Both President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are working to rally voters the day before the 2020 election, with both campaigns focusing heavily on Pennsylvania. The Biden campaign has six events scheduled in the state, with the Trump campaign holding three rallies there.
Over the weekend, both candidates took jabs at the other for the type of election events they were holding.
Biden berated Trump, in press releases and speeches, for hosting large, outdoor rallies where supporters could spread COVID-19. On Sunday November 1, Trump campaigned in Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
A press release issued by the Biden campaign about the Florida event said, “President Trump will hold another one of his potential super-spreader rallies in Florida tonight, putting his supporters and Floridians they come into contact with in danger. This rally isn’t for Floridians; it’s to fuel his own ego, with no regard for the issues working Floridians face every day.”
Biden told an interviewer, “I’ve been responsible. We have not been doing these superspreading events, causing hundreds of people to come down with COVID.”
The Miami Herald reported that the Trump rally at the Miami-Opa Locka Executive airport began at 11:30 p.m. and lasted well past Miami’s midnight curfew. “Unrestrained, thousands flooded the Opa-locka airport draped in Trump flags and carrying Trump-Pence campaign signs. Children waited in line to buy Kona ices from a food truck. People danced to a Colombian vallenato band played on a stage with a giant American flag as a backdrop. Most the audience did not appear to be wearing masks,” the paper said.
Biden campaigned in Flint and Detroit Michigan on October 31, where he was joined by former President Barack Obama. The New York Times reported, “The drive-in events have smaller audiences than the big rallies that would be expected at the end of a typical presidential campaign. About 180 cars were on hand for the Flint rally, for example, while the rally in Detroit had 450 cars.”
The Times quoted Trump’s disparaging comments about the Biden and Obama rallies, “And then you’d have like two cars honk — honk, honk.” The President added, “I hate to say it, Obama doesn’t draw any better. They went as a twosome and they had less people.”
The paper explained that both candidates “were OK” with Trump’s larger crowds, offering this opinion, “While President Trump still thrills to the roar of a crowd, even during a pandemic, Joe Biden has found a new way to get audience feedback: through honking horns at his drive-in rallies.”
“Mr. Biden’s drive-in rallies may be a campaign trail novelty, but they provide a way for his campaign to excite supporters in key areas and attract local news media coverage, much like a traditional rally would, while also observing public-health precautions,” the Times commented.
The candidates also differ in the number of events held in the waning days of the campaign. Today, on election eve, the Chicago Tribune wrote, “In the final three weeks of the 2020 race for the White House, Republican President Donald Trump has made more than twice the number of campaign trail stops as Democratic nominee Joe Biden.”
“Since Trump finished his Washington quarantine on Oct. 12 following his diagnosis with COVID-19,” the article continued, “the president has campaigned 21 straight days, making 48 stops across 15 states, according to the Chicago Tribune’s tracker of campaign stops. Over the same three weeks, Biden appeared at 23 events in 10 states.”
Commenting on Biden’s appearances, the paper said his campaign “has re-imagined what it means to campaign amid a pandemic, with the candidate traveling less and holding small gatherings where supporters often are seated in circles spaced 6 feet apart.” The paper added that the drive-in events “allow for slightly larger crowds listening to his speeches from their cars.”
In addition to a rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania today, Trump is holding events in Fayetteville, North Carolina; Kenosha, Wisconsin; and Traverse City and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Vice President Mike Pence is campaigning in Latrobe and Erie, Pennsylvania.
Biden started today in Ohio but is focusing primarily on Pennsylvania, with an event in Beaver County, northwest of Pittsburgh, followed by two drive-in events in Pittsburgh. The final event features an appearance with actress and singer Lady Gaga. Senator Kamala Harris has events scheduled in the eastern part of the state, in Luzerne County, Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia.
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Photo from REUTERS
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