President Donald Trump gathered late Monday in Kenosha, Wisconsin city at the center of racial protests this summer, in a last-minute attempt to prove the votes wrong and preserve the White House, while his challenger Joe Biden predicted victory and asked America to “take back ”democracy.
On the eve of Election Day in the closest race in recent memory, Trump flew to five rallies in four swing states, hammering the dark message that his Democratic opponent would bring anarchy and that one was trying to rig the result against him.
The choice of Kenosha for his penultimate collection underscored his push to make right-wing anger over nationwide anti-racism protests a cornerstone of his campaign.
It was here in August during a criminal arrest that police shot a black man up close while his children watched, sparked riots and ignited widespread anger that was already spreading across the United States.
“We brought law and order to Kenosha,” Trump said to cheers as soon as he took the stage. “They are waging war against our police.”
For the finale of a three-day marathon that saw 14 gatherings, he was then to fly for an evening speech in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Trump also ended his 2016 campaign in Grand Rapids on the eve of defeating Hillary Clinton in a disturbance that traumatizes Democrats to this day – and which Trump, 74, says he can repeat on Tuesday.
“We ended up up there four years ago,” he said in Kenosha. “I am a little superstitious. Let’s do it the same way. ”
City’s big win ‘
This time, however, much has changed, beginning with the Covid-19 pandemic that has taken 231,000 American lives and severely damaged the economy that had been Trump’s biggest selling point.
Despite an often astonishingly quiet campaign, Biden (77) finds himself leading the way in almost every election count on election night, fueled by his consistent message that America in crisis needs new, more responsible leadership.
He made his own closing argument Monday with events in Cleveland, Ohio and then Pittsburgh in the ultimate swing state of Pennsylvania, where he was joined by pop superstar Lady Gaga – in black platform shoes and a glittering “VOTE” mask – for a drive-in rally.
“I have a feeling we’ll get together for a big win tomorrow,” he said. “It’s time to stand up and take back our democracy.”
Biden concludes his last campaign speech with this: “People, everyone knows who Donald Trump is. Let’s continue to show them who we are! We choose hope over fear. We choose unity over division. We choose science over fiction. And yes, we choose truth over lie lie after lie after lie. “pic.twitter.com/zXh9uoGysz
– Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 3, 2020
In one of America’s big political games, Biden has stuck to this kind of socially distant gathering with small crowds or people separated in their cars until the last minute – in astonishing contrast to Trump’s constant, large gatherings, where few supporters as much as bother with masks.
The Democrat clearly feels that his calmer approach and strict attention to pandemic protocols is what Americans want after four stormy years.
“It’s time for Donald Trump to pack his bag and go home,” Biden supporters in Cleveland said.
“We’re done with the chaos! We are done with tweets, anger, hatred, failure, irresponsibility. ”
In the cool center of Pittsburgh, Justine Wolff said she had already cast her vote on Biden and was cautiously hoping he would carry the state.
“I hope people have seen the writing on the wall,” said the 35-year-old nurse. “We need some kind of change because this is not working for anyone.”
Tuesday is a formal election day, but in reality it marks the culmination of a drawn election month.
With a huge expansion of mail-in voting to protect against the Covid-19 pandemic, nearly 100 million people have already voted and highlighted the passion in what will become a referendum on the norm-breaking Republican’s first term.
But how many of the early votes are believed to have been cast by Democrats – urged by Biden to seize the opportunity – Trump’s side is hoping for a massive wave of Republican supporters voting in person on Tuesday.
“I see these fake polls,” Trump said in a speech earlier Monday in Fayetteville, North Carolina. “We win anyway.”
Trump himself plans to visit his campaign headquarters in Virginia, while Biden travels to his birthplace Scranton, the scary city in Pennsylvania, where Trump also visited on Monday.
Trump warns of ‘violence’
For weeks, Trump has been making unprecedented claims that the election will be rigged against him. He has stepped up these warnings in recent days, focusing in particular on the Pennsylvania government, which makes it possible to count absentee ballots received within three days of Tuesday.
In a tweet marked with a warning sign by Twitter on Monday, he said that this would “allow violent and uncontrolled cheating and will undermine our entire legal systems.”
“It will also provoke violence in the streets. Something needs to be done! Trump tweeted.
“It’s going to be cheating,” he said during the Wisconsin rally.