Las Vegas / Durham:
US President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden campaigned for early voters in the competitive states of Nevada and North Carolina on Sunday as the final presidential debate is due later this week.
According to the US election project at the University of Florida, around 27.7 million Americans cast ballots by mail or in person before the November 3rd elections. The record breaking number is due in part to concerns about the crowd at polling stations on election day amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In North Carolina, a battlefield where 1.4 million or 20% of the state’s registered voters had already voted Sunday morning, Biden urged residents to cast ballots as soon as possible.
“We have to maintain the incredible momentum; we can not let up,” he said at a “drive-in rally” in Durham as the participants honked their horns in their cars. “Don’t wait – go vote today.”
Biden also criticized Trump for saying over the weekend the United States had “gone around the corner” on the coronavirus pandemic, noting that the rate of new cases across the country rose to its highest level in months.
“As my grandfather would say, ‘This guy turned the corner when he thought we’d turned the corner,'” Biden said. “It’s getting worse and he keeps lying to us about the circumstances.”
Biden’s election as vice president, Senator Kamala Harris, canceled in-person events over the weekend as a precaution after an adjutant tested positive for COVID-19. She will return to campaign on Monday with a visit to Florida to mark the first day of early personal voting in that state.
Harris tested negative for the virus on Sunday, the campaign said.
Trump, a Republican, spent his Sunday in Nevada, a state he wants to wrest from the Democrats after narrowly losing it in 2016. The first personal referendums in the state began on Saturday.
The president, who rarely goes to church but has remained popular with Protestant Christians for his opposition to abortion and the appointment of conservative judges, started his day with a service at the International Church in Las Vegas.
Trump, who recently had his own COVID-19 battle, did not wear a mask for indoor service.
One of the church’s pastors, Denise Goulet, told Trump from the stage that God had told her he would win the 2020 election. Trump put a handful of $ 20 bills in a sacrificial bucket and bowed his head during a prayer.
Trump will campaign in Florida every day leading up to Thursday’s debate, including stops in Arizona and North Carolina, said campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh.
While Trump lags behind in polls nationally and in many battlefield states, Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said over the weekend that the national numbers are misleading because the must-win states are close together.
“We can’t get complacent because the very scorching truth is that Donald Trump can still win this race and every clue we have shows this thing is going to get hooked,” she wrote in a memo the donors.
The US presidential election is determined by electoral votes, which are allocated to US states and territories based largely on their population, rather than a nationwide referendum.
Trump fought Saturday in Michigan and Wisconsin, two battlefield states he narrowly won in the 2016 elections.
In Muskegeon, Michigan, he attacked the Democratic governor of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer for imposing restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and exposed a right-wing conspiracy uncovered by the FBI to kidnap her.
“Hopefully you send them packing soon,” said Trump, telling the crowd to yell back. “Lock her up!” multiple times.
Whitmer said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press that the president’s rhetoric was “incredibly disturbing” and “dangerous” to her and her family, as well as to other politicians he targets.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)