In a final round of campaigning, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump have turned to Mid-western states that may give them four years in White House. Biden launched his offensive in Iowa, a state that went for Trump in 2016 when the latter bagged victory by 10 points. Trump reached Minnesota which voted for Hillary Clinton four years ago.
Biden is maintaining a solid national lead before Tuesday’s general election. However, his advantage over the Republican is narrower in a number of key battleground states that could vote for either side and ultimately decide their candidate in four days. Over 85mn Americans have used their right of vote out of which 55mn casted theirs via postal ballots.
The Democrat snaps at hecklers
Biden contrary to his rival is more conscious and measured with his campaigning as he spent much of his time in Wilmington, Delaware amidst Coronavirus pandemic. On Friday, however, he cruised through Iowa, recording his busiest day yet. His last spell in Iowa in January was not so impressive with the party vote rejecting him for a race against Trump. The former vice-president could be days away from becoming 46th president of the US.
Confronted by a pack of Trump supporters, Biden, in an under 30-min drive-in appearance in a car park outside the Minnesota State Fairgrounds said: “These guys are not very polite, but they are like Trump.”
Trump supporters who attempted to hackle him by honking their horns once again tried to disrupt his speech when he called on the public to hold the mask-wearing mandate nationwide to stem the spread of COVID-19.
“This isn’t a political statement like those ugly folks over there beeping their horns,” Mr. Biden unhumbled said amidst the cacophony of vehicular horns.
The Democrat once again trained his guns on Trump, saying: “Donald Trump has waved the white flag and surrendered to this virus but the American people don’t give up, they don’t cower and neither will I.”
He also tried to include a local pitch by dragging the state’s Somali diaspora into the debate.
“That’s why he (Mr. Trump) shamelessly equates Somali refugees, folks seeking a better life in America, contributing to this state and our country, with terrorists.” He added: “We need a president who will bring us together, not pull us apart.”
Biden’s campaign in Minnesota was interpreted by some analysts as a sign that Democrat’s camp was doubting their chances in the state.
The challenger talking to reports before departing for Midwest, said: “I don’t take anything for granted.”
In the final burst of campaigning, the Republican has set out for Georgia and Iowa, a conservative duo, where a Democrat has not seized a victory since Bill Clinton in 1992.
Democrats also fancy their chances in Texas where the they have not earned a Presidential vote since Jimmy Carter had his in 1976. If Republicans lost their bid in the Lone Star state from there it would become impossible for them to have a shot at White House without needing an expanded voter coalition. Opinion poll show Biden running toe to toe with the Republican in Texas. Over 9mn voters in ruby red state have casted their vote.
Trump’s rant on Refugees
The Republican in the last few days is targeting the traditionally Democratic strongholds of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan which he picked up four years back to complete a stunning victory against all-odds. He also added Minnesota to his campaign list on Friday; the state has not voted for a Republican nominee since 1972. Trump in 2016 lost Minnesota by 44,000 votes.
At the car-marking hub of Detroit, Michigan, the President recognized the uphill task, saying: “But we are very popular in Minnesota because I helped with that disaster in Minneapolis.”
The GOP President was attempting to highlight his move to deploy the National Guard to quash the riots in Minneapolis on the request of Democratic governor of Minnesota in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing that sparked nationwide outrage and protests.
During the 73-min address, Trump also teased Fox news host Laura Ingraham at one moment for using a face-covering and being “very politically correct”. 250 attendees were present at Rochester, Minnesota to listen to the Republican after the state and local officials insisted for lower audiences fearing the spread of COVID-19 infection. Trump blamed the authorities for trying to scratch the rally.
Addressing the crowd, he said: “When large numbers of rioters and vandals sacked the city of Minneapolis earlier this year, Keith Ellison [Minnesota’s Democratic attorney general] did not ask them to submit a permit.”
Pointing to the lockdown restrictions, he added: “”Keith Ellison and Joe Biden want to imprison you in your homes while letting anarchists, agitators and vandals roams free as they destroy your cities and state.”
The Republican added: “Biden and the Democratic class treat law enforcement like criminals and they treat criminals like heroes.”
“One of the most crucial issues for Minnesota in this election is the subject of refugees,” Trump continued. “This is a vital matter of national security.”
He talked about his decision to not accept the refugees from the countries “compromised by terrorism” and also made a mention of the Nice stabbing attempted by a Tunisian migrant.