Biden begins two-day campaign sprint in battleground Pennsylvania
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Sunday kicked off a two-day blitz in Pennsylvania, a critical battleground state that both candidates are honing in on in the closing days of the campaign.
Biden delivered a fiery address at a drive-in rally on Sunday evening in Philadelphia, rebuking President Trump and urging voters to turn out for him in large numbers.
“In two days we can put an end to a presidency that has fanned the flames of hate all across this nation,” Biden said, speaking at Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park.
“The truth is, to beat the virus we first gotta beat Donald Trump. He’s the virus,” he said.
Biden also hit Trump over his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling the president “Putin’s puppy.”
The former vice president kicked off the blitz earlier in the day with a “Souls to the Polls” event with members of Philadelphia’s faith community at Sharon Baptist Church.
“I live in Delaware but I’m a Pennsylvania boy, born in Scranton,” Biden said, speaking in the church parking lot, wearing a Philadelphia Eagles jacket.
The visit to the church was aimed at mobilizing the congregation and members of the Black community to turn out for the former vice president.
“Our faith in our country is being tested but our faith in God is helping us through because of all of you,” Biden said. “We need to get every soul in Philadelphia to the polls. Your voice, your vote matters.”
Biden went on to make a surprise campaign stop at a rally supporting Rep. Brendan Boyle’s (D-Pa.) reelection, where the Democratic nominee responded to reports that Trump may prematurely declare victory if he takes a lead on election night.
“My response is, the president is not going to steal this election,” Biden said at the event.
Biden will continue to campaign in Pennsylvania on Monday, meeting with union members and labor leaders in Beaver County. He will also attend a drive-in event in Pittsburgh with Black community leaders. He will later be joined by singer Lady Gaga for an Election Night Eve drive-in event.
Dr. Jill Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and her husband Doug Emoff will also be out in force in the Keystone State on Monday.
Pennsylvania will likely play a deciding factor in the presidential contest this year. Trump flipped the state in 2016 but his 1-point victory was narrow.
Four years later, a number of polls show Biden leading in the Keystone State. The Real Clear Politics polling average shows Biden up four points in Pennsylvania.
Trump is still focused on winning the state for a second time. The president spent the day campaigning in Pennsylvania on Saturday, holding four rallies in Newton, Reading, Butler and Montoursville.
First Lady Melania Trump was also on the trail in the state on Saturday, holding a rally in Luzerne County.
Pennsylvania has also been the focus of election-related litigation.
Pennsylvania law allows for ballots to be counted as long as they are postmarked on Tuesday but received by 5 p.m. on Friday. Republicans are challenging this extension in the Supreme Court, which last Wednesday rejected a GOP request to fast-track the case.
For now, there is a strong chance that Pennsylvania voters will not know who won Pennsylvania until after Election Day.
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that it could take longer to count the overwhelming votes that have already been cast in the election in addition to Election Day turnout.
“I expect the overwhelming majority of ballots in Pennsylvania, that’s mail-in absentee ballots, as well as in-person ballots, will be counted within a matter of days,” Boockvar said.