Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) characterized the midterm elections as a life-and-death struggle in a speech Sunday afternoon.

"The choice is clear, you've got to go to the polls," Rendell said during a warm-up address at a large rally in Philadelphia prior to appearances by President Obama and Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFauci says school should be open 'full blast' five days a week in the fall Overnight Defense: Military sexual assault reform bill has votes to pass in Senate l First active duty service member arrested over Jan. 6 riot l Israeli troops attack Gaza Strip Immigration experts say GOP senators questioned DHS secretary with misleading chart MORE.

"What's the best way to prevent [Republicans] from tearing down the president? It's a four-letter word," the governor said. "Vote like your life depends on it — because, you know, it just might."

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Thousands of people gathered in a schoolyard in the working-class neighborhood of Germantown to hear from Obama and Biden, who are in town to support Pennsylvania Senate candidate Joe Sestak (D).

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