Colliding crises shake already chaotic campaign’s last month

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By STEVE PEOPLES AP National Political Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — The closing days of the presidential campaign were already dominated by the worst public health crisis in a century, millions of jobless Americans, a reckoning on civil rights, the death of a Supreme Court justice and uncertainty about President Donald Trump’s willingness to accept the election outcome.

And that was before the president woke up in a military hospital on Saturday — the most powerful man in the world unable to escape a virus that has so far killed more than 200,000 Americans.

One month before Election Day and with ballots already being cast in some states, there are few parallels in American history to such a stunning collision of crises in the late stage of a campaign. But beneath the volatility, the broad contours of the 2020 contest are remarkably stable.

The election began as, and remains, a referendum on Trump’s turbulent presidency.

The Republican president has trailed Democratic challenger Joe Biden in polls for most of the year. Trump’s approval ratings barely budge, consistently ranking him as among the weakest first-term presidents in living history. And for five consecutive months, no…


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