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World Trump casts vote ahead of campaign blitz in battleground states

20:40  24 october  2020
20:40  24 october  2020 Source:   aljazeera.com

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Donald Trump has joined more than 56 million people across the United States to cast their ballots early, as the US president voted on Saturday morning in Florida before beginning a day of rallies in key battleground states.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a store: President Donald Trump waves after voting in the 2020 presidential election at the Palm Beach County Library in West Palm Beach, Florida [Tom Brenner/Reuters] © President Donald Trump waves after voting in the 2020 presidential election at the Palm Beach County... President Donald Trump waves after voting in the 2020 presidential election at the Palm Beach County Library in West Palm Beach, Florida [Tom Brenner/Reuters]

The president’s campaign blitz 10 days before November 3, reminiscent of his state-hopping in the final stretch of the 2016 election, comes just a day after the United States recorded a new single-day record of COVID-19 infections.

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The president wore a mask when he voted, but took it off when speaking to reporters. Several hundred supporters gathered with flags and signs outside the library where he voted, chanting: “Four more years.”

“It was a very secure vote, much more secure than when you send in a ballot,” Trump told reporters after voting in West Palm Beach, repeating unfounded allegations that mail-in voting is more susceptible to fraud.

“I voted for a guy named Trump,” he added.

Lagging in national polls and with what analysts consider a narrow path to victory in the Electoral College, Trump has been trying to recreate the enthusiasm he harnessed in the final days of the 2016 campaign.

On Saturday, he will first hold a rally in North Carolina, before travelling to Ohio and Wisconsin, all states considered important for victory, but where COVID-19 cases have spiked and in-person rallies may be a political liability.

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Biden in Pennsylvania

Trump’s Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, who has made his cautious approach to campaigning during the pandemic central to his messaging, will hold two events on Saturday, both socially distanced “drive-in rallies”.

The first event will be in Bucks County, north of Philadelphia, and the second will be in Luzerne County, near Biden’s birthplace of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and an area once considered a Democratic stronghold that Trump won in 2016.

Polls show Biden narrowly leading Trump in the state, which is considered crucial to both candidates.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll released earlier this week showed Biden with a 4-percentage-point advantage on Trump in the state, down from seven points the week before.

Biden cast his ballot weeks ago in Delaware.

On Thursday, 12 days before the election, early voting surpassed the total number of early votes cast in 2016.

As of Saturday, the number of people who had cast their ballots early – either by mail or in-person – was more than 40 percent of all the votes cast in 2016.

Early voting tops 80 million: US election live news .
With 5 days left until Election day, the new tally sets the stage for the highest participation rate in over a century. The record-breaking pace, more than 58 percent of total 2016 turnout, reflects intense interest in the vote. Huge numbers of people have voted by mail or at early in-person polling sites amid concerns the coronavirus could spread at busy Election Day voting places.

usr: 1
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