ut Donald Trump, whose political career was on the verge of faltering, braved temperatures hovering around freezing during a five-state streak yesterday to add support before the polls ran out. “Does anyone have a coat I could wear?” The US President joked on stage in Washington, Michigan when snow fell.
Stops were also scheduled on the battlefields of Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida yesterday. There were five more rallies today.
The flash of activity – thrown back by a crowd of Trump supporters cheering while ignoring social distancing – has Democrats wring their hand. The central message of their candidate Joe Biden to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously means that the number of his events is severely limited. “Drive-in” rallies often mean that supporters stay in cars.
This means that the traditional footage of crowds cheering for a candidate – used to project dynamics – is missing. It has caused an outbreak of jitter. The spirit of 2016 haunts the Democrats. Could Mr. Biden do more events? Is he doing enough to make African American and Latin American voters? Are the polls counting Trump supporters?
Democratic nerves were sent through the roof on Saturday when Iowa’s most trusted pollster Ann Selzer earned Mr Trump a seven point lead in the state she was previously neck to neck. This is the same leeway that Ms. Selzer preferred to Mr. Trump just before the 2016 elections.
Quieter Democrats point to Mr Biden’s sizeable poll results in the swing states, which are generally larger than what Hillary Clinton had four years ago. However, signs have been found that Mr Trump’s campaign has skyrocketed registrations among Republican supporters in key states.
Biden has held a steady head start in national opinion polls as a coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 230,000 Americans and ravaged the economy weighed on Trump’s campaign. The former Vice President was in the latest Reuters / Ipsos poll from October 27 to 29, between 51 and 43 percent ahead.
Polls show Trump is still close in enough battlefield states to give him the 270 votes he needs to win on the state electoral college that determines the overall winner.
According to Reuters / Ipsos polls, the race is still a problem in Florida, North Carolina and Arizona, while Trump lags seven percentage points in Pennsylvania and ten percentage points in Michigan and Wisconsin.
“Our numbers look very good everywhere,” said Trump in a tweet this weekend. “Sleepy Joe is already beginning to withdraw from certain states.”
In Washington, Michigan, the president touted his record in office yesterday. “I gave you a lot of auto plants,” he told the crowd, a claim challenged by the PolitiFact website, which in 2019 found that jobs in the state’s auto industry fell by 3,000.
The President’s appearances in the so-called Rust Belt states are a reminder of the excitement that Mr. Trump suffered in 2016. It was his success in wooing Labor Democrats that enabled him to turn Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin around.
Mr Biden is determined to win back the States. His triumph in the Democratic primary was partly due to the fact that, as a 77-year-old white man from Scranton, Pennsylvania, he was seen as well placed to do just that. This weekend the former US Vice President was accompanied on the campaign by his old boss Barack Obama. The meeting took place at a drive-in rally at Northwestern High School on the outskirts of Flint, Michigan, a former automobile manufacturing center known as Vehicle City.
Mr Obama jumped on the stage on Saturday and set the Democratic faithful on fire, both in Flint and at a similar event outside a Detroit casino.
“We love you,” shouted the crowd. “I love you too,” Mr. Obama yelled back.
“I’m his secret girlfriend, he just doesn’t know,” enthused Heather Jakeway (47). “Having Obama here is great. Blue Wave Baby! ”Democrats don’t react that way to Mr. Biden.
Trump was scheduled to complete the 10th stage rallies – five a day – yesterday and today, the most frequented stretch of the campaign. Performances were scheduled for today in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and back in Michigan.
On familiar issues, Trump presented himself as an opponent of a “corrupt politician” and “one and a half dummy” in Biden, as well as a “left mob” and democratic “maniacs”.
Both men have previously spoken out loud about beating each other physically. Mr. Trump brought it up again yesterday and said of his rival: “He thinks he’s a tough guy. … You know what, boom… thing, he’s gone. ”But now the finish line of this turbulent campaign is in sight. The polls close tomorrow night. Record attendance is expected. But much remains cloudy. If the results are tight, America is prepared for days of struggle. The huge surge in mail-in votes due to the pandemic has led some state officials to warn that the results may not be declared for days.
Studies show that a much higher percentage of Democrats will vote by mail, but the opposite is true for in-person voting. It has raised fears that if there are many postal ballot papers left to be counted, Mr. Trump could require the election night count and should be used as the end result.
Jason Miller, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, hinted at this strategy, saying in a television interview that he believed the president would “be ahead on election night” and that the Democrats would “try to steal it back afterwards.”
This controversial phrase ignores the fact that it is legitimate for postal ballot papers to be counted in the following days.
All over the country, from San Francisco to Washington DC and New York, shop windows are boarded up. The Nordstrom department chain and Tiffany’s jewelry brand are closing some stores in anticipation of demonstrations. Texas is preparing to deploy 1,000 National Guard members.
The campaign may almost be over, but America is preparing for tomorrow and next steps. (© Daily Telegraph, London)
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