Coronavirus live news: virus affects 'virtually' no young, says Trump, as US nears 200,000 deaths

The promise of a return to normalcy has been central to Trump’s reelection pitch from the earliest days of the pandemic, so it’s no surprise that he would seize on America’s second most popular sport – a signpost of autumn and a pastime regarded as a vanguard of conservative values – during the run-up to his showdown with Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

Four years ago, Trump was able to win the electoral college and the White House despite receiving nearly 3m fewer votes by toppling the so-called blue wall of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – none of which had gone Republican in nearly three decades – by a combined total of fewer than 80,000 votes (or 0.06% of 137m votes cast). All three of those crucially important battleground states fall squarely inside the Big Ten’s geographical footprint, as do Minnesota, Iowa and Ohio, which also figure into scenarios that could swing the election.


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