Sat | Dec 5, 2020

Trump votes in Florida ahead of rallies; Biden focusing on Pennsylvania

Published:Saturday | October 24, 2020 | 10:58 AMAP
President Donald Trump talks with reporters after casting his ballot in the presidential election earlier today in West Palm Beach, Florida (AP Photo).

(AP)- US president, Donald Trump, has said he voted today “for a guy named Trump” and called it an “honour” to cast his own ballot in his adopted home state of Florida before he jetted off to campaign in three battleground states.

Democrat Joe Biden, with some help from rock legend Jon Bon Jovi, was focusing on hotly contested pockets of Pennsylvania that could prove key to deciding the outcome of the race in the state.

Trump, who spent the night at his Mar-a-Lago resort after campaigning Friday in Florida, stopped at an early voting polling site set up at a public library. The president last year switched his official residence from New York to his private Florida club, complaining that New York politicians had treated him badly.

Greeted at the polling site by a crowd of cheering supporters, Trump could have mailed in his ballot, but opted to vote in person. He wore a mask inside, following local rules in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Biden hasn’t voted and is likely do so in person on Election Day, November 3., as Delaware doesn’t offer early voting. Trump, who has made unsubstantiated claims of massive fraud about mail-in voting, gave another plug to in-person voting.

“When you send in your ballot it could never be like that. It could never be secure like that,” said Trump before leaving for his campaign stops in three states.

Rallies were planned for Lumberton, North Carolina, Circleville, Ohio, and Waukesha, Wisconsin, and the president promises to go full throttle over the final 10 days of the campaign even as the number of new daily COVID-19 cases continues to climb.

The United States has hit a daily record of confirmed cases with more than 83,000 reported infections, thousands more than the previous US peak in July. The US death toll has grown to nearly 224,000, according to the tally published by Johns Hopkins University. The total US caseload reported Friday was 83,757, topping the 77,362 cases reported on July 16.

The numbers are an ominous sign the disease still has a firm grip on the nation that has more confirmed virus-related deaths and infections than any other in the world. Many states are reporting a surge of cases and say hospitals are running out of space in areas where the pandemic seemed remote only months ago.

Poor handling of COVID pandemic

Biden has focused much of his attention on making the case to voters that Trump doesn’t deserve a second term because of his handling of the pandemic. He punctuated the point in a podcast interview with former Obama administration aides that aired Saturday.

“Get control of the virus. Get control of coronavirus,” Biden told the Pod Save America. "Without that, nothing else is going to work very well.”

Biden planned drive-in events in Bucks County, part of suburban Philadelphia that 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won by a slim margin, and Luzerne County, a blue-collar area that twice voted for Barack Obama but went overwhelmingly for Trump four years ago. Biden’s campaign said the former vice president will be joined by Bon Jovi, a native of neighbouring New Jersey, who will sing at the Luzerne event.

Bon Jovi was part of a huge outdoor concert in November 2016 with the Obamas and Clinton in Philadelphia. That event came mere hours before Clinton lost to Donald Trump.

More than 54 million votes have already been cast in the US presidential elections, with an additional 100 million or so expected before a winner is declared.

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