Friday's Campaign Round-Up, 9.4.20

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
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By Steve Benen

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.

* It may seem hard to believe, but in a way, voting in the 2020 elections begins today, at least in North Carolina. State election officials, responding to a spike in public demand, started sending more than 600,000 ballots to voters in the battleground state today.

* In Florida, the nation's largest swing state, the latest Quinnipiac poll found Joe Biden narrowly ahead of Donald Trump, 48% to 45% among likely voters.

* The news was even better for the Democratic ticket in Pennsylvania, where the latest Quinnipiac poll showed Biden leading Trump by eight points, 52% to 44%, also among likely voters.

* The Trump campaign released a new digital ad campaign this week, and according to HuffPost, the ads featured "a manipulated photo" of Biden "edited to make the former vice president appear older."

* At a rally last night, the president said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) is "a person that nobody ever heard of." In reality, the Massachusetts Democrat has been in Congress for 44 years, and among his campaign contributors is a guy by the name of Donald Trump, who cut a check for Markey in 1990.

* This week, 81 U.S. Nobel Laureates in science and medicine endorsed Biden's candidacy, and according to a press statement, this is "the largest number of Nobel Prize winners ever to endorse a candidate for office." The effort was reportedly organized by Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.), Congress' only physicist.

* It's good to see a growing number of larger U.S. employers pledging to give workers time off to vote this year. USA Today reported that Coca-Cola, Twitter, Cisco, and Uber, among others, are giving employees a day off specifically to allow them to vote.

* And for those keeping an eye on Kanye West's Republican backed presidential campaign, a judge in Virginia yesterday removed the entertainer from the commonwealth's 2020 ballot. Soon after, a judge in Arizona took West off the Grand Canyon State's ballot, too.