Biden travels to Florida as the state and Latino voters take center stage.

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Senator Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, visited a restaurant in Miami last week. Joseph R. Biden Jr. travels to Florida today.
Credit…Saul Martinez for The New York Times

Joseph R. Biden Jr. is making his first trip to Florida of the general election on Tuesday as he seeks to rally Latino voters in the crucial battleground state.

Mr. Biden, whose itinerary includes a Hispanic Heritage Month stop in Kissimmee, outside Orlando, did not mince words about the purpose of his trip. “I will talk about how I am going to work like the devil to make sure I turn every Latino and Hispanic vote,” Mr. Biden told reporters after a speech in Delaware on Monday.

His visit comes days after his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, visited Miami, making a stop at an arepa joint, and as some Democrats have raised alarms about President Trump’s traction among some Hispanic voters.

Mr. Biden’s efforts in the state are getting a large financial boost, after the billionaire Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, announced plans to spend $100 million in Florida in the final 50 days to boost the Democratic nominee.

Already, Mr. Biden has been advertising heavily in the state, spending $6.2 million on television in the last week, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

For his part, Mr. Trump has aggressively sought to portray the election of Mr. Biden as a step toward socialism.

That message could resonate with Florida’s large Cuban-American population, which leans more conservative than other Hispanic groups. But Florida’s Latino population is both growing and diverse; it includes substantial numbers from several Central and South American countries as well as the Dominican Republic.

Asked about his support among Latino voters on Monday, Mr. Biden compared his numbers favorably to the president’s.

“Much higher than his,” Mr. Biden said. “But they’ve got to go higher.”

Here are the daily schedules of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates for Tuesday, Sept. 15. All times are Eastern time.

Joseph R. Biden Jr.

1:30 p.m.: Hosts a discussion with veterans at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla.

6:30 p.m.: Attends a Hispanic Heritage Month event in Kissimmee, Fla.

President Trump

10:30 a.m.: Hosts officials from Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates at the White House.

Afternoon: Holds a 90-minute town-hall-style meeting in Philadelphia with uncommitted Pennsylvania voters, to be broadcast at 9 p.m. on ABC News.

Kamala Harris

Afternoon: Meets with emergency service personnel for an assessment of the wildfires in Fresno, Calif.

Evening: Attends a community conversation in Las Vegas on the impact of Covid-19 on working Latino families.

Vice President Mike Pence

5:30 p.m.: Hosts a “Workers for Trump” event in Zanesville, Ohio.

Senator Chris Coons of Delaware is being challenged from the left in today’s primary.
Credit…Pool photo by Erin Schaff

Shortly after the 2018 midterm elections, progressive groups looking at the 2020 Senate map alighted on one state where they had a chance to contest a safely Democratic seat against a centrist incumbent: Delaware.

But a bid to oust Senator Chris Coons never became a cause célèbre on the left. Liberal groups instead focused on House races, where they won key primary victories over veteran congressmen in Chicago, St. Louis and the Bronx.

And today Mr. Coons, a 10-year incumbent, is the clear favorite in a primary against a progressive challenger, Jessica Scarane. A poll found him leading by 40 percentage points, a margin sufficient to dissuade groups from spending money to help Ms. Scarane.

Still, Mr. Coons has used an enormous fund-raising advantage to blanket Delawareans with television ads, spending nearly $800,000, compared with Ms. Scarane’s $65,000. The only third-party organization to devote significant resources to the race has been the American Chemistry Council, which aired more than $200,000 in ads backing Mr. Coons.

Ms. Scarane, who moved to Delaware from New York 10 years ago, does not have the profile of other left-wing upstarts who have toppled incumbent centrist Democrats. Progressive organizations had first sought to recruit a woman of color to support in the race.

In down-ballot Delaware contests, Sarah McBride, a Democratic candidate for an open seat in the State Senate, is on track to become the nation’s highest-ranking openly transgender elected official.

Ms. McBride was the first transgender person to work at the White House when she served as an intern during President Barack Obama’s administration. There are currently four openly transgender elected officials serving in lower chambers of state legislatures in Colorado, New Hampshire and Virginia.

A Culinary Union member, Elsa Gutierrez, canvassed for Joseph R. Biden Jr. in Las Vegas.
Credit…Bridget Bennett for The New York Times

LAS VEGAS — For the past decade, Democrats in Nevada have notched one hard-fought victory after another. In 2010, Senator Harry Reid won his hotly contested re-election campaign, even as the party lost other battles all over the country. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the state, though with a smaller margin of victory than Democrats garnered in the previous two presidential contests. And in 2018, the Democrats managed to capture the governor’s office and the State Senate.

Nevada’s Democratic political machine was held up as a model for other states where neither party has consistently dominated. But it was a machine built for another era.

Its success relied on hundreds of people knocking on thousands of doors. Now, there are fewer than half as many people canvassing for Democratic voters as there were in September 2016. And some Democratic strategists warn that Nevada could be in 2020 what Wisconsin was in 2016 — a state that the Democrats assume is safely in their column but that slips away.

“I am saying every day: We are more vulnerable than you think we are,” said Annette Magnus, the executive director of Battle Born Progress, a liberal group that has struggled to raise money to get out the vote.

Joseph R. Biden Jr. maintains a slight edge over President Trump in the state, according to polling from The New York Times and Siena College: four percentage points, within the poll’s margin of error. But Democrats worry about falling short of the kind of enthusiastic turnout they need among Latinos and working-class voters.

Last week, the Cook Political Report changed its rating of the state from “likely Democrat” to “lean Democrat.” Mr. Trump, who held two rallies in Nevada over the weekend, has indicated he intends to fight for hard to take the state.

Michelle Wu with supporters after winning re-election last November.
Credit…Katherine Taylor for The New York Times

Michelle Wu, a 35-year-old Taiwanese-American city councilor and progressive Democrat, announced on Tuesday that she would enter the 2021 Boston mayoral race, asserting a moment of change for a city that has been led by white men since its incorporation in 1822.

Ms. Wu is challenging Mayor Marty Walsh, who is expected to run for a third term and has won widespread approval for his handling of the coronavirus.

It is difficult to defeat a sitting mayor in Boston; the last time it happened was in 1949. But , Massachusetts politics has been jolted repeatedly in recent years by progressive candidates who built come-from-behind campaigns around climate change and social justice.

Ms. Wu, a policy wonk and former student of Senator Elizabeth Warren, has proposed sweeping solutions to issues like gentrification and social inequality.

She has recommended waiving all fees for public transportation, and abolishing the Boston Planning and Development Agency to give communities more influence over construction. Last year, she proposed a Boston Green New Deal, calling for the city to be carbon neutral by 2040.

Her announcement video — released in English, Spanish and Mandarin — describes a painful period when, after graduating from Harvard University, she had to quit her job and move home to Chicago to care for her mother, who was struggling with mental illness.

Juxtaposing footage of family life with Black Lives Matter protests, Ms. Wu appealed to voters “fighting a system that wasn’t built for us, doesn’t speak our languages, doesn’t hear our voices.”

City Councilor Andrea Campbell, who is Black, is also widely expected to enter the race.

President Trump claimed on Tuesday that he wanted to assassinate President Bashar al-Assad of Syria early in his presidency, at the height of that country’s bloody civil war, but James N. Mattis, then the secretary of defense, stopped him.

“I would’ve rather taken him out. I had him all set,” Mr. Trump said during a morning appearance on “Fox & Friends.” “Mattis didn’t want to do it. Mattis was a highly overrated general.”

That assertion contradicts Mr. Trump’s own previous denials that he ever considered going after the Syrian strongman, whose regime has killed scores of thousands of civilians.

In 2018, Bob Woodward reported in his book “Fear” that Mr. Trump told Mr. Mattis the military should “f — king kill” Assad. But Mr. Trump called that account “fiction” after the book came out. “That was never even contemplated, nor would it be contemplated and it should not have been written about in the book,” he said.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly lashed out at Mr. Mattis, who has criticized the president since leaving office last year. Mr. Mattis declined to comment on Tuesday.

The president, who had suggested he did not plan to read “Rage,” Mr. Woodward’s new book on him, said Tuesday he managed to read the 480-page tome sometime Monday night, cramming it into a packed schedule that included a flight back from California.

“I actually got to read it last night,” he said. “I read it very quickly and it was very boring.” When asked if the book, based in part on 18 interviews with Mr. Trump, was accurate, he replied, “It’s fine.”

The president also suggested several times that he would sit for a weekly interview on the show. “I think we’re going to do this, we’ve agreed to do it once a week in the morning, and I look forward to it like the old days,” he said.

This was news to the co-host Steve Doocy. “I haven’t heard that,” he said. “That’s an exclusive right there!”

Later, Mr. Doocy took a somewhat firmer line. “You may want to do it every week, but Fox is not committed to that,” he said. “We’ll take it on a case-by-case basis, and Joe Biden as well is always welcome to join us for 47 minutes, like we just did with the president.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, second from left, pushed President Trump to acknowledge the role of climate change during a briefing in Sacramento on the wildfires.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

With wildfires raging across the West, climate change took center stage in the race for the White House on Monday as Joseph R. Biden Jr. called President Trump a “climate arsonist” while the president said that “I don’t think science knows” what is actually happening.

A day of dueling appearances laid out stark differences between the two candidates: a president who has long dismissed climate change as a hoax and rolled back environmental regulations and a challenger who has called for aggressive cuts to the greenhouse gases blamed for increasingly extreme weather.

Mr. Trump flew to California after weeks of public silence about the flames that have forced hundreds of thousands from their homes, wiped out communities and forests, burned millions of acres, shrouded the region in smoke and killed at least 26 people. But even when confronted by California’s governor, the president insisted on attributing the crisis to poor forest management, not climate change.

Mr. Biden, for his part, assailed Mr. Trump’s climate record, asserting that the president’s inaction and denial had fed destruction, citing not just the current emergency on the West Coast but flooding in the Midwest and hurricanes along the Gulf Coast. In aspeech in Wilmington, Del., the Democratic presidential nominee sought to paint a second Trump term as a danger to the nation’s suburbs, flipping an attack on him by the president.

“If we have four more years of Trump’s climate denial, how many suburbs will be burned in wildfires?” Mr. Biden asked. “How many suburban neighborhoods will have been flooded out? How many suburbs will have been blown away in superstorms? If you give a climate arsonist four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised if we have more of America ablaze?”

Trump supporters attending a campaign rally at a manufacturing plant in Henderson, Nev., on Sunday.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Trump and his campaign are defending his right to hold rallies indoors, despite the private unease of aides who called the practice a game of political Russian roulette and growing concern that such gatherings could prolong the pandemic.

“I’m on a stage, and it’s very far away,” Mr. Trump told The Las Vegas Review-Journal, as thousands of his supporters gathered on Sunday night inside a manufacturing plant in a Las Vegas suburb, flouting a state directive limiting indoor gatherings to 50 people.

The president did not address health concerns about rally attendees, few of whom wore masks or socially distanced. When it came to his own safety, he said, “I’m not at all concerned.”

The decision to hold a rally indoors, officials said, came after failed attempts to procure five different outdoor locations. A Trump campaign official said they all faced pressure from state officials not to host the rally.

Xtreme Manufacturing, which finally agreed to host, immediately faced threats from the city of Henderson, Nev. Officials said in a letter made public that the city could charge a fine of $500 for every person over the state’s limit of 50 people and suspend or revoke Xtreme Manufacturing’s business license.

Mr. Trump had been defiant during the rally. “If the governor comes after you, which he shouldn’t be doing, I’ll be with you all the way,” he told the crowd.

Hillary Clinton in February. She told Senator Kamala Harris at a Monday fund-raiser that Vice President Mike Pence would try to undermine her without bombast.
Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Hillary Clinton, speaking candidly during an online fund-raiser Monday, counseled Kamala Harris to “modulate” her responses during her upcoming debate with Vice President Mike Pence to avoid a sexist “double standard” that portrays strong female leaders as frightening.

Mrs. Clinton, who lost the 2016 election despite posting strong debate performances against Donald J. Trump, warned Ms. Harris that Mr. Pence would try to undermine her without bombast.

“Pence will somehow, subtly undercut Kamala — you know, he will try to say, ‘Well, that’s not the way it’s done,’” Mrs. Clinton said, adding that Mr. Pence would seek to use the debate, scheduled for Oct. 7 at the University of Utah, to “put her in the box of, you know, the inexperienced woman candidate.”

“She has to modulate her responses because we know there still is a double standard, alive and well when it comes to women in politics,” Mrs. Clinton added, “so she’s got to be firm and effective in rebutting any implication that comes from the other side — but do it in a way that doesn’t scare or alienate voters.”

Monday’s online event, which attracted 100,000 viewers and raised an estimated $6 million in small donations, featured not only Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Harris but their two best-known celebrity doppelgängers, the former Saturday Night Live cast members Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph.

At times, the discussion resembled an informal conversation between four friends, with Mrs. Clinton saying she has used the forced confinement of the pandemic to spend time with her grandchildren and to catch up on decades of sleep deprivation. Ms. Harris said that her family had been cooking a lot more, and binge-watching Marvel movies, at least before she was picked as Mr. Biden’s running mate.

At one point, Ms. Poehler’s microphone went dead, and the three other participants chatted among themselves as Mr. Biden’s team scrambled to figure out what had gone wrong.

“Somebody unmute Amy!” Mrs. Clinton said.

“I smell sabotage,” joked Ms. Rudolph.

“You never know what is really going on these days,” Mrs. Clinton said. “Maybe,” she added later, “it’s the Russians.”

Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, a Democrat, has called challenges to his coronavirus restrictions “cowardly.”
Credit…Joe Hermitt/The Patriot-News, via Associated Press

President Trump enthusiastically hailed a federal judge’s decision striking down coronavirus restrictions in Pennsylvania that had been imposed by the state’s Democratic governor, Tom Wolf.

Within an hour of the ruling being handed down on Monday, the president had retweeted no fewer than a dozen celebratory posts, including one that read “PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR TOM WOLF AN YOUR STUPID WIFE …..YOUR NOT GOING TO MURDER US !!! TRUMP 2020 … WE LOVE PENNSYLVANIA.”

The decision, which Pennsylvania officials intend to appeal, is at the center of the political dogfight in a once-reliable blue state Mr. Trump won in 2016. To repeat his victory, he must spike turnout in rural counties, where his culture-war message on masks and state restrictions has resonated with conservative voters.

Mr. Wolf has called the challenge to the rules “cowardly.” Pennsylvania has recorded more than 150,000 virus cases and nearly 8,000 deaths, and cases have been rising in recent weeks as students have returned to college campuses.

Mr. Trump’s Monday Twitter barrage came a day after he defied Nevada officials to stage an indoor rally near Las Vegas, and a day before his scheduled ABC town hall with undecided voters in Philadelphia Tuesday night.

Monday’s ruling, by District Judge William Stickman IV, a Trump appointee, held that orders limiting gatherings to 25 people indoors and 250 people outdoors violated the First Amendment. The ruling also declared unconstitutional orders, which have already been lifted, closing “non-life-sustaining” businesses.

The case stemmed from a complaint filed in May by four counties in southwestern Pennsylvania: Butler, Fayette, Greene and Washington.

Recent polls show Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina trailing his Democratic challenger, Cal Cunningham.
Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina, one of the Republicans’ most vulnerable incumbents, tried to turn around his faltering re-election campaign on Monday night, clashing with Cal Cunningham, his Democratic challenger, in a televised debate that largely focused on the coronavirus pandemic.

The contest in a key swing state is one of a handful of races that could determine control of the Senate next year, and almost every recent public poll shows Mr. Tillis, a first-term incumbent who is mostly allied with President Trump, trailing Mr. Cunningham, a former state senator and Iraq war veteran.

Seeking to halt that momentum, Mr. Tillis repeatedly tried to chip away at Mr. Cunningham’s image as an inoffensive moderate, painting him instead as a craven, ladder-climbing liberal who would “say anything to get elected.”

Mr. Tillis implied Mr. Cunningham would defund the police, a position his rival rejected. He leaned heavily on his own status as an incumbent, highlighting bipartisan work done by Congress to provide relief to millions of Americans suffering from economic hardships caused by the coronavirus.

But Mr. Tillis’s biggest break came without much effort when Mr. Cunningham said he would be “hesitant” to take a vaccine approved by federal health authorities because of “extraordinary corruption in Washington” that he said was warping science in favor of commercial interests.

“Yes, I would be hesitant, but I am going to ask a lot of questions,” he said, adding that he thought other Americans felt the same way given “the way we have seen politics intervening in Washington.”

Mr. Cunningham later clarified his remark, saying he would take a vaccine if the F.D.A. approved it and politics was not involved, but Mr. Tillis pounced, chastising Mr. Cunningham as “irresponsible.” Republican groups quickly began circulating a clip of the exchange on social media.

“That statement puts lives at risk and it makes it more difficult to manage the crisis he pretends to say he is up to the task to manage,” Mr. Tillis said. He said he would trust a vaccine and the scientists behind it.

Still, at other points Mr. Tillis found himself on the defensive over his record as the two men sought to reintroduce themselves to North Carolina voters.

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