Campaigning for US presidential election enters final week

WION Web Team Washington, DC, United States of America Oct 27, 2020, 10.27 PM(IST) Oct 27, 2020, 10.29 PM(IST)

Yard signs supporting Democratic US presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden and against US President Donald Trump are seen outside of a house in Lancaster, Pennsylvania Photograph:( Reuters )

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With one week to go until Election Day, 66 million Americans -- wary of the health dangers of crowded polling booths, and energised by a race framed as critical to the future of the country -- have already voted.

The campaign for the US presidential election has entered its final week.

With one week to go until Election Day, 66 million Americans -- wary of the health dangers of crowded polling booths, and energised by a race framed as critical to the future of the country -- have already voted.

The number of early ballots far surpasses the total of 58 million pre-election votes in 2016.

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump was hopscotching across the Midwest and will be visiting the crucial battleground state of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Arizona and Nevada in the coming days. His Democratic challenger Joe Biden was campaigning in the once reliably Republican state of Georgia, and was further scheduled to travel to Georgia, Atlanta and Warm Springs.

Biden is also slated to hold a socially distanced drive-in car rally in Atlanta, Georgia's largest city. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by five points in Georgia in 2016 but polls have him running neck-in-neck with Biden in the Peach State.

Biden campaign has high hopes of switching Georgia from Red to Blue and also winning the two US Senate seats up for grabs.

Trump was to finish the day with a campaign rally in Omaha, Nebraska, in a sign that he expects a potentially tight White House race where every Electoral College vote counts.

Ahead of Trump's visit to Michigan, the Biden campaign lashed out at his handling of the coronavirus pandemic which has left more than 225,000 people dead in the United States.

"President Trump's mismanagement of this pandemic has devastated Michigan," it said. 

"Cases are surging, hundreds of thousands are out of work, and there's no end in sight.

"Eight months into this crisis, he still has no plan to get the virus under control, no interest in listening to the scientists, and no ability to lead our country through this moment," the Biden campaign said. 

"With one week left until the election, Michiganders can finally put an end to the chaos, failure, and division that has defined Donald Trump's presidency."

Election tracking website RealClearPolitics has Biden up 7.6 points in an average of national polls and leading Trump by nine points in Michigan. 

Trump dismissed the polls in a tweet on Tuesday and accused the media of focussing on the Covid-19 pandemic to hurt his chances for reelection.

"The Real Polls are now saying that I am WINNING!" he said.

"Until November 4th., Fake News Media is going full on Covid, Covid, Covid. We are rounding the turn," he said.

Trump also touted the confirmation of his latest Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, as a landmark victory for conservatives.

"This is a momentous day for America, for the United States Constitution and for the fair and impartial rule of law," he said at the swearing-in ceremony of the 48-year-old Barrett Monday night.

But amid this, the shooting of another Black man in Philadelphia catalysed into protests overnight. The White House said meanwhile that it was closely following the situation.

The Philadelphia shooting was the latest to spark anger in the United States, which has seen a wave of protests for racial justice since the police killing of George Floyd in May in Minnesota.

Trump has focussed on the unrest to bolster his claims to be the "law-and-order" candidate in his election battle against Biden.

(with inputs)

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