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2020 U.S. ELECTION: What you need to know right now

Oct 6 (Reuters) - Personal protection against COVID-19 became a flashpoint on the campaign trail after President Donald Trump removed his mask on his return to the White House from hospital. Rival Joe Biden assailed Trump for playing down the disease.

- A plexiglass barrier will separate Vice President Mike Pence and challenger Kamala Harris during their debate at 21:00 ET on Wednesday (01:00 GMT on Thursday). It is expected to draw outsized attention with questions looming over Trump’s health.

- Nearly 4 million Americans already have cast their vote ahead of the election four weeks away, far surpassing the 75,000 at this time in 2016, after U.S. states expanded their early mail-in voting amid the coronavirus.

- The U.S. Supreme Court ensured that a restrictive Republican-backed law in South Carolina that requires voters to have a witness sign mail-in ballots will be in place for the Nov. 3 election.

- Twitter is testing how its misinformation labels can be more obvious.

BY THE NUMBERS

Biden increased his polling lead in two key battleground states, earning even more approval with likely voters compared to mid-September.

- Biden is ahead of Trump by 5 percentage points in Pennsylvania, matching the credibility of the Reuters/Ipsos battleground polling interval.

- In Wisconsin, Biden leads Trump by 6 points.

Follow Reuters election pollinghere

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Japan to rally support from Washington’s closest allies in Asia, calling for deeper collaboration with Japan, India and Australia as a bulwark against China’s growing regional influence.

INVESTOR VIEW

Stocks appeared to edge higher after a rally that sent the S&P 500 and the Dow to their highest levels in more than two weeks as investors awaited signs Washington was close to agreeing on more fiscal stimulus.

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

Expected events and Reuters coverage on Oct 6:

- Biden expected to travel to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and attend an online fundraising event hosted by his campaign’s African American Leadership Finance Council. USA-ELECTION/BIDEN (TV)

- The VP debate has fellow Howard alums full of pride for Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential candidate. USA-ELECTION/HARRIS-UNIVERSITY (TV)

- Early voting begins in Ohio USA-ELECTION/OHIO (PIX)

- U.S. House of Representatives majority whip discusses ballot access issues GLOBAL-RACE/USA-ELECTION 09:00 ET/13:00 GMT

- U.S. House panel holds hearing on election misinformation USA-ELECTION/HOUSE 13:00 ET/17:00 GMT

- Ex-national intelligence director discusses voter disinformation USA-ELECTION/SECURITY-CLAPPER 15:00 ET/19:00 GMT

- Reuters/Ipsos battleground state poll USA-ELECTION/BATTLEGROUND-POLL 17:00 ET/21:00 GMT

Refinitiv customers can find more 2020 U.S. Election content on the Election App (USPOL) on Eikon or Workspace.

Media customers can find complete multimedia coverage on the Reuters Connect planning calendar here here

Editing by Leela de Kretser and Howard Goller

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