The fateful moment on Tuesday – and what could develop into a longer count due to the many mail-in votes – will decide whether Americans reject Trump after a single term or run for another four years of his brazen presidency.
Biden will be camping in Ohio on Monday – a late addition to his target list – and in Pennsylvania, the state of his birth, which could be the tipping point if the election is near. Trump will be on a hectic journey aboard Air Force One through North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to save the states won four years ago and block Biden’s route to the White House.
Biden argues that Trump’s rejection and neglect of a pandemic that has killed more than 230,000 Americans and is getting worse by the day should refuse to re-elect the president.
“The truth is, in order to defeat the virus, we have to defeat Donald Trump first. He is the virus,” Biden said in Philadelphia on Sunday.
Both Biden and Trump have ways to win
The Democratic candidate starts the final day of the election campaign with a big head start in national polls and enough swing states to allow multiple avenues to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House, including through the Sun Belt and the Midwest.
“We are very confident about our path to victory,” Biden advisor Anita Dunn told Jake Tapper on Sunday via CNN’s State of the Union. Biden is hoping wins in states like Arizona, Florida, Georgia or North Carolina on Tuesday night could send an early signal that he is on his way to victory.
Counting on battlefields in the Midwest like Michigan and Wisconsin, where he expects good results, could take longer and lead to the controversial outcome the president is threatening. Trump has already attempted to discredit mail-in ballots that are taking longer to count, while Republicans in Texas have attempted – so far – unsuccessfully – to invalidate ballots placed in transit locations in the Houston area.Build your own path to 270 votes with CNN’s interactive map
While Trump is lagging behind Biden, he also has a clear, if closer, chance of getting 270 votes based on sweeping through a series of battlefields he won with an election day turnout four years ago. The president cannot afford to drop states like Florida, Georgia or North Carolina, and then has to fight Biden in the Midwest – the crucial territory for his victory over Hillary Clinton, where he will fight four years later by comparison Has. Still, the president is within striking distance in some swing state polls and the Democrats are haunted by the idea that he could again defy expectations and make a breathtaking comeback on election day.
Trump is misleading the virus and casting shadows over election night
The president spent a weekend spleen campaigns diverting responsibility for his Covid-19 abuse, accusing doctors of increasing the death toll, and claiming Biden would re-lock the country if he won.
At a rally in Florida on Sunday night, Trump’s crowd began chanting “Fire Fauci” as the president complained that everyone had heard too much about the pandemic.
“Don’t tell anyone, but let me wait until shortly after the election,” said the president. Fauci has been director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases since 1984. He is recognized around the world and played an important role in the fight against HIV / AIDS and Ebola. In an interview with the Washington Post published on Saturday, Fauci said the US “couldn’t possibly be worse positioned” for the feared winter surge in Covid-19 cases now kicking in, contradicting Trump’s claims that the disease will go away immediately.
Trump started his day in snowy Michigan on Sunday before traveling through Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia and mild Florida in one grueling sweep, demonstrating his perseverance, but also defiance – and that of his large crowd – against his own government’s social distancing measures recommends stopping the spread of Covid-19.
He falsely claimed again on Sunday – at a rally in North Carolina – that the US is “rounding the turn” in the fight against the virus and that vaccines that he wanted to introduce before the elections are “right there”. “”
The president is betting on a stream of unmarked pro-Trump voters, his hyperbolic warnings of a radical Democratic takeover if Biden wins, and his condemnation of urban unrest accused of left-wing thugs , will assume.
But a hint of premonition hangs over one of the most surreal elections in modern US history. Reports of delays in casting mail-in votes in several key battlefield nations deepened concerns about the possibility of lengthy litigation between campaigns in the event of a close election.
The extra time and complication of numerous postal ballot papers could give the president scope to cast new doubts on the integrity of an election he warned would only be fair if he emerges victorious.
In Texas, the state Supreme Court turned down a petition by a group of Republicans seeking to invalidate nearly 127,000 ballots cast in transit facilities in Harris County, a highly democratic area around Houston. The Republicans have also filed a lawsuit in federal court, which has an emergency hearing in Houston on Monday morning. The FBI has since opened an investigation into a caravan of vehicles driven by Trump supporters allegedly harassing a Biden Harris campaign bus in Texas.
And the president heightened fears of a controversial election by re-voicing suspicions about the perfectly normal practice of voting, which continues after election night – a likely event this year as some states do not count postal votes until after the election can start day.
“I think it’s a terrible thing when ballots can be collected after an election,” said Trump in the crucial state of North Carolina, which he wants to keep in his column despite the demographic change that is giving the Democrats hope.
“I think it’s a terrible thing when people or states are allowed to tabulate ballots for a long period of time after the elections are over because that can only lead to one thing, and that’s very bad. You know what that is. I think It’s a very dangerous, terrible thing, “Trump told reporters.
In another ominous comment, once the voting was over in states like Pennsylvania, the president said, “We are in touch with our lawyers” after railing against a Supreme Court ruling that will force a ruling by Pennsylvania’s top bank for now had set to allow the counting of ballot papers up to three days after the election day.
However, elections are not decided in a timely manner – they depend on all votes being counted.
Concerns about premature declaration of victory
But Michigan Democratic governor Gretchen Whitmer told State of the Union that she was concerned that Trump might try to declare victory in her state if election day results gave him a head start before the early and mail-in votes would be counted.
“I think this is a very real possibility and that’s why we’re trying to make sure everyone in the press understands that the volume of incoming votes is like nothing we’ve ever seen before and it will be some time before it counts.” ” She said.
“And it is more important that we get a count that is accurate than one that is quick and may not be accurate.”
Biden tried on Sunday to convince black voters, who historically are more likely to vote on election day, to show up in the numbers he needs in cities and suburbs to offset Trump’s dominance in the rural heartland.
He attended a “Souls to the Polls” event at a Baptist church in Philadelphia and then hosted a drive-in rally. Pointing out differences in the virus’ impact on minorities, he painted Trump in the cradle of the American experiment as a threat to American fundamental freedoms.
“Every generation has to fight to maintain democracy. I never thought that we would have to fight so hard,” said Biden.
His fellow campaigner, Senator Kamala Harris of California, traveled to North Carolina and Georgia, two states where Democrats believe they can win thanks in part to high turnout from African Americans.
“Let’s never let anyone take our power away from us. Don’t let us depose, don’t let us be silent, there is too much at stake and ancestors expect so much more from us,” said Harris in North Carolina.