As the date of the US Presidential election draws nearer, the two presidential nominees are set to hold campaign rallies in the same city – Tampa, Florida - on the same day.
The US President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden seek to sway the vote in their favour on Thursday in what is seen to be a crucial battleground state, which witnessed Donald Trump outperform his 2016 rival Hillary Clinton by a razor-thin margin of just over one point.
Trump is scheduled to hold a rally at Raymond James Stadium, a site for in-person early voting and home to the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, early in the afternoon, reports Fox News.
After a campaign event earlier in the day in Broward County in southeast Florida, Joe Biden is set to appear at a drive-in car rally in Tampa early in the evening, in a nod to the social distancing measures implemented in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The campaign rallies by the two White House hopefuls come as Florida, with its 29 electoral votes up for grabs, has witnessed nearly 7 million Floridians already cast their ballots.
Approximately 2.8 million Democrats, 2.6 million Republicans, and 1.4 million independents have voted in the swing state, with Donald Trump’s campaign hoping to encourage some supporters to cast a ballot either before or after the rally.
In part due to the President’s repeated questioning of the reliability of mail-in voting, many in the Trump campaign tout pundits stating that Republicans might secure a big advantage during in-person voting on election day.
Trump’s event in Tampa is being held in the stadium’s north parking lot, technically just outside the no-electioneering zone.
With Florida considered by both sides to be crucial to the outcome of the election, polls show the state is close. According to the Realclearpolitics.com polling average, Florida remains very much up for grabs.
Former vice president Joe Biden, when speaking at Miramar Regional Park in Miramar, Florida, on 13 October, highlighted to his supporters:
“Here in Florida you can determine the outcome of this election. We win Florida and it’s all over.”
According to strategists, Florida, a state heavily dependent on services such as leisure, tourism and hospitality, which were hard hit by the lockdowns the COVID-19 pandemic triggered, is witnessing a particularly raw political tussle over the economy.
What the Polls Say
With the race for the presidency approaching its end, Democratic nominee Joe Biden maintains a substantial lead over President Donald Trump nationwide, according to a CNN Poll conducted by SSRS on 23-26 October.
Among likely voters, 54 percent support Biden and 42 percent back Trump.
The poll suggests that Biden maintains nearly two-thirds support among those who have already voted (64 percent Biden to 34 percent Trump) and those who plan to vote early (63 percent Biden to 33 percent Trump).
However, Trump leads 59 percent to 36 percent among those who said they plan to vote on Election Day.
According to an Ipsos poll, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was shown to be leading President Donald Trump by nine percentage points.
The economy, jobs, health care, and the coronavirus were named by respondents are the biggest problems facing the country.
Asked who they have already voted for or who they would support if they were voting today, 51 percent chose Biden, while 42 percent backed Trump.
With days to go before Election Day, more than 61.1 million Americans have already voted in person or by mail, according to data from the US Elections Project at the University of Florida, suggesting that the pace of early voting could result in potentially the highest turnout in over a century.
Earlier, US President Donald Trump was suggested as likely to get re-elected in November due to support from the “hidden Trump vote”, not reflected in many polls.
Joined @FoxNews @seanhannity tonight to give a glimpse into why our @trafalgar_group polls are showing a tightening race. You can watch the full segment here: https://t.co/sKJEGJZ2g0 pic.twitter.com/gMxFKQ9tE3— Robert C. Cahaly (@RobertCahaly) October 21, 2020
“I see the President winning with a minimum high 270s and possibly going up significantly higher based on just how big this undercurrent is,” Trafalgar Group chief pollster Robert Cahaly told Fox News host Sean Hannity on 20 October.
Cahaly was referring to electoral votes, of which 270 are needed to be declared a president of the US.
In 2016, Trafalgar Group forecast Trump’s win in Pennsylvania and Florida, despite most of the polls claiming Hillary Clinton would surge to victory on a strong lead in these states.
This time, the pollster predicts, Trump will outperform Biden in the key battleground states of Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Georgia and Florida, in contradiction to mainstream surveys currently suggesting that the majority of votes in those areas will go to Joe Biden.