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Biden, Harris stump in battleground Arizona in first joint campaign stop in state

Biden, Harris stump in battleground Arizona in first joint campaign stop in state
© BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenHarris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Obama: Republican Party members believe 'white males are victims' MORE and vice presidential nominee Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Mexican president breaks with other world leaders, refusing to acknowledge Biden win until election is finalized MORE campaigned in Arizona on Thursday, marking their first joint campaign stop in the battleground state this year. 

The visit came less than a day after Harris faced off against Vice President Pence, who was also campaigning in Arizona on Thursday, in the vice presidential debate. 

"Folks, I don't know if you caught it, but the senator had a heck of a night last night," Biden said, speaking with Harris during a joint appearance the Carpenters Local Union 1912 in Phoenix. The visit kicked off the campaign's "Soul of the Nation" bus tour of the state. 

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"She's like a younger sister. I couldn't be prouder to run alongside such a leader with remarkable character and vision," he added. 

The former vice president went on to criticize the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic, and called for unity ahead of the election. 

"If we can't bring the country together, we're dead," he said. "This is a democracy, it depends on a consensus. You gotta bring people together."

Biden's comments come as the second day of early voting gets underway in Arizona, which will likely be a deciding factor in this election. The Democratic nominee urged voters to take advantage of mail-in voting process. 

"The vast majority of Arizonans vote by mail and those mail-in ballots will start arriving over the next couple of days," Biden said. "The best thing you can do is return your ballot quickly. Don’t risk any delays. Return that mail-in ballot as soon as you can, and make sure your voice is heard."

Earlier in the day, Biden and Harris joined Cindy McCain, the widow of late Arizona Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainJuan Williams: Obama's dire warnings about right-wing media Democrats' squabbling vindicates Biden non-campaign McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol MORE (R), to meet with Native American tribal leaders in Phoenix. 

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While Trump carried Arizona by 4 points in 2016, recent polling shows Biden carrying a lead in the critical state. 

New York Times-Sienna College poll released on Monday had Biden leading Trump by 8 points in the Sun Belt state, 49 percent to 41 percent. 

Biden leads Trump by 3.4 points in the RealClearPolitics average of Arizona polls taken so far in the campaign. 

Should Biden win the state in November, he would become the first Democrat to win there since Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonObama: 'Hopeless' to try to sell as many books as Michelle Dow breaks 30,000 for first time as Biden transition ramps up Trump's remaking of the judicial system MORE in 1996.