Fighting in swing states, Trump also forced to play defense

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is being forced to play Electoral College defense with a trip to Iowa, a state he won handily in 2016 but where Democrat Joe Biden is making a late push before the Nov. 3 vote.

Trump’s heavy travel this week, including a rally Wednesday in Des Moines, reflects his uphill climb three weeks before the election. He has already visited Pennsylvania and Florida, will head to another state, North Carolina, he can’t win without and plans stops in Iowa and Georgia, which he once thought were in his grasp but where recent polling shows Biden improving.

The candidates will have dueling town halls Thursday night on network television — Trump’s in Miami and sponsored by NBC News, Biden’s in Philadelphia and on ABC. Debate organizers last week changed their original plan for a town hall debate that night to a virtual event after Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis, but the president backed out. Biden quickly signed on to his own town hall; Trump’s campaign on Wednesday announced its competing event.

Both candidates tailored their campaigning Tuesday to best motivate voters who could cast potentially decisive ballots.

Biden did not have any public campaign events scheduled Wednesday, an unusual move just 20 days before the election, after visiting Florida on Tuesday to court older voters. He was looking to deliver a knockout blow in a state Trump needs to win while trying to woo a group whose support for the Republican president has slipped.

Trump was in Pennsylvania, arguably the most important state on the electoral map, unleashing fierce attacks on Biden’s fitness for office in his opponent’s backyard.

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“He’s shot, folks. I hate to tell you, he’s shot,” Trump told a big rally crowd in Johnstown, saying there was extra pressure on him to win because Biden was the worst presidential candidate of all time. “Can you imagine if you lose to a guy like this? It’s unbelievable.”

In his second rally since contracting the novel coronavirus, Trump spoke for more than an hour to thousands packed in tightly and mostly maskless. Like the night before in Florida, Trump seemed healthy, and his rhetoric on the pandemic — including the dubious claim that it was mostly a thing of the past — changed little despite his own illness, except for his threat to kiss audience members to prove his immunity.

Trump made a local pitch, hammering home the false claim that a Biden administration would limit fracking in areas where the economy is heavily dependent on energy. Biden’s proposal would only bar new leases on federal land, a fraction of U.S. fracking operations. Touting his elimination of a federal rule that would have brought more low-income housing to the suburbs, Trump zeroed in on groups whose support he has struggled to retain, including female voters turned off by his rhetoric.

“So I ask you to do me a favor. Suburban women: Will you please like me? Please. Please. I saved your damn neighborhood, OK?” Trump said. “The other thing: I don’t have that much time to …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Politics


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