Trump, Biden pull out last stops - analysis

"COVID, COVID, COVID. By the way, on November 4, you won't hear about it anymore," the President said.

'Political Poopers' toys depicting US President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden are seen inside Minnesota's Largest Candy Store in Jordan, Minnesota, US, October 24, 2020. (photo credit: REUTERS/BING GUAN)
'Political Poopers' toys depicting US President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden are seen inside Minnesota's Largest Candy Store in Jordan, Minnesota, US, October 24, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS/BING GUAN)
WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden are preparing their closing arguments to the American public, as nearly 60 million people have already voted. According to the US Elections Project, voters have cast 42.6% of the total votes counted in the 2016 general election nationally.
And with nine days to go until November 3, both candidates are heavily invested in the swing states. Trump traveled to three different states on Saturday: Ohio, Wisconsin and North Carolina – states that he won in 2016 and are essential for his reelection chances. On the other hand, Biden held a couple of events in Pennsylvania, which is considered the single likeliest tipping point of the election.
The events showcased the fundamental differences in their world view about the coronavirus pandemic. While Trump held his trademark Make America Great Again rallies with thousands of attendees, Biden had two “drive-in” rallies with smaller audiences.
The Democratic challenger for the presidency is trying to keep COVID-19 as the top issue for his campaign as US cases reached a record high over the weekend. He slammed the Trump administration’s response for the pandemic and anticipated a “dark winter” coming ahead.
“Very inspiring guy,” Trump reacted sarcastically about Biden’s message. “We’re rounding the turn. We’re doing great; our numbers are incredible.”
“COVID, COVID, COVID. By the way, on November 4, you won’t hear about it anymore,” he added.
During his visit to Pennsylvania, Biden faced questions on local TV stations about his position on fracking.
“Look, I’m from Scranton, Pennsylvania,” he said in an interview with CBS Philadelphia. “My great grandfather is a mining engineer, so I come from coal country. I’m not talking about eliminating fracking; I just say no more fracking on federal lands.”
Biden also addressed his comment from the last presidential debate about the need to “transition” away from oil, saying: “The transition is taking place – nothing to do with anything I’m proposing.”
“The fact is, the fastest growing industries in the country are solar and wind,” he said. “We can move in the direction where the transition takes place, so people are not left behind. We have to invest in the new technologies.”
In the days ahead, both candidates are expected to invest their efforts in the counties that could put them over 270 electoral votes.
On Sunday, Trump held a rally in New Hampshire in an attempt to expand his electoral path to victory beyond the states he carried in 2016. On Tuesday, he is expected to visit Omaha, Nebraska. The winner of each congressional district gets a single electoral vote, and Nebraska’s second congressional district is considered to be competitive.
The Democratic side also is eager to expand the battleground map. Biden will travel on Tuesday to Georgia in a long-shot effort to flip the state from red to blue for the first time since 1996. It will be his first visit to the state since he became the Democratic Party’s nominee. He is scheduled to visit Warm Springs, the home of former president Franklin Roosevelt’s private retreat.
Both vice-presidential nominees are playing a significant part on the final stretch, as well. Sen. Kamala Harris is campaigning in Nevada, a state that Hillary Clinton won in 2016 by some 27,000 votes and where early voting is underway.
On the Republican side, Vice President Mike Pence is campaigning in North Carolina, where Biden is currently leading by a slim margin of 2.9 points, within the margin of error, according to the FiveThirtyEight polling average.
Pence will also visit South Carolina. The state is considered red when it comes to the presidential race; but in the Senate race, the incumbent, Lindsey Graham, is facing a tough reelection campaign against Democrat Jaime Harrison, and it is currently a toss-up.
Pence decided to keep his schedule as planned, despite a few positive COVID-19 cases among his staff. Harris criticized Pence for not quarantining, saying he should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
Former president Barack Obama is also hitting the campaign trail this week and will try to help his former VP. After two events in Philadelphia and Miami, Obama will return to the Sunshine State later this week, as the Biden campaign is fighting for young voters.