US President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden will rally supporters in the crucial swing state of Florida on Thursday. With only five days to go until Election Day, the pair will visit the same city hours apart and put on full display their contrasting approaches to the resurgent coronavirus pandemic.
Trump, trailing in national polls, will stage an outdoor rally in Tampa. Thousands of people have crowded together at recent Trump rallies, many forgoing masks despite public health recommendations.
Biden, in contrast, will hold a drive-in rally later in Tampa where attendees will remain in their cars. He will host a similar event earlier in the day in Broward County in South Florida.
With its 29 electoral votes, the battleground state is extremely important in next Tuesday’s election. The stakes are highest for Trump, who would have virtually no path to 270 electoral votes without winning the state where he defeated Hillary Clinton by 1.2 percentage points in 2016.
Opinion polls show Biden with a significant edge nationally, but his lead is tighter in battleground states, especially in Florida.
President Trump has conducted a hectic campaign schedule in the days leading up to the election, holding as many as three rallies a day in different states, while Biden has taken a more measured approach – even spending two days this week close to his home base of Delaware.
More than 76.5 million people have cast early in-person and mail ballots, a record-setting pace and more than 53% of the total 2016 turnout.