As the Nov. 3 election grows closer, my colleagues visited hotly contested areas across the region to check-in on races that could come down to the wire this fall. Even President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama are focused on Pennsylvania’s impact on the election, offering contrasting views on what could happen depending on which party took the state.

And, if you’re looking to take a break from politics, the Flyers start their series tonight against the Islanders. Meanwhile, the Sixers’ season ended yesterday with a sweep.

In getting past the Montreal Canadiens, the Flyers did just enough on defense to grab their first series win since 2012. But, they’re not going to beat the New York Islanders playing the same way, my colleague Sam Carchidi writes.

The Flyers will need to refocus ahead of tonight’s series opener, especially after losing all three regular-season meetings between the two teams. One key might be the Flyers’ young netminder Carter Hart keeping up his impressive play. But that’s no guarantee, columnist Mike Sielski writes.

What do Trump and Obama agree on? For their parties, it’s either winning the state, or it’s the apocalypse, my colleague Jonathan Tamari writes. In their dueling visits to the Keystone State last week, the previous president and the current one presented contrasting but apocalyptic versions of what might happen when one or the other side loses.

In the Philly suburbs, Republicans are trying to survive what looks like an anti-Trump wave. In 2003, there were almost twice as many registered Republicans as Democrats in Chester and Delaware Counties. Today, Democrats have a narrow registration edge in Chester County and a wider one in Delaware County, my colleague Andrew Seidman reports.

New Jersey’s 3rd District has long been a Republican stronghold in a Democratic state. It’s made up of most of Burlington County and a large chunk of Ocean County. But Democrat Andy Kim flipped the district by fewer than 4,000 votes in 2018. If he wins again this November, he’ll be the first Democrat in decades to hold the seat for consecutive terms.

My colleague Allison Steele visited Kim’s district and reported on how the more progressive Burlington County towns that propelled him to victory two years ago contrast with deep-red Ocean County, a place where, historically, Democrats haven’t had a chance to win.

What you need to know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Not a bad spot for a paddle. Thanks for sharing, @baewindows.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout-out.

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Opinions

USPS and GOP tune up
Dave Granlund
USPS and GOP tune up

“Take Julie Davis. For years, the 48-year-old cook had watched helplessly as her daughter struggled with drug addiction. She braced herself for the day she got word that her drug-addicted daughter had succumbed to an overdose. Still, when that day finally arrived on July 16, Davis collapsed with grief.” — writes columnist Jenice Armstrong about how the opioid crisis can’t be ignored, even with a pandemic still raging.

What we’re reading

Your Daily Dose of | Philly strangers

My colleague Stephanie Farr, who cares so deeply about highlighting the passion, love, and hilarity of Philadelphia, was starting to lose her faith. There’s been the pandemic, the city’s tear-gassing of its own people, a rising homicide rate, and more.

So, she asked for your favorite interactions with Philly strangers to remind her of why she fell in love with the city. These are the stories you shared with her.