Newsletter: Today’s Headlines: The final flurry

President Trump
President Trump holds an umbrella against the wind and rain Sunday as he arrives at Oakland County International Airport outside Detroit.
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

As President Trump and Joe Biden make the final push to election day, Trump seeks to undermine the election itself.


The Final Flurry

With time running out and his prospects dwindling, President Trump has stepped up efforts to undermine an election he may very well lose to former Vice President Joe Biden.

Speaking to supporters in Iowa — part of a five-state tour of campaign battlegrounds — Trump again raised his baseless assertion that the race should be called on election night, which would mean not counting tens of millions of legitimate votes. “We should know the result of the election on Nov. 3. The evening of Nov. 3,” he said. “That’s the way it’s been, and that’s the way it should be.”


Of course, the history of the United States shows that elections are not officially resolved on election day. It is standard practice in many states and, perfectly legal, for ballots that are cast early or postmarked on election day to be counted after polls close.

That’s particularly worth noting, given this year’s unprecedented rush to vote early, as Americans seek to avoid crowds amid a deadly pandemic and ensure their ballots arrive in time after the U.S. Postal Service took steps that raised doubts about its ability to do so.

As of Sunday, more than 93 million Americans had cast early ballots, with Democrats holding a significant edge. Republicans hope to make up the difference, and then some, with a strong showing Tuesday.

That’s where Trump appears to see his best hope. In two potentially decisive states — Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — officials can’t begin processing early ballots until election day. Because of that, Trump could be ahead in the initial count Tuesday night in those states, even if more votes have been cast for Biden.

The president signaled his intention to rush to court as soon as the polls close. “We’re going in with our lawyers,” he told reporters ahead of an evening rally in North Carolina.

Campaigning in Philadelphia, a scornful Biden accused Trump of purposely trying to suppress turnout and undermining the country’s fundamental values. “I don’t care how hard Donald Trump tries, there’s nothing to stop this nation from voting,” Biden said at a faith-based get-out-the-vote rally. “The only thing that can tear us apart is America itself, and that’s what Trump is trying to do.”

The FBI, meanwhile, announced that it was investigating an incident Friday in which a caravan of Trump supporters on a Texas freeway swarmed a Biden bus, prompting the cancellation of several campaign stops. Trump approvingly shared a video of the incident.

Survey Says ...

The only poll that matters is what voters actually submit on their ballots, but for now, we have the surveys of what they’re saying.

The final USC Dornsife poll of the election shows Biden leads Trump by double digits nationally — 54% to 43% in the poll’s daily tracking, a margin that has remained almost unchanging since summer. Biden’s support has ticked down just slightly from the high it reached after the first debate between the two candidates in late September, but overall the poll has barely budged since August. That is consistent with most other major polls.

A separate experimental question asks voters how they think their friends, neighbors and other members of their social circles will vote. That question yields a smaller Biden lead, 51% to 46%.

The USC Dornsife poll also found that Trump has lost ground among key groups that powered his drive to the presidency four years ago, including voters 65 and older as well as white voters who did not graduate from college.

More About the Election

— The Texas Supreme Court denied a Republican-led petition to toss nearly 127,000 ballots cast at drive-through voting places in the Houston area.

— The “fight for Florida” is happening in this once-conservative stronghold.

— What’s it like traveling with Trump for his many rallies? This reporter describes it as a cognitive dissonance carnival.

— Black churches’ Souls to the Polls efforts, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, aim to boost voter turnout.

Barack Obama is making the argument for Biden by roasting Trump.

How to vote in California: Our complete guide to making sure your ballot counts.

A Somber Remembrance

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a time to honor deceased loved ones, often in boisterous fashion. But in Los Angeles and across Mexico, this year’s celebration is the saddest in memory.

Many Angelenos find themselves observing a Día de los Muertos like none other in their lives: apart, and with so many dead. More than 3,400 Latinos in L.A. County, many of them essential workers or their family members, have been lost to the coronavirus — by far the largest share of the more than 7,000 COVID-19 deaths tracked in the county through the end of October.

In Mexico, the pandemic has killed more than 90,000 people, placing the country fourth worldwide in the number of coronavirus-related deaths. Looking to hinder the spread of the virus, authorities moved to curb public gatherings. Officials in the capital and elsewhere have banned cemetery visits, dealing a civic and emotional blow to millions.

More Top Coronavirus Headlines

— A new national lockdown in England may have to last longer than the planned four weeks if coronavirus infection rates don’t fall quickly enough, a senior government minister said.

— A study to gauge the after-effects of 18 of the president’s reelection rallies, all held in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, suggests they have led to more than 30,000 additional cases and at least 700 additional deaths.

— God, masks and Trump: What a coronavirus outbreak at a California church says about the election.


— At a time when police face protests against brutality and movements to defund their departments, they are being called upon to secure perhaps the most contentious presidential election in the nation’s history.

— Can they change the electoral college? These two Californians think they’re close.

— The pandemic and the economy top voter concerns, but there’s a bigger issue, columnist Steve Lopez writes.

— Actress Charlotte Kirk and the sex scandals roiling Hollywood.


The 200-ton Hughes H-4 Hercules, aka the Spruce Goose, was conceived as a World War II transport plane, but the war would end before the aircraft was completed at a cost of more than $20 million.

On this date in 1947, Howard Hughes piloted the plane over Los Angeles-Long Beach Harbor for its first and only flight. Total time in the air: about 1 minute.

The plane eventually would be put on display in a giant white dome in Long Beach, but in 1992, it was moved out of the dome and shipped to a museum in McMinnville, Ore., where it remains. The Long Beach dome became part of a cruise terminal.

The "Spruce Goose" in flight on Nov. 2, 1947.
Nov. 2, 1947: The Hughes H-4 Hercules, also known as the “Spruce Goose,” during its short flight in the Long Beach-Los Angeles Harbor.
(Los Angeles Times)

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— The two candidates running to succeed L.A. City Councilman Herb Wesson — L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and attorney Grace Yoo — have spent the last year laying out their ideas for dealing with homelessness and political corruption. Now the winner will need to contend the city’s worst budget crisis in at least a decade.

— A massive caravan of Trump supporters paraded for 60 miles through Riverside County on Sunday afternoon before converging on a large Temecula sports park, snarling traffic and upsetting some voters, officials said.

Affirmative action, on the ballot via Proposition 16, divides Asian Americans, who make up the University of California’s largest overrepresented student group.

— The L.A. region will be warm, dry and breezy this week, with a significant cool-down and a small chance of rain during the weekend, the National Weather Service said.

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Colombia’s far-right wing is backing Trump, aiming to help him in the crucial Florida vote.

— Rescue workers extricated a 70-year-old man from a collapsed building in western Turkey some 34 hours after a strong earthquake in the Aegean Sea struck Turkey and Greece, killing at least 71 people.

Hong Kong police arrested seven people over scuffles that broke out in the city’s legislature during a face-off between pro-democracy and pro-Beijing lawmakers earlier this year.


— Remembering Sean Connery, who died Saturday at 90: Our critics discuss his finest roles and that infamous Playboy interview.

— A British court ruled Monday against Johnny Depp in his libel case against the owner of the Sun tabloid, which labeled the Oscar-nominated actor a “wife beater.”

— Why does Trump love playing the song “Fortunate Son” at rallies? John Fogerty has a pretty good theory.

Ariana Grande‘s new album is about sex and more sex ... and also, love.


Huawei is working on plans for a dedicated chip plant in Shanghai that would not use American technology, enabling it to secure supplies for its core telecom infrastructure business despite U.S. sanctions.

— The problem of selling Quibi: how marketing exposed division at the short-form streaming service.


— Rams quarterback Jared Goff‘s early turnovers set the stage for a loss to the Miami Dolphins. Meanwhile, the Chargers blew another lead in a loss to the Denver Broncos.

— The most important game of the Dodgers’ World Series title season was the one they didn’t play, columnist Bill Plaschke writes.

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— The California Supreme Court should use a death-penalty case under appeal as a vehicle to address systemic racism and end capital punishment.

Democracies around the world are under threat. Ours is no exception, writes Michiko Kakutani, a Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic.

— The complete list of L.A. Times endorsements in the election from The Times’ editorial board, which is separate from the newsroom.


— Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said that for the coming winter “you could not possibly be positioned more poorly.” At a rally Sunday, Trump suggested he would fire Fauci after the election. (New York Times)

— Inside a bizarre, secret meeting between Malcolm X and the Ku Klux Klan. (Politico)


A pillow that looks like a strip mall. A tribute to the Underground Museum. An Inglewood candle. All of these items are made in Los Angeles, and they’re part of our holiday gift guide, which also features presents for those who love plants, the great outdoors, books, music, games and much more.

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