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Election 2020 Today: Chaotic first debate, taunts fly

Here’s what’s happening Wednesday in Election 2020, 34 days until Election Day: HOW TO VOTE: AP’s state-by-state interactive has details on how to vote in this election. ON THE TRAIL: President Donald Trump visits Minnesota.

TODAY’S TOP STORIES: CHAOTIC FIRST DEBATE: The first debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden deteriorated into bitter taunts and near chaos as Trump repeatedly interrupted his opponent with angry — and personal — jabs that sometimes overshadowed the sharply different visions each man has for a nation facing historic crises. The two men frequently talked over each other with Trump interrupting, nearly shouting, so often that Biden eventually snapped at him, “Will you shut up, man?”

‘STAND BACK AND STAND BY’: Trump didn’t condemn white supremacist groups and their role in violence in some American cities this summer, branding it solely a “left-wing” problem. Trump acknowledged one far-right extremist group, Proud Boys, by name. The group's leaders and supporters later celebrated the president’s words on social media.

MAIL VOTING: Trump continued his assault on the integrity of the U.S. elections, spreading falsehoods about the security of voting and misrepresenting issues with mail-in ballots. The AP has found that mail voting has proved to be safe and secure in the five states that already use it broadly. And while some irregularities and errors have occurred in the early vote, Trump mischaracterized those incidents.

CHRIS WALLACE: The Fox News host had the near-impossible task of trying to control the first presidential debate as its moderator, and continually expressed frustration with his role. He lectured and cajoled Trump, urging him to follow the rules and not interrupt opponent Joe Biden. For much of the time, it was futile.

IOWA BATTLEGROUND: Trump has spent millions trying to secure the state’s six electoral votes, but several recent polls show a surprisingly close race with Biden. After Trump won Iowa by 9.4 percentage points in 2016, a competitive presidential race there suggests a tightening in other states he won by similar margins, such as Ohio, and potential peril in those he won by smaller margins.

BY THE NUMBERS: According to an AP Fact Check, Trump administration travel restrictions that took effect Feb. 2 continued to allow travel to the U.S. from the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macao. The AP reported that more than 8,000 Chinese and foreign nationals based in the two locales entered the U.S. in the first three months after the travel restrictions were imposed. Additionally, more than 27,000 Americans returned from mainland China in the first month after the restrictions took effect.

ICYMI: Trump facing devastating debt load? Experts say not so fast Democrats try to stick to health care in Supreme Court fight

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