NATIONWIDE — This year, more people are expected to vote before election day than ever before. Voting has already begun in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, South Dakota and Minnesota. A combination of in-person early vote and mail-in or absentee-ballot voting means that last minute surprises could have less impact on election day, and changing political news could actually alter votes in the next few weeks.

So what are the top issues on the campaign trail? That keeps changing.

For weeks it was COVID-19 and the economy, topics that helped Joe Biden's message of stable leadership. Then, President Trump turned the frame to law and order, promising to end the looting and violence that attached to some racial justice protests if he's re-elected. As the racial justice demonstrations have died down so has his Law and Order messaging; polls show this didn't move open a lead on Joe Biden. 

Now, with the spate of extreme weather, climate change is becoming a dominant theme on the campaign trail for Joe Biden. For the first time in its 175-year history, Scientific American endorsed the candidate. 

Biden is also focusing on veterans issues and health care and economic concerns for Latinos.

President Trump is promising voters that if re-elected he'll bring a resurgent economy, medical breakthroughs on COVID, and protection from what he casts as radical policies on the left. The messaging is mingled with conspiracy theories that are running rampant on the web.

What do the numbers show?

Joe Biden has held a consistent lead over President Trump for months. That's in part because he's winning the support of white college-educated voters who favored President Trump in 2016 but now, according to the polls, are turned off by what they see as the President's chaotic leadership style and divisive rhetoric.

Meantime the President is consolidating support among white voters who didn't attend college and some Latinos – especially those who fled authoritarian and communist governments in Colombia, Venezuela and Cuba – who see Trump as a businessman who will fight shadowy threats of socialism in America.

While both campaigns are increasingly on the trail meeting with real voters, the head of the FBI warns that in cyberspace Russia is trying to tip the scales. The FBI says that so far there is no evidence that Russia has penetrated actual voting systems, but they are currently using social media, online journals and state media to sow distrust and division among the American people.