US Election 2020: Biden and Trump hit swing states

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  • 2020 US election

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Donald Trump and Joe Biden traveled across the nation as the US election race entered the final hours.

74-year-old Republican President Trump visited five battlefield states while his 77-year-old Democratic challenger spoke at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania – another state where competition is tight.

Mr Biden, a former vice president, has a healthy national lead in the final polls ahead of Tuesday’s elections.

However, this is not a clear case in key states that could decide the outcome.

More than 90 million people cast their votes early on, putting the country on the path to its highest voter turnout in a century.

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The election takes place amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The US has recorded more cases and more deaths than any other country in the world and reported more than 81,000 new infections on Sunday alone.

Top virus expert Anthony Fauci sharply criticized the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic and drew a reprimand from the White House on Sunday.

Trump hits five states in the last election campaign

The Republican president had a penalty plan on Sunday with rallies in Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, and Georgia, followed by Florida – all states where polls suggest a closer race.

Image rightsEPAImage descriptionThe President spoke amidst snowstorms and near-freezing temperatures

In Washington, a city in Michigan north of Detroit, Trump told his supporters that under his leadership the state’s auto industry had been revitalized.

“The economy is now growing at the fastest rate ever,” he said.

The US economy posted record growth of 33% in the third fiscal quarter of this year, after a record growth of 31% in the second quarter. However, economists warn that the damage caused by the pandemic – the biggest contraction in the US economy in more than 80 years – could last for years.

At a later rally in Dubuque, Iowa, along with high profile supporters like his daughter Ivanka and aide-de-camp Hope Hicks, Trump promised safe boundaries and more conservative judges in court.

Prior to Covid-19, he told supporters they had a choice between a “deadly Biden lockdown” or a “safe vaccine that ends the pandemic”.

His comments came after Dr. Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, told the Washington Post that the US would “suffer a lot of damage” in the coming months.

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Mr. Biden took ” [Covid] seriously from a public health perspective, “while President Trump had a different perspective and focused on” the economy and reopening the country, “he added.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said Sunday that Dr. Fauci’s comments are “unacceptable”. The expert decided to “criticize the president in the media and make his political inclinations known by praising the president’s opponent”.

Biden is fighting hard in Pennsylvania

Mr. Biden traveled to Pennsylvania, his birthplace, and another key state. Mr Trump narrowly won there in 2016, but surveys show that Mr Biden is slightly ahead this year.

Image rightsReutersImage descriptionMr. Biden held an outdoor rally in Philadelphia

Speaking to the city’s black community at a rally in Philadelphia, Mr. Biden vowed to address “systemic racism” in the US and to attack the president’s handling of the pandemic – something that has disproportionately affected African Americans.

“It’s almost criminal the way he handled it,” he said. “It is a mass accident event in the black community and completely unnecessary.”

Earlier in the day, Mr Biden also wooed Latino voters with a tweet in Spanish talking about the separation of migrant families at the border and his response to Hurricane Maria after it hit Puerto Rico.

“President Trump has repeatedly attacked the dignity of Latino families,” read the tweet. “This will end when I am president.”

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Mr Biden also brought up a report on the Axios news site saying Mr Trump would declare victory on Tuesday evening if it looked like he was ahead. “The president is not going to steal this election,” said Biden.

Mr Trump denied the Axios report but told journalists ahead of his North Carolina rally that counting ballot papers after election day was a “terrible thing”.

“I don’t think it’s fair that we have to wait a long time after the elections,” he said.

Mr Biden also criticized Mr Trump for encouraging his supporters after some forced a Biden campaign bus to stop on a highway in Texas, which the FBI has now confirmed it is investigating. The president tweeted on Sunday that, in his opinion, “these patriots did nothing wrong”.

Mr Biden’s campaign said he and his run mate Kamala Harris would “fan out” to “all four corners” of Pennsylvania on Monday, along with their partners and pop stars Lady Gaga and John Legend.

How do the candidates differ in their offer?

The two rivals have radically different policies on several key issues.

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Mr. Trump set up a task force in January that now focuses on “security and opening up our country”. The president is also prioritizing the rapid development of Covid treatments and vaccines, earning $ 10 billion for such projects.

Mr. Biden wants to set up a national contact tracing program, set up at least 10 test centers in each state, and offer free coronavirus testing to everyone. He supports a nationwide mask mandate that requires face coverings to be worn on federal properties.

Regarding climate change, Mr. Trump, as a skeptic, does not want to expand renewable energies and has committed to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

Mr Biden said he would rejoin the Paris Agreement immediately and he also wants the US to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

On the economic front, Mr. Trump is committed to creating 10 million jobs as well as 1 million new small businesses in 10 months. He wants to achieve an income tax cut and give companies tax credits to motivate them to keep jobs in the US.

Mr Biden wants to raise taxes for high earners to pay for investments in public services, but says the increase will only affect those who earn more than $ 400,000 a year. He supports raising the federal minimum wage to $ 15.

Will we achieve a result on election night as usual?

Most US presidential elections can take several days to count for each vote, but by the early hours of the morning it is usually pretty clear who the winner is.

In 2016, Donald Trump took the stage in New York at around 3:00 a.m. local time to deliver his victory speech to a crowd of cheering supporters.

But don’t set your alarms just yet. Officials are already warning that with the expected increase in postal voting, we may have to wait longer – possibly days or even weeks – for the result this year.

The last time the outcome was not clear within hours was in 2000, when the winner wasn’t confirmed until a month later when a Supreme Court decision was made.

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