MILWAUKEE | In a raw America, Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden, running mate Kamala Harris, and Donald Trump’s right-hand man Mike Pence are campaigning in key states on Monday’s Labor Day that launches traditionally the last, intense stage of the US presidential election.
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Even if he remains in the White House, the Republican president announced a surprise press conference at 1 p.m.
“The jobs numbers and the rebound in the economy are going GREAT. Happy Labor Day! ”Tweeted Donald Trump, who will run for a second term on November 3.
With less than two months to go to the poll, the pace is intensifying, but the campaign, weighed down by COVID-19 and an economy hit hard by the pandemic, remains far from the traditional frenetic pace.
Candidates, who would ordinarily crisscross several states a day, limit their travel, and in the case of Joe Biden, 77, he encounters very few voters.
And the historic movement of protest against racism and police violence, which sometimes degenerates into riots, as well as pro-Trump protests, such as the one expected Monday in Portland, give an explosive tone to the campaign.
After months of confinement and then very limited travel, the former vice-president of Barack Obama resumed a more sustained pace last week, but still largely below that of his rival, Donald Trump, who at 74 years outdoor speeches in front of hundreds of supporters and answers journalists’ questions much more often.
This muted campaign, however, benefited the Democrat, who has been ahead of the Republican billionaire in national polls by six to eight percentage points for a month.
But the gap is narrower, sometimes within the margin of error, in the half-dozen major key states, which hold elections by switching from one party to another every four years.
Donald Trump had surprised by winning several of them by a very short lead in 2016.
And the next few weeks will be crucial if Democrats want to win them back. Time is running out: one of these states, North Carolina, launched postal voting operations on Friday.
In the middle of Labor Day, a public holiday, the candidates focus their campaign acts on the economy.
Joe Biden is due in his home state of Pennsylvania for a meeting with the president of America’s largest federation of unions, AFL-CIO. With Richard Trumka, he will answer questions from his members, online, from 4:15 p.m.
Mike Pence is heading to Wisconsin, a Midwestern state that the Republican billionaire won by a hair in 2016. He will give a late-morning speech from a power station in La Crosse.
Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris will also be in Wisconsin to visit an IBEW union training center in the morning.
In the afternoon, she will meet with black business leaders in Milwaukee, the state’s largest city.
Born to immigrant parents, the 55-year-old California senator is the first black running mate of Indian descent in U.S. history. The participation of African-American voters plunged in 2016 in Wisconsin and their mobilization will be key on November 3.
An election that will be marked by the historic wave of demonstrations against racism in the United States – caused by the death of George Floyd, asphyxiated by a white police officer at the end of May – which has since been fueled by several other cases.
Anger hit an American city in Rochester, New York, once again last week after a video was posted showing how Daniel Prude, an African-American man with mental health problems, was suffocated by police officers in March. The city experienced a fifth night of protests Sunday evening, but without notable clashes.
Riots, however, have shaken other gatherings in recent months and Donald Trump has placed the restoration of “law and order” at the heart of his campaign message, accusing Joe Biden of being too lax in the face of violence.
The latter bluntly denounced the violence and looting, while insisting that the country had to put an end to the “underlying racism” which is plaguing the United States.