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Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett spoke about the responsibility of the courts in an opening statement at her confirmation hearing. Associated Press

Instead of a second debate in Miami – which was canceled after President Donald Trump refused to participate virtually – it looks like Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden will take part in dueling solo town halls Thursday evening.

NBC News announced Wednesday it will host a town hall with Trump in Miami. Biden had already scheduled an ABC News town hall.

On Capitol Hill, Amy Coney Barrett answered senators’ questions for 11 hours on Tuesday — and will answer more Wednesday during the third day of her confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee sidestepped questions on abortion and voting rights and stressed she would be an impartial justice, not someone who would do the political bidding of conservatives. There were also personal moments, like when she explained how she knows a little French and plays the piano, and when she held up her blank notepad, inspiring Internet memes. She also explained how she wept with her 17-year-old daughter after the killing of George Floyd. 

Trump leaned on his nomination of Barrett in his appeal to suburban women at a Tuesday rally near Pittsburgh. “Do me a favor, suburban women, would you please like me?” he rhetorically asked the pivotal voting bloc Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

The latest: 

  • Barrett hearing: Missed the 11 hours of questions at Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing Tuesday? Here are our takeaways.  
  • Pelosi-Blitzer: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer had a testy exchange Tuesday with Pelosi calling Blitzer an “apologist” for Republicans while discussing the COVID-19 stimulus talks. 
  • Where are the candidates today?: President Donald Trump holds a rally in Des Moines, Iowa; Vice President Mike Pence stumps in Grand Rapids, Michigan; Democratic nominee Joe Biden takes part in a virtual fundraiser while his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, attends the Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearing.

📆 20 days until Election Day, eight days until the final presidential debate, 98 days until Inauguration Day, 80 days left in 2020.

🗳️ Voting: See USA TODAY’s Voter Guide for information on registering to votewhen your state begins voting and what the candidates think about the issues

We will update this article throughout the day. You can follow all of USA TODAY’s politics reporters on Twitter or subscribe to our daily On Politics newsletter

Trump and Biden will hold dueling town halls Thursday instead of a debate

President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden won’t be debating Thursday, but will instead headline competing town halls on different television networks.

With ta hole in the campaign schedule, NBC announced Wednesday it will stage a town hall with President Donald Trump at 8 p.m. EDT Thursday in Miami, which was supposed to have been the site of the debate.

It will compete with Biden’s previously announced town hall over on ABC.

In Miami, Trump will meet with “a group of Florida voters on critical issues impacting their vote less than three weeks before Election Day,” NBC said in announcing the event.

The network added that, two weeks after Trump tested positive for COVID-19, “the event will take place outdoors at the Pérez Art Museum Miami in accordance with guidelines set forth by health officials and consistent with all government regulations.”

Trump, moderator Savannah Guthrie, and the crowd will be socially distanced.

The Commission on Presidential Debates, given the threat of contagion after Trump’s diagnosis, called for a virtual debate by video. Trump refused to participate, and the parties were unable to agree on an alternate format.

– David Jackson

Texas sets voter registration record, adds 1.8 million voters since 2016

A record 16.9 million Texans are registered to vote in the Nov. 3 election, according to new data from the Texas secretary of state’s office Monday.

It’s an increase of about 1.8 million voters since the 2016 presidential election, when 15.1 million, or about 78% of the state’s voting-age population, registered to vote.

The latest figure, released Monday, also accounted for roughly 78% of the state’s eligible voters, although it’s not the final statewide registration number ahead of the Nov. 3 election. The official count is expected in the coming days, according to secretary of state officials.

Texas Democratic Party officials say there are promising signs that Texas could elect the first Democratic presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter in 1976, pointing to an analysis Tuesday from TargetSmart, a Democratic data firm, which found that 60% of new registered voters are under the age of 25 or people of color.

– Nicole Cobler (Austin American-Statesman)

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