U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday launches his final, two-day sprint of campaigning across the battleground states of the 2020 election in a dramatic bid to defy the polls and win a come-from-behind victory over Democrat Joe Biden.
Facing what appears to be a narrow path to reelection, Trump is to make stops in states likely to prove pivotal in deciding if he will remain in the White House for four more years or whether he will become the first president since George H.W. Bush in 1992 to fail in a bid for a second term.
Biden, who has made Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic the central theme of his candidacy, will campaign on Sunday in Pennsylvania, a state that may well decide the winner of the election.
On Sunday and Monday, Trump will stage 10 rallies вЂ“ five a day вЂ“ making it the campaign’s busiest stretch. The Republican incumbent aims to generate enough momentum to drive an overwhelming turnout by his supporters on Tuesday, Election Day.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 31, 2020. /Reuters
On Sunday, Trump will hold rallies in Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. On Monday his campaign has scheduled events in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and two in Michigan.
He will close out the two-day swing with a late-night rally on Monday in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the same location where he finished his campaign in 2016. In his improbable victory four years ago, he took Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, three states that for decades had gone in the Democratic column.
Weighing down Trump is a rising number of coronavirus infections. The country has recorded more than nine million cases, with nearly 230,000 people dead.
Trump has played down the virus and says his opponents are using it against him. He warns that a Biden presidency would lead to another virus lockdown, which the country cannot afford.
At a rally on Saturday in Newtown, Pennsylvania, Trump seemed to lament his close race with Biden, who he considers a weak opponent.
“This could only happen to me,” Trump said. “How could we be tied?”
Democratic U.S. presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign drive-in, mobilization event in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., October 31, 2020. /Reuters
National polls show Biden with a clear lead but state-by-state surveys of battleground states show a closer race.
To win again Trump has to chart a narrow path by winning states he won in 2016, like Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Iowa and Arizona, and holding at least one of the Midwestern states that he took four years ago, such as Pennsylvania, Michigan or Wisconsin.
Some Republicans are pessimistic about Trump’s chances, believing he has too many states where his back is up against the wall, fearing the 90 million who have cast ballots early suggest a wave building against the president.
Trump and his team believe polls undersell the Republican’s level of support, arguing many of his backers do not want to admit as much to pollsters and that, thanks to a strong Republican get-out-the-vote effort, the incumbent will win.
Trump warned again on Saturday that the outcome of the election may not be known on Tuesday night due to the counting of mail-in votes in states like Pennsylvania.
“I think it’s highly like you’re not going to have a decision because Pennsylvania is very big,” Trump said in Newtown.Surprise win U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday launches his final, two-day sprint of campaigning across the battleground states of the 2020 election in a dramatic bid to defy the polls and
‘Razor thin’: How Donald Trump could pull off a surprise election win
A White House insider has warned the US election result will be “razor thin”, as she predicted Republicans will turn out in droves to vote for President Donald Trump.
Despite Democratic Joe Biden remaining the favourite in polling, former White House director of events Laura Schwartz told Today Mr Trump could still turn the election around and pull off a surprise win.
She explained that in-person voting in Arizona, a Republican stronghold, shows Republicans are already outvoting Democrats.
You can sign up for the Today newsletter here. (Nine) President Donald Trump dances after a campaign rally at Gerald R. Ford International Airport, Michigan. (AP)
“Today, in person, Republicans are outvoting Democrats three to one,” Ms Schwartz said.
“If that holds and it can be a larger turn-out than before, Trump may have a chance in some of the battleground states.”
Ms Schwartz added that Mr Trump’s second term at presidency is entirely dependent on how many people turn up and vote for him today.
A Trump supporter gives a thumbs up as he’s yelled at by residents while driving with a Trump Train Rally through the Regency Club Apartments which also serves as a polling precinct on Election Day in Warren, Mich., Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/David Goldman) (AP)
“Today’s turn-out is really going to be about Donald Trump, whereas the early voting and the mail-in turn- out was definitely more favourable to Biden,” she said.
“Right now, the polling is steady but there aren’t any outrageous lines.
“Donald Trump said himself this weekend, his first call on election night will be is his lawyers. So it kind of telegraphs that they know the numbers are really difficult for them. But it’s not stopping them trying to block votes that have already come in from early voters.”
Ms Schwartz said Mr Biden could win two battleground states, Georgia and Pennsylvania – but Florida, “a must-win” for Mr Trump, remains “razor thin”.
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden arrives to board his campaign plane at New Castle Airport in New Castle, Delaware, on Election Day, November 3, 2020, en route to Scranton, Pennsylvania. (AP)
“Joe Biden is doing a really good job making sure that no stone is left unturned, that everything’s out on the field and they’ve done their best,” she said.
“That’s really to be respected.
“It looks like he’s going to really pull out some of critical states like Pennsylvania, maybe even flipping a state like Georgia.
“Florida, which is a must- win for Trump, right now is so razor thin. It really depends on today’s turn-out whether or not Trump can turn it around.”
As voters flock to the polling booths, she said Trump supporters will try and intimate Democrats as they cast their ballots.
Joe Biden supporter Bill Morris from Middleburg directs his sign at the driver of a truck hauling a boat decorated with flags supporting President Donald Trump along Blanding Blvd. in Orange Park, Florida on Election Day Tuesday November 3, 2020. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union via AP] (AP)
“Down in Atlanta, in the state of Georgia, they dispatched officers to each polling site, because they were concerned about unrest,” Ms Schwartz said.
“Donald Trump has made not-so-veiled attempts to say that people need to watch the polls. They’re expecting Trump supporters to go out and they’re looking at voter intimidation.
“That’s why in a state like Georgia they’re making sure that they’re not intimidated. They’re making sure they’re not armed and not close enough to cause any danger.”
Join the Today show family and give yourself the chance to win great prizes by signing up to our weekly newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox every Wednesday with a special message from Karl and Ally. You can sign up for free here.A White House insider has warned the US election result will be "razor thin" as she predicted Republicans w… ]]>