The campaigns of President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden traded recriminations and proposals Thursday over the timing of a second presidential debate after Trump rejected a decision by a nonpartisan panel to hold a town-hall-style event on Oct. 15 virtually instead of in person.

Meanwhile, both campaigns are focusing on Western battleground states. Biden joined his running mate, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), for events in Arizona. Vice President Pence touched down in the state after an appearance in Nevada. Trump was in D.C. as he continued to recover from the coronavirus, working from the Oval Office in the afternoon. Trump’s physician said he expected Trump to return to “public engagements” by Saturday.

With 26 days until the election …

  • Vulnerable Republicans are beginning to distance themselves from Trump’s response to the coronavirus and his termination of negotiations with Democrats over federal economic relief.
  • Down in the polls and yearning for an October surprise, Trump lashed out at his loyal allies in a television interview.
  • Biden and Pence tested negative for the coronavirus Thursday, aides said.
  • The vice-presidential nominees clashed Wednesday over Trump’s leadership and Biden’s policy plans in a debate held under extraordinary circumstances.
  • Biden leads Trump by 11 percentage points nationally, 53 percent to 42 percent, according to an average of national polls since Sept. 16. Biden’s margin is smaller in key states: eight points in Pennsylvania, seven in Wisconsin and Michigan, and three in Arizona and Florida.