline extension was unconstitutional.