Urgent against stiff headwinds from the pandemic, President Donald Trump steered toward what he hoped was once safer political ground with the U.S. economy Thursday, as Democratic rival Joe Biden kept up his assault on Trump’s handling of the coronavirus.
Campaigning hours apart in Florida, a state all but fundamental to the Republican’s pathway to another term, both candidates urged supporters to receive to polling places in person, even as a tropical storm interrupted early voting in the Southeast.
The shift to specializing in in-person voting next Tuesday — or sooner, where imaginable — comes as more than 80 million Americans have already cast their ballots, absentee or by mail. While the Election Day vote traditionally favors Republicans and early votes generally tend toward Democrats, the pandemic, which has killed more than 227,000 people in the USA, has injected new uncertainty.
“You hold the power. Whether Florida goes blue, it’s over,” Biden told supporters Thursday.
Trump on Thursday was once celebrating a new federal estimate that the economy grew at a stunning 33.1% annual rate in the July-September quarter — by far the largest quarterly gain on record — making up ground from its epic plunge in the spring, when the eruption of the coronavirus closed businesses and threw tens of millions out of work.
“So glad this great GDP number came out before November 3rd,” Trump tweeted, predicting a dire reversal whether Biden is elected.
But economists warned that the economy is already weakening again and facing renewed threats as confirmed viral cases surge, hiring has slowed and federal stimulus help has mostly run out.
Biden said, “The recovery is slowing whether not stalling, and the recovery that is going on is helping those at the top but leaving tens of millions of working families and small businesses at the back of.”
The Democrat is framing his closing arguments to voters on what he describes as responsible management of the Covid-19 pandemic. Trump, instead, is arguing that Biden would undo the economic gains of his administration with stricter, virus-targeting public health controls — though those are in large part what scientists are calling for.
“The people are tired. They may be able to’t do it anymore,” Trump said of lockdowns.
Trump and Biden both visited the western end of the Florida’s Interstate 4 hall, an area known for rapid residential growth, sprawling suburbs and its status as an ever-changing, hard-fought battleground all through presidential elections.
The president had been scheduled to hit another sunbelt battleground state, North Carolina, on Thursday evening but canceled his event in Fayetteville as Tropical Storm Zeta brought wind gusts reaching 50 mph to the area.
On Friday, Trump is to visit three upper Midwest states, and he’s going to hold a trio of rallies on Saturday in Pennsylvania before launching on a whirlwind tour of battlegrounds including Florida, Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania in the closing 48 hours of the race.
Biden, meantime, heads later in the week to three more states Trump won in 2016: Iowa, Wisconsin and then Michigan, where he’ll hold a joint Saturday rally with former President Barack Obama. Biden’s crusade also announced he’s going to visit Minnesota Friday, hours before Trump holds a rally in probably the most few Clinton-voting states Trump is hoping to select up this year.
The pandemic’s consequences were escalating, with deaths climbing in 39 states and an average of 805 people dying day by day nationwide — up from 714 two weeks ago. The sharp rise sent shockwaves through financial markets, causing the Dow Jones Industrial Average to drop 900-plus points on Wednesday.
Trump, who regularly lauds rising markets, failed to mention the decline. Inventory prices retrieved relatively on Thursday.
Trump is betting on the GOP’s huge field and data operations, and efforts referred to as “ballot flushing” — monitoring precinct lists for who has and has not yet voted — to supply a late boost on Election Day. The Republican National Committee, which has more than 3,000 field staff and claims more than 2.5 million volunteers, will use that information to achieve out to Trump supporters to make sure they get to the polls.
Nowhere may those efforts be more important than in Florida. Without the battleground state’s 29 electoral votes, Trump’s path to victory is exceptionally difficult.
On Thursday, Trump was once introduced in Tampa by first lady Melania Trump, who praised her husband’s presidency, saying “under Donald’s leadership, we have blocked out the noise and focused on you, the American people.”
Trump is banking on native news coverage of his visit to conquer a substantial advertising deficit stemming from a late cash crunch. Biden and his allies are outspending Trump and his backers by more than 3-to-1 in Florida — approximately $23 million to approximately $7 million — in the last push to Election Day, according to data from ad tracking firm Kantar/CMAG.
Biden, meantime, is pouring tens of millions of dollars into a torrent of online advertising that will deliver his closing message of the presidential crusade, highlighting his promise to govern for all Americans while blasting Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I can work as tough for many who don’t fortify me as those who do,” Biden says in probably the most digital ads, which will take over the masthead of YouTube.com on Thursday. “That’s the job of a president — the duty to deal with everyone.”
How much precisely Biden will spend is unclear. His crusade says it is putting a “mid-eight figure” dollar amount at the back of over 100 different ads, because of this they could be spending as low as $25 million — but potentially a lot more.
The ads will run on social media platforms including Instagram and Facebook, streaming services and products such as Hulu and music applications like Pandora.
The Republican National Committee, meantime, launched its closing message to voters Thursday, not mentioning Trump, in an obvious aim to help GOP candidates up and down the poll with a focus on traditional Republican messages around lowering taxes and health care.
In both Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa, and the adjacent Pinellas County, Democrats are crushing vote-by-mail. As of Wednesday morning, 53,000 more Democrats than Republicans had voted by mail in Hillsborough. In Pinellas, the largest of the four counties in the state to switch from Obama to Trump in 2016, that number was once just shy of 30,000.
Republicans in both counties have a slight edge in the state’s in-person early voting, which began final Saturday as Trump himself voted in Palm Beach County downstate.
On account of concerns approximately submission deadlines, Postal Service backlogs and the opportunity of drawn-out valid challenges, Democrats are urgent their backers who have yet to go back ballots to head to the polls in person.
The aftereffects of Hurricane Zeta were holding back voters at various polling places in northern Florida and northern Georgia that missing power. In Douglas County, in Atlanta’s western suburbs, all six polling locations were without power, as were county offices.