President Trump held a rally in Winston-Salem, N.C., where he accused his opponents of being “anti-vaccine” and said a coronavirus vaccine could be coming “very soon.” Earlier, the campaign of Joe Biden and running mate Kamala D. Harris emphasized that they are pro-vaccine and called on the FDA to lay out criteria for ensuring a safe and effective vaccine.

Earlier, in Florida, Trump signed an order extending a moratorium on oil drilling off the coasts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, a stark reversal as he seeks to shore up votes in battleground states.

Biden, who had no public appearances Tuesday, unveiled an ad that seeks to frame the race as a choice between the “darkness” of Trump’s tenure and the prospect of a “fresh start.”

Here are some significant developments:
3:14 a.m.
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Trump-backed candidate wins primary to face N.H.’s Sen. Shaheen

By David Weigel

Bryant “Corky” Messner won the Republican Party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate from New Hampshire, according to the Associated Press, and will face Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) in November, after winning the support of President Trump. He’s the latest in a string of Trump-backed candidates to grab a last-minute advantage in a close race.

Messner, a lawyer, lent millions of dollars to his campaign against Don Bolduc, a retired Army brigadier general who in one ad said he didn’t serve his country so that “liberal pansies” could wreck it. Bolduc was out-funded but ran a close race, dominating around Lake Winnipesaukee and in the city of Concord.

Shaheen, a former governor first elected to the Senate in 2008, starts the eight-week race with a lead in polls. In 2014, she narrowly defeated former senator Scott Brown (who had relocated to the state from Massachusetts), but this year, better-known Republicans including Gov. Chris Sununu and Trump strategist Corey Lewandowski opted against running.

1:10 a.m.
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Trump insults Harris and Clinton as unlikable

By Colby Itkowitz

Trump sees the political shortcomings of Harris and former rival Hillary Clinton through the sexist trope that neither woman is likable.

Early in his remarks at a campaign rally in North Carolina, Trump attacked Harris over her poor showing in the Democratic presidential primary after she’d been seen early on as a potential front-runner.

You know why? People don’t like her. Nobody likes her," Trump said. “She could never be the first woman president. She would be an insult to our country.”

A bit later in his 90 minutes of meandering remarks, Trump riffed on how Clinton and Biden are different as candidates.

“She’s meaner. Probably not as nice,” Trump said. “But the big difference is she’s smarter than he is, okay? He’s a nicer person, but he’s not smart.”

Trump has plenty of attacks for men, too, but when he’s insulting a woman, it’s often about her supposedly being nasty, or, in other words, unlikable.

12:52 a.m.
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Trump slams Biden-Harris as anti-covid vaccine, which they are not

By Colby Itkowitz

Trump accused Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), of “risking countless lives” by questioning the efficacy of a rushed coronavirus vaccine during a 90-minute campaign rally speech in North Carolina that touched on all of Trump’s greatest hits, from Mexico paying for a border wall to referencing “crooked Hillary."

Both Biden and Harris have cautioned that Trump might pressure the FDA to approve a vaccine before the November vote to boost his reelection chances. And Harris, in an interview that aired Sunday, said she wouldn’t trust Trump’s word on a vaccine before the election. Since then, she’s tried to clarify her remarks, saying she would trust a vaccine that came out in the next several weeks if backed by the medical community.

Trump told his supporters that there would be a vaccine “very soon, very, very soon by the end of the year. But much sooner than that, perhaps.” He said it would not have gotten done so quickly under any other administration.

He then accused Biden and Harris of “undermining science and risking countless lives with their reckless anti-vaccine rhetoric.”

So instead of saying that’s a great thing, we’re going to save lives, they’re trying to disparage it. They’re trying to make it politics,” Trump said. “And now what’s going to happen is we’ll have it and people won’t want to take it. That’s really bad.”

The Biden campaign held a call with reporters earlier in the day to say the candidates are as eager as anyone to see a vaccine ready as soon as possible but are worried that Trump’s timeline for it is him playing politics.

David Kessler, a former FDA commissioner who is an adviser to the Biden campaign, called on the FDA to be explicit in laying out the criteria it will use to ensure any coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective.

The agency issued a guidance in June laying out what it would require before approving a vaccine or authorizing it on an emergency basis.

But Kessler said that since then the criteria have been muddied by statements made by FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and repeated comments by Trump that there may be a vaccine before the election, suggesting some of those guideposts could be overlooked.

11:11 p.m.
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As many as 1,000 voters may have cast ballots by mail and in person in Ga. primary, secretary of state says

By Amy Gardner

As many as 1,000 Georgians may have cast ballots in the June primary both by mail and in person, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) said Tuesday, raising questions about how well poll workers in the state are enforcing safeguards.

Raffensperger’s office is investigating whether those who voted twice did so intentionally and whether two votes were actually counted in each case. Georgia’s June 9 primary was plagued by widespread problems with the delivery of mail ballots and long lines at the polls.

Raffensperger’s office acknowledged that many voters may have shown up in person because they were afraid that their mail ballots would not be counted.

10:37 p.m.
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Trump’s campaign paying to replace sod on the White House South Lawn and Rose Garden post-convention

By Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker

Trump’s reelection campaign is paying to replace sod on the White House South Lawn and Rose Garden after damage to the greenery late last month from large crowds and heavy equipment used for Republican National Convention festivities, White House and campaign officials said Tuesday.

Trump’s unprecedented decision to stage overtly political events on public property — which inspired howls that the Trumps were overtly using “the people’s house” for personal gain — continues to reverberate nearly two weeks later, as work crews re-sod grass and make other repairs.

10:13 p.m.
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Sarah Sanders’s claim about Trump and dead soldiers is false

By Aaron Blake

Sarah Sanders told ABC News on Tuesday morning that her new book on her time in the Trump administration is a contrast to the criticism of the president from other former officials. But in the same interview, she relayed an inexplicably false claim while defending President Trump — as she has many times before.

Sanders said in the interview and in a separate video posted to social media that she was in the room while Trump “let a parent know that their son had been killed” — a verbatim talking point from both. The latter video had more than 3 million views as of Tuesday afternoon.

But what she was describing is not how things are handled. The military has a policy of informing the families of dead service members in person, not over the phone — much less having the president himself notify them.

9:31 p.m.
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In reversal, Trump to ban oil drilling off coasts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina

By Brady Dennis and Dino Grandoni

Trump, who barely two years ago proposed a vast expansion of oil and gas drilling in U.S. continental waters, on Tuesday made clear there is at least part of the nation’s coastline he is eager to protect: The crucial electoral battleground of Florida.

Trump on Tuesday announced plans to extend a moratorium on oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, an area that includes the Sunshine State’s west coast, as well as the Atlantic coasts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

The move marks a stark reversal for Trump as he seeks to shore up votes in the tightly contested state ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

8:54 p.m.
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Kamala D. Harris goes viral — for her shoe choice

By Chelsea Janes

It took roughly eight seconds of on-the-ground campaigning for the first Black woman to be nominated on a major party’s ticket to go viral.

At first glance, little seemed noteworthy as Sen. Kamala D. Harris deplaned in Milwaukee on Monday. She was wearing a mask. She didn’t trip. Instead, what sent video pinging around the Internet was what was on her feet: her black, low-rise Chuck Taylor All-Stars, the classic shoe that has long been associated more with cultural cool than carefully managed high-profile candidacies.

By Tuesday morning, videos by two reporters witnessing her arrival had been viewed nearly 8 million times on Twitter — for comparison’s sake, more than four times the attention the campaign’s biggest planned video event, a conversation between Biden and former president Barack Obama, had received on Twitter and YouTube combined.

8:20 p.m.
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Trump touts himself as ‘great environmentalist,’ says Democrats are ‘all talk’ on issue

By Colby Itkowitz

As Trump touted his environmental record, he disclosed his motivation for supporting a massive investment in the national parks in August. Doing so, some lawmakers told him, would make you the No. 1 environmental president since Teddy Roosevelt.”

“I said, ‘huh, that sounds good’ because I wasn’t going to do it. I figured, you know, let’s not do. But when they said that, there was like a challenge,” Trump told a Florida audience. “Who would have thought Trump is the great environmentalist?”

He then claimed erroneously that Democrats were “all talk” when it came to environmental issues.

“They talk a big game, and they do nothing. That’s really what it is, too. They talk and talk the environment. They talk and talk. Nothing happens. It’s all talk,” Trump said. “To our political opponents, environmental policy is just an excuse to advance a socialist platform that will impose trillions and trillions of dollars in new taxes and send our jobs overseas, making it impossible to open up new companies and to live less expensively.”

House Democrats have passed numerous bills aimed at addressing climate change that were dead on arrival in the Republican-led Senate and faced veto threats from the White House.

Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement, eased curbs on carbon emissions from power plants and rolled back dozens of regulations aimed at protecting the planet. He has also made attacking the Green New Deal — an ambitious plan introduced by some Democrats to address climate change and income inequality — a cornerstone of his reelection message.

6:45 p.m.
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John Kelly defended Trump’s military comments before. Why not now?

By Aaron Blake

We got perhaps our first taste Monday of former White House chief of staff John Kelly’s version of events when it comes to whether Trump disparaged the military and war dead.

That Kelly himself continues to decline to say anything publicly remains conspicuous, especially given how he handled a similar situation while in the White House.

5:40 p.m.
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Trump and Biden tied in new Florida poll

By John Wagner

Trump and Biden are in a dead heat in Florida, according to a new NBC-Marist poll that was released as Trump flew Tuesday on Air Force One to the Sunshine State.

Both the Republican incumbent and Democratic challenger draw support from 48 percent of likely voters, with Trump ahead among Latinos in the state and Biden performing better among seniors than his party’s 2016 nominee, Hillary Clinton.

The poll finds Trump with a narrow lead among Latino voters, 50 percent to 46 percent. In 2016, Clinton outpaced Trump among Latinos, 62 percent to 35 percent, according to exit polling.

The poll finds a statistical tie among seniors, with Biden drawing 49 percent and Trump drawing 48 percent. Four years ago, Trump won Florida seniors, 57 percent to 40 percent, according to exit polling.

Biden’s most pronounced advantages in the 2020 race are among Black voters (83 percent to 11 percent), women (57 percent to 40 percent) and independents (51 percent to 40 percent).

Trump, meanwhile, leads among men (58 percent to 38 percent), White voters (56 percent to 41 percent) and White voters without college degrees (63 percent to 35 percent).

5:15 p.m.
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Trump campaign launches radio ad aimed at Black voters

By Felicia Sonmez

The Trump campaign Tuesday launched a radio ad in which two of the president’s most prominent Black supporters praise him as a leader who “keeps right on fighting to improve the lives of Black Americans.”

The ad features former NFL star Herschel Walker and Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones, a Black Democrat who said at last month’s Republican National Convention that “all hell broke loose” when he endorsed Trump this year.

The minute-long spot, which comes amid a push by the Trump campaign to woo Black and Latino men, will run in 11 urban radio markets — including Detroit; Flint, Mich.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Charlotte — Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said on a call with reporters Tuesday.

In the ad, Jones describes himself as “part of a large and growing segment of the Black community who are independent thinkers” and believe that Trump “is the president that America needs to lead us forward.”

“Joe Biden has had 47 years to produce results, but he’s been all talk and no action, just like so many of the Democrats who’ve been making promises to the Black voters for decades,” Jones says.

Walker, who also spoke at the GOP convention, says Trump “has accomplished so much almost all by himself under constant attack.”

A Washington Post-Ipsos poll of African Americans released this year found that more than 8 in 10 view the president as racist. Trump’s approval rating among Black male registered voters in the poll was 8 percent.

4:40 p.m.
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Trump says he will spend his own money on his campaign if necessary

By John Wagner and Felicia Sonmez

Trump on Tuesday confirmed a report that he is considering spending some of his own money on his reelection bid even as his campaign insisted that it would have enough cash to compete in the final stretch of the race against Biden.

“If I have to, I would,” Trump said when asked by a reporter whether he was prepared to spend his own money. “Whatever it takes, we have to win.”

Trump made his comments shortly before boarding Air Force One en route to events in Florida and North Carolina. Shortly after getting on the plane, Trump tweeted that he doubts he will need to spend his own money but reiterated that he will do so if necessary.

Bloomberg News reported Tuesday that Trump has discussed spending as much as $100 million of his own money on his campaign if necessary. Trump personally contributed $66 million to his 2016 campaign, but it would be unprecedented for an incumbent president to help fund his reelection bid.

As Trump was speaking to reporters at Joint Base Andrews, his campaign manager, Bill Stepien, said in a conference call that he is confident that the campaign has the resources to compete and that he is carefully managing the budget.

“We’re very comfortable and confident in where we’re spending and how much we’re spending and how much we’re going to have down the stretch,” Stepien said.

Multiple reports over the weekend said the Trump campaign is facing a cash crunch after spending heavily in the early stages of the race.

Last week, Biden’s campaign said it raised $364.5 million in August along with the national party and affiliated fundraising committees, a record-breaking monthly fundraising haul. Trump and the Republican National Committee have yet to release their fundraising numbers for August.

Stepien argued that money does not determine who wins presidential elections.

“If money was the only factor determining winners and losers in politics, Jeb Bush would’ve been the nominee in 2016, and we’d have a second President Clinton right now in the Oval Office,” he said, referring to the former governor of Florida whom Trump bested in the Republican primaries and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, whom Trump defeated in the general election.

“We are now carefully managing the budget,” Stepien said. “I consider it to be among the — if not the — most important tasks for any campaign manager. Creating or re-creating the budget was the first thing that I did upon becoming the campaign manager, and it’s something that we as a team manage every single day.”

Stepien said Trump’s campaign will have far more money to spend in the closing weeks of the race than it did in 2016.

“It won’t be close,” he said. “It’ll be by a factor of two times or three times what we had to spend on the campaign we were a part of in 2016.”

4:33 p.m.
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Trump campaign raises expectations for Biden ahead of debates: ‘He’s really good’

By Felicia Sonmez

Trump’s reelection campaign Tuesday outlined seven potential paths to victory and raised expectations for Biden’s performance at the upcoming presidential debates, describing the Democratic nominee as a “formidable” opponent on the debate stage.

“He’s a politician. He gives speeches. He’s really good at doing it,” Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said of Biden on a call with reporters Tuesday.

He added: “Joe Biden is not formidable anywhere else, but he is formidable on the debate stage. We just hope he shows up.”

Stepien’s remarks stand in contrast to Trump’s attacks on Biden for his occasional verbal stumbles. On Monday, Trump repeatedly claimed that Biden “doesn’t have a clue” and “is a stupid person.”

With eight weeks to go until Election Day, the Trump campaign Tuesday pointed to the president’s “very active” schedule. Trump is holding a campaign rally in North Carolina on Tuesday night, followed by campaign stops later this week in Michigan and Nevada.

Campaign aides also outlined five potential victory scenarios that include a Trump win in the key battleground state of Florida, as well as two scenarios in which Trump loses Florida but still ekes out a win due to victories in other swing states, including Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

One of the scenarios presented by the campaign was a landslide in which Trump sweeps all of the battlegrounds, taking 356 electoral votes to Biden’s 182.