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2020 U.S. ELECTION: What you need to know right now

(Reuters) - Early voting for the U.S. election kicks off in the battleground state of Florida with a record 28 million nationwide ballots already cast and just over two weeks remaining in the race for the White House.

FILE PHOTO: A combination picture shows U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaking during the first 2020 presidential campaign debate, held on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., September 29, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

-Key battleground states are not likely to be understaffed on Nov. 3 following a nationwide push to recruit hundreds of thousands of younger poll workers to replace an aging, vulnerable workforce bowing out amid coronavirus worries.

-Some of the Rust Belt counties which Trump won in 2016 may be lost to Biden in 2020 as voters express anger with the president’s handling of the coronavirus.

-For young voters passionate about reversing climate change, other issues have eclipsed environmental concerns as their top priorities in 2020 - the economy, COVID-19 and racial justice.

-A Republican campaign to weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may backfire if Democrat Joe Biden wins the White House and with it the power to fire the agency’s Trump-appointed director. Plus a look at what a Biden win could mean for financial policy.

-A look at the key legal wins as both parties fight in court over rules on how to vote on Nov. 3, particularly as coronavirus leads to hundreds of lawsuits on how to cast a ballot in the middle of a pandemic.

-Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, who was the target of an alleged kidnapping plot foiled by the FBI, denounced Trump for attacking her during a rally and accused him of inciting domestic terrorism with his rhetoric.

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

Trump’s Middle East envoy says momentum is building for Arab-Israeli cooperation and he hopes that will outlast any change in the U.S. administration on Nov. 3.

INVESTOR VIEW

European stocks rallied in part on returning hopes of a relief package as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was optimistic about a deal before Election Day.

BY THE NUMBERS

-With just over two weeks to go until Election Day, Biden has the financial edge, kicking off October with a record $383 million haul in September compared to Trump’s $248 million the same month.

-Biden stole the show, beating Trump with higher ratings for their competing TV appearances held in lieu of the canceled second debate. Biden averaged 15.1 million viewers during his ABC town hall while Trump pulled in 13.5 million with his NBC town hall.

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

Expected events and Reuters coverage on Oct 19:

-Trump campaigns in Arizona

-Vice presidential nominee Senator Kamala Harris campaigns in Florida

-Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll from six battleground states: Arizona, Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina (5 p.m. ET/2100 GMT)

Refinitiv customers can find more 2020 U.S. Election content on the Election App ( here ) on Eikon or Workspace.

Media customers can find complete multimedia coverage on the Reuters Connect planning calendar here here

Reporting by Gayle Issa; Editing by Giles Elgood

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