tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS October 31, 2020 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivas: on this edition for saturday, october 31: the presidential candidates hit key swing states in the final weekend before election day. the battleground state of north carolina: at the forefront of a changing climate. >> sreenivasan: and a look at political adand the most expenscampaign year in history. next on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newsho weekend is made possible by: sue and edgar wachenheim iii. the anderson family fund. bernard and denise schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. barbara hope zuckerberg. the leonard and norma klorfine foundati. charles rosenblum.
we try to live in the moment, to not miss what's right in front of us. at mutual of america, we believe taking care of tomorrow can help you make the most of tu today. of america financial group, retirement services and investments. radditional suppo has been consumer cellular. and by: and by the corporation for gpublic broadcast private corporation funded by the americaneople. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> sreenivasan: good eving and hank you for joining us. we are reporting this weekend from north carolina, the last stop on our roads to election 2020 series-- but not the end of our coverage of the vote, the vote count, and the candidates on the ballots in every state. preside donald trump and former vice president joe biden, their running mates and many of their best-known political supporters are on the campaign trail these final days before
voting ends on tuesday. key events this weekend are in battleground states including pennsylvania, michigan, florida and right here in north carolina. while the speeches touch oa wide-range of topics, one of the they want to know more about is climate change. we will have an in-depth report on that from here in north carolina, along with reporting onhe billions spt on advertising this election year, both coming up right after the news summary. ♪ from the lakes of minnesota, to the hills of tennessee ♪ >> sreenivasan: it's the final weekend push in the 2020 campaign season. president trump plned four stops in pennsylvania today, starting in bucks county, jus north of philadelphia. e keystone state was crucial to the president's 2016 win and is aocal point for both campaigns. ♪ ♪ former vice president biden campaigned with former president barack oma in michigan today,
at a drive-in rally in flint and anotheplanned for detroit. tomorrow, biden will be in pennsylvania, starting in philadlphia for a souls to the polls event. president trump plans rallies in five states tomorrow. with three days left to election day, more than 90 million early .otes have been cast so far that's nearly two-thirds the ballots cast in the 2016 esidential election. the coronavirus continues to spread rapidly in many states this weekend. yesterday, the nation recorded more than 99,000 new cases according to the "ne times." that's the highest daily number since the pandemic began. the "times" databasehows 14 states set new daily case records and three, tennessee, montana, and new mexico, s corded new record-high numbers of deathom covid-19. as of this morning, johnsh hopkins reseanter reports the united states has had more than nine million confirmed cases of theirus durg the pandemic, one-fifth of the more than 45 million cases globally.
rescue workers in the turkish city of ismere pull thred women alive der the rubble of collapsed building today after yesterday's powerful earthquake in the agean sea. the earthquake toppled several buildings and at least 37 people were killed and 800 injured along turkey's western coast. the quake, which was also felt in greece, left two people dead on the island ofamos. turkey's disast agency said today the area has expeenced more than 450 aftershocks. >>ir i ae your luck, mr.... >> bond. james bond. >> sreenivasan: sean connery, the scottish actor best known for playing the smooth-talkingja character s bond, die has died. upon hwent on to work a series of jobs, including a coffin polisher, milkman and body builder before landing his breakout acting role as an
international spy. he lit the silver reen r more than four decades starring in seven james bond movies and in films include indiana jones and the last crusade and the hunt for red october. in 1987, he won an academy award for his portrayal of a chicago cop in the film the untouchables. in recognition for his contributions to the arts was knighted by britain's queen elizabeth in 200co0. ery's son said his father wed peacefully in the bahamass. sean conne 90 years old. an sreenivasan: for more election coveragthe latest national and international news visit www.pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: earlier this fall, we asked you what issues we should be focusing on this election season. the answer overwhelmingly was that you wanted more coverage of climate change. so, on thiweekend before election day, we're reporting from carolina, a swing state with consequential races up and down thballot, but also a state that, having been battered by muiple hurricanes in the last five years, has been
at the forefront of experiencing the changing climate. this story is part of our ngoing series "peril and promise: the challenge of climate change." when hurricane florence made ldfall near wilmington in september of 20, it was only a category one srm. but what floren lacked in sustained wind speeds, it made up f in rain. >> it just rained and it rained and it blew and it rained. but l that while, you have t try to make sure your animals >> sreenivasan: gina marasco is the owner of humphrey farms, a 500-acre farm about 30 miles from the coast in pender county. after an estimated three feet of rain over three days, she and her husband, robert, needed a canoe to check on their low-lying hog houses. y>> florence,ou stink! we went by the houses so we could see the animals and we could see that they were alive, which was a beautiful thing. but we couldn't even turn off the power.
so we're just, "please let erything be okay," because there was nothing we could do. >> sreenivasan: in 2018, h,5umphrey farm had about hogs. while marasco says their welfare was important, she was also worried about the farm's eight- acre hog lagoon. that's where waste from the pigs is stored. runf from the lagoon, which has high levels of ammonia andar nitrates, canaquatic life. >> 36 inches of rain brought us over the top. thouankfully, though, the of water was so great that the dilution was enough to keep it from being a toxic situation. >> sreenivasan: the high waters from florence damaged or over topped nearly 50agoons, a latively small fraction of the state's 3,000. but ssive amount of rain affected huge swaths of north carolina. >> my number one concern is flooding across the entire state. >> sreivasan: kathie dello is the state climatologist for north carolina.
she's also one of the authors of the state's climate science repo, an indepnt scientific assessment released this year on past climate trends, and how climate cafnge wilct the state as humans continue to emit greenhouse g rasses. tort finds that north carolina has already warmed one d oegree fahrenher the last 120 years, and that hhuvy rains froicanes and other weather systems will become more frequent and intense. that's already beg felt here y north carolinians. >> folks experience three big hurricanes in four years and truly said, "something's going on here. this isn't the north carolina that i grew up in.t we doe hurricanes like this with that much rain. we don't see floong like this." people have lived experiences with the climate d they're now saying, "okay, climate change is here and it's real." >> i can truthfully say in my lifetime, i've never see anything like the devastation that florence csed. it was a catastrophic event,
there's no question. >> sreenivasan: republican steve troxler is northarolina's agriculture commissioner, and he's running for his fifth consecutive four-year term, overseeing the state's $92 billiourn agricuindustry. after florence, his office helped distribute more than $230 million in aid to far he says compared to huicane floyd, which hit north carolina in 1999, the state's agriculture industry was better prepared. >> during hurricane floyd, we lost 28,000 hogs in north carolina to drowning. during hurricane florence, which was, you know, much, much worse than that, we lost about 5,000. >> senasan: since 1999, the agriculture department has also run a volunty buyout program r hog farms located in 100-year floodains. at-risk farms for a one-time payment that cannot exceed the value othe operation. in exchange, the farmer agrees concentrated animal feeding operations. 43 hog farmers have
participated. and after florence in 2018, the t opened up departm the program again for applications. but since the program started over 20 years ago, more than 100 farms that have wanted to participate have been turned away.>> here have not been the resources available, yet, but you know, we're talking about millions and millions and millions of dollars able do this, especially with the value of agricultural land and operations today. >> it leveled this house pretty good, as you can see. >> sreenivasan: gina marasco but her farm was not considered one of the most at-risk, so north carolina won't pay. >> we'e in group b and they're looking for those that are in group a, which was very disheartening. but we don't have any control over it. elevations change... >> sreenivasan: but even without the buyout, marasco decided to end the hog operation that her father started more than 50
years ago. >> it was a decision made with a dad, we're going to stop doingh, what you expected us all to do into perpetuity. m sorry, you know." but at the same time, we can't afrd to, just to be very honest with you, we just couldn't afford the rebuilding process. because my dad was the hog man and i was the hog farmer's daughter. >> it's our children who have to live with the brunt of our inaction in addressing climate change, unless we begin to elect leaders who from day one are unapologetic in their commitment to addressing the climate crisis head on. hey, how are you? >> sreenivasan: jenna wadsworth is a democrat running to be north carolina's commissioner of agriculture. >> so i actuay grew up on a family farm not far from here. >> sreenivasan: for the last ten ars, wadsworth has been on the wake county soil and water conservation district boardf supervisors. and she's made climate change action front and center in her
campaign. >> i've looked around and i see that theoot cause of so many of the issues that our farmers are facing deals with climate change or stems from climate dates, changing yields,harvest unpredictable yields, knowing that there ahere severe weat events. you know, storms are going to grow more intense and more fruent over the coming years. >> sreenivasan: wadsworth has been endorsed by the sunrise movement, the youth-led climate change activisalgroup. she ha signed onto a pledge not to take any money utilities, duke and dominion, and to not support al new fossil ffrastructure. >> my oppont differs with, ffers with me when it comes to understanding that climate change irealnd it's an gent priority that we have to address in order to ensure a long-term future in agriculture. >> sreenacasan: troxler owledges that the climate has changed, and says that farmers d are alreang a lot. >> you know, i would ask, what more can agriculture do right now than they're doing asar as clime change?
were the onewho plant the green crops that sequester carbon. we'lare the ones that trees that sequester carbon. so we are going to look after the land and the environment because we farm outside ande depend on it. >> sreenivasan: troxler also warns that addressing climate change can't come at the expense of farms surviving. >> any time that we can do anything that's going to help long term, we're going to do it. but with the caveat that farmers have got to remain in business if we're going to eat. >>f we do not address climate change, there won't be a future agriculture, so we have to make meaningful action in addressing climate change, making sure that farmers have ols necessary in order t move into sustainable, regenerative, and organic practices, practices that prioritize soil health and conservation and allow forabhem to be in the long term. >> sreenivasan: for humphrey farms, long-term viability meann a big tion. the hog houses are empty now, and the eight-acre waste lagoon ised slowly being transitio a freshwater pond.
(cows mooing) afer florence, marasco had to sell off part of the farm's cattle herd, but she is now buildi16 it back up. calves we born this season, including a few just this week.. >> the middle of the building is they oing that was left intact. >> sreenivasan: marasco is also nking on tourism. she's turning an almost 100-year-old tobacco barn to a year-round farmers market, art gallery, and local goods store. >> we even have the old >> sreenivasan: marasco is a strong supporter of steve troxr for reelection as agriculture commissioner, and cites his efforts helping farms recover from florence. but when it comes to climate change, she says it'n a big factorinking about the long-term future of her farm and moving away from hogs. >> we don't want to be that one at causes our water system to be compromised. and, you know, sometimes you just have to realize you just can't fight it. your sail not big enough to get through that storm. and so we just felt like it was
time to do something new. >> sreenivasan: here in north calina, as in previous prestiid elections, the state has emerged as an important battleground. residential candidates a vice presidential candidates have been making frequent stops here, and there is also a close senate tarace. thheel state also finds itself cing issues of rising covid-19 cases, increasing costs of health care, and economic losses, some due in part to a chging climate. more on how the issues m play out here in north carolina onelectionay, i sat down wit p rusty jacobitics reporter for wunc, north carolina public radio. >> there's a loof enthusiasm and a lot of attention in generald you've seen some really important developments in e turnout so far in nor carolina. tufts has been doing some research on the turnout of young voters, 18 to 29. north carolina is right up at the btop, rigind orida
and texas, as having the biggest range turnout already.er age joe biden maintains an edge right now, maybe three or four percent over donald trump. and you see in those numbers an advantage for the democratic ticket from women, a majority of women, according to recent polls, supporting the biden -harris ticket and black voters, very key bloc here in north carolina. and they are overwhelmingly at this point through polls indicating support for biden and harris over donald trump and mike pence. >> sreenivasan: there's also a ton ofre money that's been p in on both sides on the senate race. we also had in the middle of that rlaace, o in that race, a revelation that the democratic candidate had an extramarital affai has that played into what's happening now? >> not so far. let's put it this way: cal
cunninham, the democrat, challenging first-time... first-term inismbent thom ti maintains an edge. kind of like joe biden, he's in that three to five percent range right now over thom tillis, according to recent polls. but as you noted, that's kind of sursiprising, cring that just a few weeks ago, it emerged he had been eaging in inappropriate, sexually suggestive texts with another wom, not his wife. he's been very disciplined about not answering questions on that subject. he's avoided answering questions. he said it's a private matter. he has consistently stuck to the election issues that seem to be resonating the most with voters: access to affordable health care, handling of the coronavirus pandemic. it also didn't hurt cal cunningham that at the same time contracted covid-19.lis and you got to remember, he attended the naming ceremony for then-nominee amy coney barrett for the supreme court.
a lot of trump administration officials and the president contracted covid-19. that in a way not onlymp mised thom tillis' health, but it may have compromised his principles. at one ti he was seen as somewhat independent. there was a time he famously opposed emergency funding for president trump's border wall. he then infamously flipped on that issue and cast an important vote supporting that funding. so he's tied his fate to donald trump, but has contracted covid-19. ndd that, in a way, symbolizes for some peopleaybe some key voters, support for a kin of a reckleicy when it comes to handling of the covid-19 pandemic. >> sreenivasan: so it snds like it is about coronavirus. it is aut presidemp. and those are the sort of primary drivers and how you view those two things is in part responsible for why north carolina's become such a
contentious battleground. >> absolutely. let's look at the gornor race in north carolina right now. thatin way, that race where governor cooper has a big advaghntage now, is in a way emblematic of the presidential race. the very issues that l gov. dan forest is running on, same as president trump, he trails the democrat, roy cooper, who's running on a lot of the same issues that joe biden is. >> sreenivasan: rusty jacobs, thanks so muc >> you're welcome. >> sreenivasan: the 2020 election cycle is by far the most expensive campaign year in history. advertising spending on candifodates runninfederal office across the country has reached totals of at least $2.5 billion so far. since january of last year, close to five million ads for president, senate, and congress
have aired on television airwaves alone. that's more than twice the volume of ads in the pt two presidential cycs. newshour weekend's christopher booker sat down with erika the wesleyan media project, which tracks political advertising, to find out more. >> ike for president, ike t.for presiden you like ike, i like ike,yb everody likes ike for president. >> political advertisements have come a long way since this 1952 dwight eisenhower commel. while eisenhower's campaign was the first to use the televkesion his, nearly 70 years late.. >> change is what we got. >> choose a president who brings out our best. >> television is still playing a pronent role in campaigns, even as new platforms capture more and more of the public's attention. >> when we got in tracking ten years ago, people were already at that point predicting the demise of television. and win every year thve been tracking-- there was a plateau, but primarily volumes
have only gone up. >> reporter: erika franklin fowler is the co-director of the wesleyan media project, wch began tracking broadcast advertising in federal elections ten years ago, and digital ads two years ago. this ar, fowler co-authored a omparing how candidates advertised on tv versus facebook in e 18 midterms. >> television ads are really there to persuade. digital ads have a whole wide variety of different goals. so you'll have ads that are seeo kingt citizens to sign up for their mailing list so that they stay informed. you'll also have ads that are about donating to a particular race. drive fundraising and can drive more money to spend everywhere, which can include more money on television. so in some ways, they feed each other in this way. >> reporter: since the general election began in aprre, former vicedent joe biden has outspent president trump on television ads by more than 69 percent. collectively, the two campaigns have putore than $360 million
towards facebook and google ads. and fowler says the 2020 advertisement tsunami is reflective of something else. >> certainly as a society, we have become much more polarized webecome much more nationalized. the things that we talk about, even when we're talking about local politics, are often much more about national and other sorts of provision of things than they aret ecessarily abecific local issues. >> reporter: fowler says part of whheat's driving t increase in are political action groups, or pacs. >> joe biden is a job-killing, tax-raising disaster. >> refusing to prepare... >> reporter: the 2010 citizensit ed supreme court ruling allows outside groups and pacs, like priorities usa and america firspet action, to raise and unlimited funds on elections. this year, democratic super pacs have atdrally invested in advertising, hitting donald trump on healthcare and his record during the pandemic, from michael bloomberg's independence usa... >> if trump gets his way, over
40 million floridians with pnsre-existing conditike cancer and diabetes could lose their healthcare. >> reporter: ...to f forward, a new super pac backed by a group of silicon valley billionaires, including facebook co-founder dustimoskovitz and former google c.e.o. eric schmidt. >>id joe has a plan. >> he actually has a plan. >> reporter: the two pacs have poured an astonishing $90 million so far into tv ad spots since april. >> this susan collins voted to make middle class families pay more. >> reporter: and it's notust the presidential race, this is happening in down ballot races as well. nearly half of the s in the maine senate race have been funded by outside groups, like this one against republican >> outside groups and parties tend to play that role of attack dog. citizens generally don't like negative advertising, and if i as a candidate go negative against my opponent, that ad mightg be effective in red the favorability of my opponent, but ier also tend to suome backlash from airing the negativity in the first place.
>> repisorter: the negativity far departure from eenhower' dancing elephants, but does it really make an impact on how we vote? >> as a oversubscribe the effects of advertising a scholars for a very long time have been saying advertsing matters at the margin. if i go further down the ballot and i'm seeing ads for candidat that i don't know very much about, those ads are more likely to actually have an influence. >> reporter: outside groups have already spent more than $2.5 billion in political advertising this election, nearly twice what was spent in 2016. >> sreenivasan: weill have more from north carolina tomorr on our final weekend of r "roads to election 2020" coverage. and, newshour weekend's christopher booker will return to pennsylvania, the place where we sarted this series, and a
state where it may take several days to count all the votes. don't forget to set your clocks back one hour tonight-- if yt ou're in daylisaving time areas-- and happy halloween! that's all for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. for the latest news updates, vrgisit www.pbsewshour. i'm hari sreenivasan. thanks for watching. stay healthy, and have a good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: i sue and edgar wachenhe. the anderson family fund. beard and denise schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. barbara hope zkerberg. e leonard and norma klorfine foundation. charles rosenblu we try to live in the moment, to not miss what's right in front of us. at mutual of america, we believe taking care of tomorrow
can help you make the most of today. mutual of america financial group, retirement services and investments. >> for 25 years, consumer cellular goal has been to provide wireless service that helps people communicate and connect. owe offer a variety no-contract plans, and our u.s.-based customer service team can help find one that fits you. to learn more, visit www.consumercellular.tv. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, a private io corporfunded by the american people. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like th you. ank you. you're watching pbs.
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