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Pence to mount 'aggressive' campaign push in final two weeks

Pence to mount 'aggressive' campaign push in final two weeks
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Vice President Pence will travel at least five days a week and ramp up to at least two campaign rallies each day as part of a “very aggressive schedule” in the final days before the election, Pence chief of staff Marc Short told reporters on a call Monday.

Pence will visit seven states in total over the next six days, Short said. He will begin with rallies in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District and in Harrisburg, Pa., on Monday.

Pence’s robust travel schedule comes as Trump trails Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE in national and swing-state polling with voters already beginning to submit their ballots and head to the polls in states where early voting has begun. 

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The vice president will visit Pennsylvania twice, once on Monday and a second time Saturday, and will also travel to the state next week, Short said. Those trips underscore the focus the Trump campaign is placing on the Keystone State, which Trump won narrowly in 2016 and where polls show a close race in which Biden is currently leading.

This week, Pence will also travel to New Hampshire, Ohio, Michigan and Florida. He will also visit his home state of Indiana on Thursday for a rally that evening, and will cast his ballot Friday morning as early voting comes to close in the state. Pence had planned to vote early in Indiana at the beginning of October but postponed the trip

All states where Pence is traveling this week, with the exception of Maine, are ones that Trump carried in 2016. Trump won the rural 2nd Congressional District of Maine in 2016 and the campaign has focused on the district because Maine is one of two states that awards one electoral vote to the winner of each of its congressional districts, rather than a winner-take-all method. 

The Trump campaign is seeking to draw a contrast with Biden and his vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden says family will avoid business conflicts Biden says China must play by 'international norms' MORE (D-Calif.), who have kept their in-person campaigning more limited due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think it’s in stark contrast to what we’re seeing out of the Harris-Biden campaign and the limited travel and events that they’re doing,” Short told reporters Monday, noting the enthusiasm for the Trump-Pence ticket on the campaign trail.

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Trump, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier this month, has continued to hold rallies with large crowds despite the pandemic. Trump returned to the campaign trail at the beginning of last week after recovering from the virus, and has held daily campaign rallies since. He will headline two events in Arizona, another key battleground, on Monday as Pence heads north.

Short indicated that Pence would likely make joint trips with Trump in the closing days of the campaign, including during a visit to Pennsylvania next week.

Short said that Pence would focus his argument to voters on the economy and trade, with a specific focus on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, during his trips to Pennsylvania. Short also said that Pence would highlight the nomination of Judge Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Dem leaders back smaller COVID-19 relief bill as pandemic escalates Supreme Court sees new requests for religious COVID-19 carve-outs Pompeo to host indoor holiday parties at State Department despite warning to employees to hold some missions virtually MORE to the Supreme Court, a development Republicans are hoping will help galvanize GOP voters ahead of the election.