Trump reverts to form while Biden focuses on pandemic as fight for Florida intensifies

Donald Trump will vote in Florida later as he tries to secure a win in the crucial battleground state.

Stoking the crowd at a series of rallies in the past 24 hours, the president preached to the converted.

After his controlled performance at the final televised debate with Joe Biden on Thursday, he reverted to form.

Cheers erupted as he asked how many people had already voted for him, followed by the predictable pantomime boos when he enquired about support for “Sleepy Joe”.

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Taking aim at Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, he declared she could never be president.

“We’re not going to have a socialist president, especially a female socialist president,” he said, “We’re not going to have it. We’re not going to put up with it. It’s not going to happen.”

While the faithful are unwavering, in a pandemic hotspot Mr Trump knows his COVID-fighting credentials could cost him big.

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More than 16,000 Floridians have died with coronavirus and the large retired population puts them at higher risk.

On the day the US reported its highest number of coronavirus cases, Mr Trump reiterated his claim that the country was “rounding the turn” of the pandemic.

Most polls show Mr Biden narrowly ahead in Florida, a state which is seen as a strong indicator for the election.

History suggests that if Mr Trump loses here, he’ll likely lose the White House.

“Get out and vote, it’s so important,” he urged supporters.

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In stark contrast, Mr Biden presented his pandemic plan with no crowds at all, taking aim at Mr Trump, acutely aware the COVID-19 crisis could cement his lead.

“If this is a success, what does a failure look like? We’re more than eight months into this crisis and the president still doesn’t have a plan. He’s given up. He’s quit on you. He’s quit on your family. He’s quit on America,” he said.

As Mr Trump puts in more Floridian face time this weekend before heading to North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin, Mr Biden will be joined in Pennsylvania by Jon Bon Jovi.

Barack Obama will drum up support for the Democratic Party from voters in Miami.

With just over a week to go, the fight for Florida is intensifying.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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