Trump, Biden rally voters to turn out at Florida polls
TAMPA, Fla. — President Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden are encouraging voters to turn out in person on election day next Tuesday, both campaigning in Florida, a state all but essential to the Republican’s pathway to another term.
More than 73 million Americans have already voted, absentee or by mail, and Trump and Biden are trying to energize the millions more who will vote on Tuesday. While the Election Day vote traditionally favors Republicans and early votes tend toward Democrats, the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 227,000 people in the United States, has injected new uncertainty.
Trump and Biden were appearing in Tampa hours apart on Thursday. They’re visiting the western end of the state’s Interstate 4 corridor, an area known for rapid residential growth, sprawling suburbs and its status as an everchanging, hardfought battleground during presidential elections.
“You hold the power. If Florida goes blue, it’s over,” Biden told supporters Thursday.
Trump was celebrating a new federal estimate that the economy grew at a stunning 33.1% annual rate in the Julyseptember quarter — by far the largest quarterly gain on record — making up ground from its epic plunge in the spring, when the eruption of the coronavirus closed businesses and threw tens of millions out of work.
“So glad this great GDP number came out before November 3rd,” Trump said in a tweet, predicting dire consequences if Biden is elected.
But economists warned that the economy is already weakening again and facing renewed threats as confirmed viral cases surge, hiring has slowed and federal stimulus help has largely run out.
Biden, in a statement, criticized Trump over the report.
“The recovery is slowing if not stalling,” he said, “and the recovery that is happening is helping those at the top but leaving tens of millions of working families and small businesses behind.”
The visits come as Biden has framed his closing argument to voters on responsible management of the COVID-19 pandemic and Trump promises that the nation is on course to “vanquish the virus” even as it sets records for confirmed new infections.
Trump is holding three rallies on Saturday in Pennsylvania before launching on a whirlwind tour of battlegrounds including Florida, Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania in the closing 48 hours of the race.
Biden heads later in the week to three more states Trump won in 2016: Iowa, Wisconsin and then Michigan, where he’ll hold a joint Saturday rally with former President Barack Obama.
Biden’s campaign also announced he will visit Minnesota Friday hours before Trump holds a rally in one of the few Clinton-voting states Trump is hoping to pick up this year.
But without Florida’s 29 electoral votes, Trump’s path to victory is exceptionally difficult.
Supporters of presidential nominee Joe Biden attend a drivein rally in Coconut Creek, Fla. Biden and President Trump campaigned Thursday in Florida, a state that is essential to Trump’s pathway to victory.