July 22, 2020

As of Wednesday morning, California has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 infections of any state, with more than 409,000 cases reported.

New York, which experienced a high number of infections and deaths in the spring during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, had been the state with the highest number of cases. Now, California has about 1,100 more COVID-19 cases than New York.

With almost 40 million residents — more than double the population of New York — California is the most populous state. It is still far behind New York when it comes to coronavirus fatalities; New York has reported more than 25,000 COVID-19 deaths, three times as many as California, the Los Angeles Times reports.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) imposed a stay-at-home order in mid-March, but after the state began reopening again in June, the number of cases started surging; in response, Newsom ordered that all Californians wear face masks in public and tightened restrictions again on bars, restaurants, and hair and nail salons. On Wednesday afternoon, Newsom announced a record 12,807 new coronavirus infections had been reported in the state over the last 24 hours. "It's just another reminder ... of the magnitude of impact that this virus continues to have," he said. Catherine Garcia

12:31 a.m.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Sunday showed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leading President Trump by 8 percentage points, 51 percent to 43 percent, among registered voters — the same margin the poll showed in February, before COVID-19, the economic swoon, the anti-racism protests following George Floyd's death, and all the other craziness of 2020.

"Simply put: In 2020, the fundamentals of our country have been shaken to our core, while the fundamentals of the election have not," said Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt, who conducted the survey with Republican Bill McInturff. NBC's Chuck Todd made a smiler point on Sunday's Meet the Press.

But one thing has changed: money. Biden and the Democratic National Committee entered September with $466 million in the bank, a cash advantage of $141 million over Trump and the Republican National Committee's $325 million, The New York Times reported Sunday night, citing newly released campaign finance reports. In the spring, Trump and the RNC had a $187 million lead over Biden and the DNC.

In August alone, the joint Biden-DNC committee brought in a record $364.5 million while the Trump-RNC committee raised $210 million. The Biden campaign alone raised $212 million and spent $130.3 million; the Trump campaign raised $61.7 million, spent $61.2 million, and added about $900,000 in debt. "Money in the candidate's own committees, as opposed to the political party's account, is the most valuable of funds because election rules require those accounts to pay for certain types of spending, such as television ads," the Times reports.

Some Republicans are baffled at Trump's financial disadvantage, given that he and the RNC raised $1.3 billion since 2018. Trump's campaign says it invested heavily in a ground campaign it says Biden can never match.

The WSJ/NBC poll found a record 75 percent of voters rating their interest in the election a 10 out of 10, and more than 70 percent say the debates won't sway their decision much or at all. In another sign the electorate is pretty set, 38 percent said they won't vote for Biden under any circumstances versus 47 percent who said the same of Trump. The poll was conducted Sept. 13-16 among 1,000 voters, and its martin of error is ± 3.1 percentage points.

RealClearPolitics gives Biden a 6.5-point lead it its aggregate of polls; FiveThirtyEight gives Biden a 6.7-point lead and 77 percent odds to win the Electoral College. Peter Weber

September 20, 2020

Schitt's Creek went out on top, but co-creator and star Dan Levy is hopeful that this isn't the last people will see of the Rose family.

During Sunday's Emmys, the show, which recently wrapped after six seasons, won every comedy award, with all four actors — Levy, his father Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, and Annie Murphy — taking home statues for their performances and Schitt's Creek named Outstanding Comedy Series.

The show is the first comedy in history to win all four comedy actor Emmys, and Levy said during a virtual Q&A session that this was an "absolutely unbelievable way to end our series. I don't think you could ever ask for a better conclusion than tonight. We are absolutely thrilled."

When asked if there might ever be a Schitt's Creek movie, Levy said that the Emmy sweep "was the best way we could have ever ended the show," and if there is an "idea that pops into my head, it has to be really freaking good because this is a nice way to say goodbye. Fingers crossed we get a nice idea popping into our head soon. ... I would love to work with these people again." Catherine Garcia

September 20, 2020

The Roy family just dominated at the Emmys.

HBO's Succession on Sunday won the top prize of Outstanding Drama Series at the 2020 Emmys for its second season. This victory had been widely expected among pundits, although some thought Netflix's Ozark could pull off an upset. Other shows in contention included Better Call Saul, The Crown, and The Mandalorian.

During an acceptance speech delivered remotely, the show's creator, Jesse Armstrong, offered a series of "un-thank yous," including to President Trump, with Armstrong blasting his response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is yet another victory for HBO in the Emmys' drama series category. In recent years, Game of Thrones had won the prize for four consecutive seasons, interrupted only by one win for The Handmaid's Tale during a year when Thrones hadn't aired new episodes. HBO also won Outstanding Drama Series for The Sopranos twice. The network on Sunday additionally took home the Outstanding Limited Series Emmy for Watchmen after having won that prize numerous times, including in 2019 with Chernobyl.

Could this just be the start of years worth of Succession wins, Game of Thrones style? We’ll find out, but after Sunday's victory, it seems Emmy voters have a message for the show’s cast and crew: we here for you. Brendan Morrow

September 20, 2020

Zendaya just made history at the Emmys.

The 24-year-old Euphoria star picked up the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series award in a shock upset on Sunday night. In doing so, she becomes the youngest person to ever win in this category, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Zendaya's win came as the biggest surprise of the Emmys so far, as pundits had thought that the frontrunners were The Morning Show's Jennifer Aniston and Ozark's Laura Linney. In fact, Zendaya's nomination itself in the category was a bit of a surprise earlier this year.

The record for the youngest lead drama actress Emmy winner ever was just set last year, the Times notes, when Killing Eve's Jodie Comer won at 26 years old. This was Zendaya's first Emmy nomination. She rose to fame starring on the Disney Channel's Shake It Up. Brendan Morrow

September 20, 2020

Jeremy Strong is Emmy voters' number one boy.

Strong on Sunday won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Kendall Roy on HBO's Succession. Critics widely saw his toughest competition in the category as being his own co-star, Brian Cox, who plays his character's father on the series.

"Brian Cox, I share this with you," Strong said during his acceptance speech, which he delivered remotely amid the virtual show. "Thank you so much."

This was Strong’s first Emmy nomination and his first win, which comes after a season of Succession in which he earned particular praise for his performance. At last year's Emmys, despite Succession being up for the top drama series prize, Strong was surprisingly snubbed for a nomination. This year, he had some tough competition in the lead drama actor category from not only Cox but also Ozark's Jason Bateman and Pose's Billy Porter, the latter of whom won last year. As Succession heads into season three, Logan Roy can only hope his upcoming conflict with Kendall ends differently than it did tonight. Brendan Morrow

September 20, 2020

A woman suspected of sending a letter last week to the White House containing the poison ricin was arrested on Sunday at the New York-Canada border, law enforcement officials told CNN and The Associated Press.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers took the woman into custody at the Peace Bridge border crossing near Buffalo. One official told CNN the woman was carrying a gun when she was arrested. She is expected to face federal charges.

The letter, which appeared to have originated in Canada, was intercepted at an offsite facility that screens mail sent to the White House, AP reports. During a preliminary investigation, the envelope tested positive for ricin. Catherine Garcia

September 20, 2020

Who watches the Watchmen? Emmy voters, clearly.

HBO's Watchmen on Sunday took home the award for Outstanding Limited Series at the Emmys, beating out shows including Mrs. America and Little Fires Everywhere. The superhero series, which is adapted from the graphic novel, was one of the most critically acclaimed shows of 2019, and it received the most nominations of any series at this year's Emmys with 26.

In an acceptance speech for Outstanding Limited Series, Watchmen creator Damon Lindelof dedicated the award to the victims of the Tulsa race massacre, which was depicted in the series. Watchmen star Regina King had earlier in the night won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie, while Yahya Abdul-Mateen II took the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Emmy. The show also won a writing prize.

Watchmen examines systemic racism in the United States and was widely seen as having taken on even greater relevance in light of the nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd. King touched upon that idea as she accepted her Emmy, saying, "Gotta vote. I would be remiss not to mention that being a part of a show as prescient as Watchmen." Brendan Morrow

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