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Trump, Biden push into crucial first 2020 campaign face-off in Cleveland 35 days till Election Day



CLEVELAND (AP) — President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden prepared to face off Tuesday in their crucial first debate of the 2020 campaign, the most pivotal opportunity yet for the candidates to outline starkly different visions for a country facing multiple crises.


Trump and Biden arrived in Cleveland hoping the debate would energize their bases of support, even as they competed for the slim slice of undecided voters who could decide the election. It has been generations since two men asked to lead a nation facing such tumult, with Americans both fearful and impthe president has lost significant ground among those groups han 200,000 of their fellow citizens and cost millions of jobs.


With just 35 days until the election, and early voting already underway in some states, Biden steps onto the stage holding leads in the polls — significant in national surveys, close in some battleground states — and looking to expand his support among suburban voters, women and seniors. Surveys show the president has lost significant ground among those groupssince 2016, but Biden faces his own questions encouraged by Trump’s withering attacks.


Trump will have arguably his best chance to try to reframe the campaign as a choicebetween candidates and not a referendum over his handling of the virus that has killed more people in America than any other nation. Americans, according to polling, have soured on his leadership in the crisis, and the president has struggled to land consistent attacks on Biden. Trump will have arguably his best chance to try to reframe the campaign as a choice on the White House lawn but did not address reporters. H