Two days before Election Day, President Donald Trump on Sunday sprinted across US battleground states with appearances in Iowa and Michigan as he seeks to rally past Democratic challenger Joe Biden, who in pivotal Pennsylvania implored his supporters to turn out to vote.
Trump, aiming to avoid becoming the first incumbent president to lose a re-election bid since fellow Republican George H.W. Bush in 1992, has a frenetic schedule for Sunday, with stops also planned in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
Biden leads in national opinion polls though the race is seen as close in enough battleground states that Trump could achieve the 270 votes needed to win in the state-by-state Electoral College that determines the overall victor.
The former vice president made the latest in a series of appearances in closely contested Pennsylvania, the state where he was born.
“We have to earn our democracy. We have to get out and vote,” Biden said at a drive-in rally in a parking lot outside a Philadelphia church, with supporters honking their car horns.
“We’re at an inflection point. So we have to vote like we never did before. Every day - every day - is a new reminder of how high the stakes are, of how far the other side will go to try to suppress the turnout, especially here in Philadelphia,” Biden added.
Buffeted by snow flurries in Washington, a town north of Detroit, in his first appearance of the day Trump wore his trademark red cap emblazoned with the words “Make America Great Again” and was bundled up in an overcoat as he addressed a boisterous crowd on a cold and blustery morning.
After the crowd loudly chanted, “We love you” Trump responded, “I love you, too. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be standing here because it’s freezing out here.”
“You better get out there and vote,” Trump told the crowd.
Trump predicted he would repeat his 2016 victory in Michigan and touted his efforts to create auto jobs, a key issue for the auto manufacturing state.
“We brought back your car industry. Your car industry was finished. You would have had nothing left,” Trump said.
Motor vehicle manufacturing employment in Michigan has fallen by about 5,000 jobs since Trump took office, and there are about 13,000 fewer jobs making vehicle parts.
Trump then addressed another spirited rally in windy Dubuque, where he made his pitch to Iowa farmers in the important corn-growing state and predicted he would win there as he did four years ago.
Biden was ahead 51 percent to 43 percent nationally in the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, taken Oct. 27-29. A coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 230,000 Americans and battered the economy has weighed on Trump’s campaign.
The race remains a toss-up in Florida, North Carolina and Arizona, Reuters/Ipsos polls showed, while Trump trails by 7 percentage points in Pennsylvania and 10 percentage points in Michigan and Wisconsin.
In his 2016 victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton, the real estate developer and reality TV personality-turned-politician took Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as well as Michigan, states that for decades had gone in the Democratic column.