Just days before Tuesday’s US presidential election, Donald Trump, Joe Biden and their top allies tour crucial states in the industrial Midwest and the Southeast Coast on Saturday in a frenzied race to mobilize voters as they present their arguments. end.
A reflection of what is at stake in these elections and the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic, a record 90 million early votes have already been cast, in what is shaping up to be the elections with the highest voter turnout of the last century.
Republican President Trump, 74, seeking a second term, was targeting key territories as was his Democratic opponent Biden, 77.
In Pennsylvania (northeast), the president continues at a frenetic pace of four events, while in Michigan (north) Biden and former President Barack Obama, of whom he was vice president, will appear together for the first time in the campaign.
Vice President Mike Pence, meanwhile, was holding rallies in North Carolina (east) – where Trump and Biden compete side by side – while Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris was in Florida (southeast), another key state where the competition is tight.
Pennsylvania, where Trump scored a narrow victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, has become one of the most coveted targets this year.
In his motorized caravan heading to rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Trump passed hundreds of his supporters holding placards in support.
During a rally there, Trump lashed out at Biden while describing his own openly disruptive approach to politics, as if serving the voters.
If I don’t always play by the rules of Washington and the Washington establishment, it is because I was elected to fight for you, and I fought more for you than any other president in the history of our country, “he said.
Coronavirus at the center of the debate
But the electoral race has been overshadowed by the growing pandemic. More than 94,000 new infections were recorded on Friday, another new high, and the total of cases surpassed 9 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Almost 230,000 people have died from the virus in the United States, the worst affected country.
In stark contrast to Trump – whose son Donald Trump Jr. told Fox on Thursday that COVID-19 deaths had dropped to “next to nothing” – Biden has scrupulously followed the recommendations of public health experts.
He and Obama will perform Saturday in Flint and Detroit to a drive-in audience, respecting social distancing, and with superstar singer Stevie Wonder as the musical guest.
Trump, apparently oblivious to the advancement of the virus, continues to downplay the dangers of the disease.
If you catch it, you will get better and then you will be immune, “he said near Detroit, in one of his massive rallies to which many go without masks.
The pandemic has devastated the economy, and while there have been signs of recovery, millions of people are still out of work.
The election takes place in a deeply divided country, with sentiments so polarized that arms sales have increased in some areas. Businesses in some cities are guarding their windows as police prepare for possible riots.
Trump, who has tried to sell off the financial successes of his presidency, is trailing Biden by about 8 points in national polls, but Tuesday’s victory is played out in a handful of states where the gap is much smaller.
The president won in Michigan by a narrow 0.2-point margin in 2016, but this year former Vice President Biden leads the polls with a seven-point advantage, according to a survey average from RealClearPolitics.
That puts him in first place to get all 16 electoral votes for this state, a considerable jump to the 270 he needs to win the White House.
In 2016, Trump took advantage of the low turnout among black voters in Michigan to win there. Now, Biden is campaigning with the nation’s first black president, hoping to mobilize African-American voters.
Since last week, Obama has put his popularity at the service of Biden. He hosted several events where he repeatedly criticized Trump’s response to the pandemic.
In 2016, Trump won by a very narrow margin the 20 electoral votes of Pennsylvania, where Biden was born.
Biden will perform in his home state on Sunday and Monday, in a clear sign that he considers him crucial territory.
While on election night, the Democrat will address the country from his stronghold in Wilmington, Delaware (east), his campaign announced this Saturday.
The electoral contest also took place in the southwest of the country on Friday, with tours of Vice President Pence in Arizona, and Kamala Harris in Texas, two other key states.
Texas, a traditionally conservative stronghold and a prized trophy that brings in 38 votes, could surprise by turning from Republican red to Democratic blue, something that has not happened since Jimmy Carter’s victory in 1976.
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