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Biden ahead in polls, but Democrats still worry

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With less than 80 days to go before the U.S. presidential election, it looks like Joe Biden's race to lose.

Polls show the Democratic candidate has built a strong lead in nearly every battleground state that Republican President Donald Trump won narrowly in 2016, as the incumbent's approval numbers tumble amid the coronavirus pandemic.

For the first time in a decade, retaking the Senate - and full control of Congress - is within sight.

But as Democrats nationwide gather online this week to nominate Biden as their party's choice to challenge Trump, many fear victory could slip from their fingers.

Reuters spoke with more than a dozen Democratic officials, activists and voters and found deep anxieties that Trump will make voting as difficult as possible during the pandemic, and should he lose the vote, he won't accept its outcome.

Former President Barack Obama has also sounded the alarm, recently saying on Twitter the Trump administration is "more concerned with suppressing the vote than suppressing a virus."

Eight of 10 Democrats are concerned about voter suppression, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll in late July.

Trump has railed against voting by mail for months, proclaiming without evidence it will lead to fraud.

A spokesman for the Trump campaign said the president wants a "free and fair" election.

Democrats also fret that the race has become overly focused on Trump's handling of the pandemic.

That has so far worked in Biden's favor, but has also left him vulnerable to a sudden shift in the country's fortunes, such as a breakthrough in vaccine development, or significant economic improvement.

Biden will accept his presidential nomination virtually from his home state of Delaware, while Trump plans visits this week to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Arizona and Pennsylvania, all politically competitive states.

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