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Republican Senator Says He'll 'Step in' if Joe Biden Isn’t Allowed Security Briefings by Friday

A Republican senator said Wednesday that he’ll "step in" if President-elect Joe Biden still isn’t receiving daily security briefings by Friday.

Sen. James Lankford, an Oklahoma lawmaker who sits on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, told local KRMG radio that “there's nothing wrong with Vice President Biden getting the briefings to be able to prepare himself and so that he can be ready.”

While President Donald Trump, 74, refuses to accept the results of the 2020 election, which show he lost to Biden, his administration has also refused to move forward with transition operations to help Biden’s incoming administration prepare to take over in January.

Emily Murphy, the General Services Administration’s administrator who was appointed by Trump, has refused to sign off on the transition process and said there hasn’t been an “ascertainment” about who won the election yet.

"There is no loss from him getting the briefings," Lankford, 52, said. "If that's not occurring by Friday, I will step in as well and be able to push them and to say this needs to occur so that regardless of the outcome of the election, whichever way that it goes, people can be ready for that actual task."

Biden, 77, has called Trump’s refusal to concede an “embarrassment,” while the country’s national security experts have argued the incoming administration needs to receive security briefings in order for the country to be ensured of a safe transition of power.

"As has been done in every other transition, the President should order that Biden and his team receive the PDB [President’s Daily Brief], as has been done in the past, even during the contested election of 2000," said Sen. Mark Warner, a Democratic lawmaker on the Intelligence Committee, according to CNN. "It's simply irresponsible to withhold this in these uncertain times."

Trump has been criticized by both Democratic and Republican officials for continuing to push baseless conspiratorial theories alleging the election was “stolen” from him.

Election officials in every state told The New York Times there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

Trump’s refusal to accept the election results have played into fear that the president, with his history of trafficking in unfounded conspiracy theories and lying, may refuse to willingly leave office. Trump officials have waved off those concerns, however.

One former Trump administration official tells PEOPLE his team is on track to exhaust their legal efforts before the president would concede: "He feels he has to see it through for his supporters."

Lankford says he believes there’s “no question” Trump will leave office peacefully, once the elections are certified across the country.

“I can assure you there will be a peaceful transition of power in the United States,” Lankford said. “There is no question there will be a peaceful transition of power.”

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The Emotional Story Behind Joe Biden’s Victory Speech: ‘He Knows Healing Is Possible’

When Joe Biden searched for the words for his first speech as president-elect — words with which he hoped to lead a divided nation to its first step toward healing — it was the lyrics to On Eagle's Wings that kept coming back to him.

The hymn was long a favorite of Biden's big Irish-Catholic family but it had attached to a memory painful to him when it played at his son Beau's funeral Mass in 2015.

On Eagle’s Wings was a very special song to Beau and in the period after Beau passed, it was very difficult for Joe to listen to that hymn," says former Sen. Ted Kaufman, a close friend.

Now, as the hymn tugged at Biden's thoughts, he recognized it as proof that healing can happen — here at the end of a bitter presidential campaign, after a year of upheaval and protest against injustice, in the shadow of a deadly pandemic.

He found the right words.

"In the last days of the campaign, I’ve been thinking about a hymn that means a lot to me and to my family, particularly my deceased son Beau. It captures the faith that sustains me and which I believe sustains America," Biden, 77, said on Saturday night, hours after the 2020 presidential race was called for him and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris.

Beau, the eldest of Biden's three children and Delaware's former attorney general, died of brain cancer at age 42.

• For more of PEOPLE's coverage of the history-making election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, subscribe now or pick up the new issue, on newsstands Friday.

Speaking Saturday in a vast parking lot in Wilmington, Delaware, where his hometown supporters cheered from their cars to remain socially distanced (in accordance with protocols for reining in the novel coronavirus), President-elect Biden continued about the hymn: "I hope it can provide some comfort and solace to the more than 230,000 families who have lost a loved one to this terrible virus this year. …

"And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings,

"Bear you on the breath of dawn,

"Make you to shine like the sun,

"And hold you in the palm of His Hand.”

"And now, together — on eagle’s wings — we embark on the work that God and history have called upon us to do. With full hearts and steady hands, with faith in America and in each other, with a love of country — and a thirst for justice — let us be the nation that we know we can be," Biden said.

"A nation united. A nation strengthened. A nation healed."

In the wake of Biden's speech, Kaufman told PEOPLE for its new cover story on the election: Biden "has become kind of an expert on healing."

Weeks after he was first elected in 1972 to a Senate seat from Delaware at age 29, Biden had to bury his wife and baby daughter, killed in a car crash that left his young sons Beau and Hunter hospitalized.

Says Valerie Biden Owens, his sister and longtime adviser: "People don't care what you know until they know that you care. And because Joe has tasted tragedy as well as triumph, as he has walked the walk, people respond to him. And there's comfort in knowing that somebody else gets it."

Kaufman agrees.

"So when it comes to healing for the country, he knows it’s possible. Him standing there, reciting that hymn proves that you can come back from even the worst kind of pain.”

• With reporting by ADAM CARLSON

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Van Jones Chokes Up on Live TV Talking About His Relief from Joe Biden's Win: 'Character Matters'

CNN's Van Jones grew emotional on Saturday while talking about his reaction to Joe Biden's projected victory over President Donald Trump.

Jones, his voice thickening as he wiped tears from his eyes, said the Democratic nominee's win was less about policy than it was a vindication of the importance of "being a good person."

“It’s easier to be a parent this morning. It’s easier to be a dad. It’s easier to tell your kids 'character matters.' It matters. Telling the truth matters. Being a good person matters," said Jones, 52.

But it wasn't just that, in his view: Trump's loss was a loss for Trump's inflammatory style and long history of targeting immigrants, Muslims and other minorities. (The president has insisted he is "the least racist person.")

Jones, choking up, said on CNN his relief was surely shared by others.

“And it’s easier for a whole lot of people: If you’re a Muslim in this country, you don’t have to worry if the president doesn’t want you here. If you’re an immigrant, you don’t have to worry that the president is going to be happier to have babies snatched away or send 'dreamers' back for no reason.

"This is vindication for a lot of people who have really suffered," he continued. "You know ‘I can’t breathe’? That’s wasn’t just George Floyd. That was a lot of people who have felt they couldn’t breathe. Every day, you’re waking up and you’re getting these tweets and you just don’t know — and you’re going to the store and people who have been afraid to show their racism are getting nastier and nastier to you. And you’re worried about your kids. And you’re worried about your sister and can she just go to Walmart and get back into her car without somebody saying something to her? And you’ve spent so much of your life energy just trying to hold it together."

Life under President Trump was life spent consumed by such sharpened worries, Jones said. A Biden administration promised none of that.

“This is a big deal for us just to be able to get some peace and to have a chance for a reset. And the character of the country matters. And being a good man matters," Jones said.

He went on: “I just want my sons to look at this. Look at this: It’s easy to do it the cheap way and get away with stuff, but it comes back around. It comes back around. And it’s a good day for this country. I’m sorry for the people who lost. For them it’s not a good day. But for a whole lot of people it’s a good day.”

Video of Jones' comments quickly went viral on social media, earning widespread praise including from former First Lady Michelle Obama.

"Van, thank you for expressing the sorrow and relief that we all feel," she wrote on Twitter. "My hope is that those who hoped for a different outcome will take a moment to empathize with the pain so many of us have felt over the past four years."

Others, however, criticized Jones for what they called hypocrisy because he had worked with the Trump administration on criminal justice reform.

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Biden Pulls Into Narrow Lead Over Trump in Georgia — After the State Hasn't Voted Democratic in Decades

As of Friday former Vice President Joe Biden had pulled into a narrow lead in Georgia in the contest over Donald Trump — a victory that, if it holds, would see a crucial Republican state flip blue for the first time in nearly 30 years, underlining the extent to which the cities, suburbs and people of color there had repudiated the president.

The margin between the candidates remain razor thin — about 1,500 votes as of Friday morning — which all but ensured a recount would be possible, according to state elections officials, who said the final result may not be known until later in the month.

The delay in Georgia, officials have repeatedly explained, is largely due to the volume of mail ballots this year because of the novel coronavirus pandemic: some 1.25 million such votes were returned through Election Day, which amounts to about a quarter of all votes counted in the state so far.

But as the vote counting continued into the third day after the presidential election, Biden's path to a win in Georgia — one of the country's most diverse states — has become clearer and clearer.

While Trump, 77, racked up notable margins in the state's rural and Republican-leaning areas, Biden won even more convincingly in Atlanta and its suburbs as well as in Georgia's other urban, suburban and exurban areas, while decreasing Trump's share of the vote in many key Republican counties.

After Trump earned clear wins in the key swing states of Florida, Ohio and Texas, many Democrats rejoiced at the news in Georgia — which seemed to prove out the success of the Biden campaign's push to flip the state along with Arizona, where he was also narrowly ahead as of Friday.

Those wins would only pad Biden's Electoral College victory, given his leads in the Midwestern states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. (The last time Georgia voted for a Democratic presidential nominee was for Bill Clinton in 1992; before that, it was during Georgia native Jimmy Carter's two campaigns, in 1976 and 1980.)

On social media, credit began cascading to Stacey Abrams, a former Georgia legislator-turned-voting rights activist who narrowly lost the state's 2018 race for governor and who has spent years organizing Democrats there and registering new voters.

On Twitter on Friday, Abrams spotlighted the work of others, including groups that supported turnout from Black, Latino and Asian voters.

"Let’s shout out those who’ve been in the trenches and deserve the plaudits for change," she wrote.

President Trump has responded to the increasing reality of his defeat with defiance and deceit — saying in a Thursday night speech from the White House that the votes against him were fraudulent.

Some Republican lawmakers in Georgia took up that evidence-free argument, appearing at a rally Thursday night in Atlanta along with Trump's son Donald Trump Jr., according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

However, the state's top officials — Gov. Brian Kemp and Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, all of whom are Republicans — were absent, though Loeffler and Perdue posted social media messages calling for transparency and fairness in the elections and offered other support for Trump.

The president has likewise accused the elections in states where he is losing of being run by Democrats, though Georgia's top elections officials are all Republicans.

On Friday morning one of those officials, Gabriel Sterling, provided an update on the remaining votes to be counted in Georgia. He told reporters there were some 4,100 votes remaining statewide, mostly in the Atlanta area, as well as an unknown number of properly postmarked military or overseas ballots that could be received by the end of Friday.

Sterling noted the extremely small margin between the candidates — "less than a large high school" — underscored the importance of investigating any serious claim of fraud or other issue as well as ensuring every legally cast vote was counted correctly.

But so far, he said, "We’re not seeing widespread irregularities, we’re not seeing anything widespread."

There are "many, many safeguards" to "ensure the integrity of the vote" in Georgia, he said.

Earlier this week, he said their priority was precision.

"Fast is great and we appreciate fast," Sterling said. "We more appreciate accuracy. Accuracy is going to be the bedrock upon which people will believe the outcome of these elections, be they on the winning side or the losing side."

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Joe Biden’s Campaign Manager Condemns Trump’s Statement on Ballots

Joe Biden’s campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon has slammed President Trump’s White House speech, describing it as “outrageous” in a statement.

“The president’s statement tonight about trying to shut down the counting of duly cast ballots was outrageous, unprecedented and incorrect. It was outrageous because it is a naked effort to take away the democratic rights of American citizens,” O’Malley Dillon said in the statement released in the early hours of Wednesday morning and reported by CNN.

She went on to underline that the “counting will not stop.”

Early on Wednesday, Trump told supporters, “Millions and millions of people voted for us tonight, and a very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people, and we won’t stand for it.”

“Frankly, we did win this election,” Trump falsely stated. “So our goal now is to ensure the integrity, for the good of this nation — this is a very big moment, this is a major fraud on our nation. We want the law to be used in a proper manner, so we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4 o’clock in the morning and add them to the list. It’s a very sad moment.”

Trump spent most of his remaining time at the podium insisting that he was ahead in a number of races, claiming with no proof that it was “clear” he had won Georgia and North Carolina, when no major news outlets have so far called the results in either state.

Hours ahead of Trump’s speech, Biden told supporters, “It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare who won the election. That’s the decision of the American people.”

The Democratic challenger urged supporters to “keep the faith,” but warned that the results would not be known until Wednesday.

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How Joe Biden Can Win the Presidency Even if He Loses Pennsylvania and Georgia

There are many different paths to the White House when it comes to accumulating 270 electoral votes. For Vice President Joe Biden, that path doesn't necessarily have to include two battleground states.

All eyes are on Pennsylvania as the swing state continues to count its ballots. The state holds 20 electoral votes and has been discussed as a potential key to a Biden victory.

However, even if Biden does not win Pennsylvania or Georgia, another state considered a battleground state in this year’s election, he can still best President Donald Trump by winning Nevada, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Should Biden lose any of the three states, however, the results will then hinge on what comes out of Georgia and Pennsylvania.

On Wednesday morning, Biden was slightly ahead of Trump in Wisconsin and Michigan with around 95 percent of the votes counted, and also had an edge in Nevada with 67 percent of the votes in, according to the Associated Press.

Trump, meanwhile, was ahead of Biden in Pennsylvania with 64 percent of the votes in, and in Georgia, with 94 percent of the votes in. But in both states, most of the outstanding votes come in urban and suburban counties where Biden is expected to outperform Trump.

Biden, 77, said early Wednesday in Delaware that he was “feeling real good about Wisconsin and Michigan,” and expected to win in his home state of Pennsylvania, according to The New York Times.

“We believe we are on track to win this election,” he said.

With Trump, 74, winning in Florida, Ohio and Texas, he prevented Biden from being able to lock down a win on Election Day, but did not create a new path to victory for himself, the Times noted.

Trump baselessly claimed on social media that "they" are trying to "STEAL" the election. Twitter quickly flagged the president's tweet as "misleading," while news anchors were emphatic about the ongoing legal count of legally cast ballots.

Prominent Trump allies Chris Christie and Rick Santorum slammed Trump's claims as well. Christie told ABC News that Trump had "no basis" for his claim of fraud, and Santorum told CNN analysts, according to The Hill, that he was "very distressed" by Trump's words.

Ballot counting efforts in the states required for a Biden win have been slow, as officials were unable to begin counting mail-in votes ahead of time.

As NPR noted, votes that are counted later on in the process typically come from urban areas, and usually favor Democrats.

The winner of the election may not be determined until at least later Wednesday, though ballot counting could take upwards of days.

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Kanye West Concedes Defeat After Receiving 60,000 Votes in Controversial Presidential Campaign

Following a controversial and disorganized campaign for president, rapper and designer Kanye West has conceded defeat.

According to national election results tabulated by the Associated Press, West received roughly 60,000 votes across a dozen states, making his ultimate impact on the race exceedingly small.

The results were unsurprising considering West's late entry into the race and the haphazard campaign that followed.

As results began rolling in, and it became clear that West would receive very few votes, he went on Twitter once again, alluding to a potential 2024 campaign.

He first announced his candidacy on the Fourth of July via Twitter, and later said he would run an independent campaign under the so-called "Birthday Party" banner.

Just two weeks later, he held a much-reported-on campaign event during which he delivered an hour-long, rambling speech about abortion, race, his own children, and the presidency.

"I don't give a f— if I win the presidency or not… I am in service to God," West said during his speech about his bid. "God has a plan for us and his people to be finally free. Trump, Biden, or Kanye West cannot free us."

Despite the controversy that surrounded the event, West forged ahead with his campaign, which ran on a slogan of "YES!," and featured Michelle Tidball, a self-described "biblical life coach," as his running mate.

West's admittedly vague platform — which promised to restore prayer in schools and "reduce household debt" — appeared on his campaign website alongside Kanye-branded merchandise, including $160 hoodies and $60 baseball hats.

But the actual policy side of his campaign seemed to lack specifics.

In a July interview with Forbes, West brushed over the social and political issues facing the nation, suggesting he wanted to bring more "fun" back to the White House.

"When I'm president, let's also have some fun," West said. "Let’s get past all the racism conversation, let's empower people with 40 acres and a mule, let's give some land, that's the plan.”

West's ties to Republicans, including his support for President Donald Trump, plagued his campaign from the start.

In August, reports surfaced that West's campaign was being aided by Republican operatives in a thinly veiled attempt to help Trump  against former Vice President Joe Biden.

That same month, The New York Times reported that West had "met privately" with Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, though the rapper denied it had anything to do with his campaign.

Even with the reported assistance of Republicans, West's campaign missed deadlines to qualify in many states and failed to collect enough valid signatures to qualify in others.

In the end, West's name appeared on ballots in just a dozen states, including Colorado and Minnesota.

In California, he appeared on the ballot as a potential vice president alongside American Independent Party presidential candidate Rocky De La Fuente.

According to the AP, West received and 0.3 percent of the total vote in Tennessee, with 10,216 votes. He achieved roughly 0.4 percent of the vote in Idaho, Utah, and Oklahoma, but failed to get a larger percentage in any other states.

On Election Day, West, who lives in Wyoming, tweeted that he was preparing to vote for the first time in his life, for himself.

He later shared a photo of what appeared to be his own Wyoming ballot. While he was not officially listed as a candidate on the ballot, he had written in his own name.

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With Votes Still Being Counted, Biden and Trump Await a Morning-After Decision — 'or Maybe Even Longer'

Joe Biden and Donald Trump struck strikingly different tones as Tuesday tipped into Wednesday and the results of the 2020 presidential election remained unclear while numerous ballots nationwide — and in key swing states — were still being counted.

While former Vice President Biden, 77, publicly urged patience for the vote total while saying he felt optimistic about his chances, President Trump, 74, baselessly tweeted that "they" were trying to steal the election from him.

Twitter quickly intervened, hiding Trump's post behind a disclaimer that "some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process."

In recent weeks, the president has grown increasingly insistent about undemocratic stances on vote counting, at times suggesting that ballots should not be counted after Election Day, which would be illegal.

He has also attacked the Supreme Court for allowing some states to accept votes that are postmarked by Election Day to arrive later and he has said that he might not accept the results of his defeat, suspecting that any loss would be fraudulent.

"We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!" Trump tweeted early Wednesday (after initially misspelling the word "polls").

He also wrote that he would soon make a statement, apparently from the White House where he has been hosting a private election night party.

Biden spoke to his supporters at a drive-in event — a pandemic precaution — in Wilmington, Delaware, early Wednesday. He projected confidence about the paths ahead to victory, given close margins in Arizona, Georgia and the Midwest, after Trump earned an early win in Florida: “Keep the faith guys, we’re going to win this.”

Further results, Biden said, would take time. And that was okay.

“We knew this was going to go long — but who knew we were going to go into tomorrow morning, maybe even longer?” he said.

"We need to be patient and it ain’t over until every vote is counted, every ballot is counted,” he continued, going on to say: “It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare who’s won the election. That’s the decision of the American people.”

As polls were closing early Tuesday night, Trump touted the support he said was to come. "WE ARE LOOKING REALLY GOOD ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. THANK YOU!" he wrote.

Outside of the remaining swing states that will decide the Electoral College winner, there were millions more ballots still to be counted in other states such as California as of early Wednesday.

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Vermont's Phil Scott Becomes First Incumbent GOP Governor to Publicly Vote for Joe Biden

Republican Gov. Phil Scott, of Vermont, has voted for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

On Tuesday, Scott, who is running for re-election against Democrat Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, spoke with reporters after casting his 2020 ballot for the former vice president, according to Vermont outlet Seven Days.

With his vote for Biden, Scott became the first incumbent Republican governor currently in office to publicly break from his party.

A spokesperson for Scott did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Scott, who also did not vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, has been vocal about his disdain for Trump and his administration.

During an August press conference, Scott said he was "quite adamant in not supporting the president," The Hill reported.

And in February, Scott spoke out after Trump was acquitted by the Senate on the two articles of impeachment.

"I believe that the president abused his powers. It's hard, in some respects for me, because I'm not a supporter. I didn't vote for the president, and I don't believe that he should be in office," he said, according to The Associated Press. "I think it's for the voters to decide in November whether he should continue in that role."

[primary_media_image primary_image="11827133" orientation="default" /]

Scott is not the only GOP lawmaker to have rejected Trump this year.

Recently, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan told reporters that when he voted he wrote in the name of former President Ronald Reagan, who died in 2004, instead of Trump. "I know it's simply symbolic. It's not going to change the outcome in my state. But I thought it was important to just cast a vote that showed the kind of person I'd like to see in office," Hogan told The Washington Post about his 2020 ballot.

Elsewhere, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said he left his ballot blank and did not vote for any candidate in the 2020 presidential race, according to the Boston Globe. In the 2016 election, Baker did not vote for Trump.

Also, former Ohio Gov. John Kasich publicly endorsed Biden in August during the Democratic National Convention when the Ohio conservative made a pre-taped appearance. "Many of us have been deeply concerned about the current path we’ve been following for the past four years. I'm a lifelong Republican, but that attachment holds second place to my responsibility to my country," Kasich said.

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How President Donald Trump's Re-Election Campaign Has Differed from 2016

Though the T-shirts, hats, flags and promises to "Make America Great Again" might mirror what helped him drum up support in 2016, President Donald Trump's campaign message has changed significantly over the past four years.

The former reality television star's provocative, pugilistic style is still there, of course — but this year, it's been muddied by a global pandemic that has affected both voters and the president himself.

Even if Trump hasn't changed much, the world around him has, and his campaign has struggled to adapt as a result.

Below, a look at where Trump's two campaigns have aligned — and how they've differed — four years after he was first elected.

What’s Similar

Trump is a showman at heart, and he still loves to perform. And while he's worked to replay some of his first campaign's messaging, much of it hasn't had the same effect.

Trump's 2016 claims of Hillary Clinton's supposed criminality were often met with cheers of "Lock her up!" at his well-attended rallies. This year, the president has attempted to piggyback off that theme by yoking Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to illegal affairs.

Biden, whose favorability ratings are much higher than Clinton's, isn't quite as prime a target. Most of Trump's claims are unfounded and, what's more, many have more to do with the behavior of Biden's son, Hunter (who isn't running for office) than the former vice president himself.

Trump has seemingly recognized that the Biden jabs don't have the same effect on his audience as his old routine. As a result, he's often slipped back into the 2016 campaign-speak, bringing up Clinton as if she were his current opponent.

The "lock her up" refrain might be a familiar one for supporters, but it's not one that can necessarily translate to the ballot box.

Trump's campaign schedule — particularly in the final weeks leading up to the Nov. 3 election — has also mirrored 2016. In the closing days, Trump packed in multiple events a day, visiting a slew of swing states for rallies despite the ongoing pandemic.

What’s Different

In 2016, then-candidate Trump worked to appeal to voters by painting himself as an outsider — one who would work to "drain the swamp" and shrink federal bureaucracy if elected.

In 2020, he has a four-year record to answer to.

His first campaign was one with a defined (albeit, controversial) message: it was anti-immigrant, it was anti-Clinton, and it promised a slew of aggressive foreign policies.

In the COVID-19 era, much of that sentiment is gone. Now, Americans have a common enemy — a virus that's claimed the lives of 231,000 in the U.S. as of Nov. 3 — and it's not one Trump seems particularly interested in fighting.

The pandemic dominating the headlines has meant that the president hasn't been able to break through to voters the way he did in 2016. Large-scale rallies were put on hold after Trump himself was diagnosed and then hospitalized with the virus.

But even after being sidetracked by his own diagnosis, Trump forged ahead, committing to large, in-person rallies that flouted rules put in place to help slow the spread of the virus.

The promise of "Keeping America Great" might resonate at rallies, but polls show it hasn't among undecided voters and the millions who have gotten sick, seen loved ones die, or lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

While Trump's delivery hasn't changed much in four years, his subject matter has. Broad references to putting Hillary Clinton in jail might have drawn applause, but in recent months, Trump has waded more deeply into the Fox News/QAnon bubble.

As Vox's Jane Coaston wrote last month, the president appears to be performing for an audience of those who spend hours per day on Twitter, rather than on the more moderate and independent voters who won him the election.

Where 2016 Trump pointed to caravans of immigrants threatening to overtake the border, 2020 Trump delivers speeches full of references with which the casual rally attendee might not necessarily even be familiar.

Hunter Biden's "laptop from Hell;" vague references to big tech; and China's purported orders of soybeans were all recent topics brought up while Trump was campaigning.

Perhaps the most notable difference, aside from an economic and political landscape that's shifted due to COVID-19, is the electorate itself.

The number of those who identify as undecided voters have shrunk in four years and those supporting third-party candidates aren't likely to make as much of a mark on the 2020 elections.

Part of the allure of a Trump presidency, back in 2016, was the great unknown: Trump was recognized as a celebrity, but not as a political figure, and could make any number of promises without offering a resume to back it up.

Four years later, voters know him. And polls show that familiarity could lead to a far bigger predicament that Trump faced heading into Election Day in 2016.

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