PHILADELPHIA/LATROBE, Pennsylvania, Nov 5 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden told voters in Pennsylvania that a Democratic defeat in Tuesday’s midterm elections would have “decades” of consequences, while Republican candidates in Congress predicted a landslide victory.
The biggest names in American politics, including Democrats Biden and former President Barack Obama, as well as former Republican President Donald Trump, were in Pennsylvania on Saturday hoping to tip the scales in a crucial Senate race. midterm between Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman and Republican stardom. Doctor Mehmet Oz.
“My friends, three days, three days to one of the most important elections of our lifetimes. The outcome will shape our country for decades to come, and the power to shape that outcome is in your hands,” Biden said. .
“It’s a choice. A choice between two very different visions of America.”
Trump, who sources say is preparing to launch a third straight run for the White House after midterms, continues to falsely claim that his 2020 loss to Biden was the result of widespread fraud. Multiple courts, state agencies, and members of his own administration have dismissed that claim as false.
Yet opinion polls show that a significant number of Republican voters accept that claim, as do many candidates for Congress, governors and state offices overseeing election administration.
Speaking to Trump at a rally in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Representative Glenn Thompson told supporters Republicans were heading for big gains on Tuesday.
“Who has a surfboard?” he asked. “There’s going to be a red wave.”
Speaking to supporters in downtown Pittsburgh, Obama warned that last week’s politically motivated attack on Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul, was the product of a hateful rhetoric.
“This habit that we have of demonizing political opponents, of saying crazy things, creates a dangerous climate,” Obama said, without directly referring to Republicans.
Republicans say Democrats have also engaged in political violence, citing widespread anti-racism protests that have rocked the country in 2020. On Sunday, they criticized Democrats for not focusing on inflation and crime, two of the top concerns of voters, according to most polls.
In a pair of Saturday morning Twitter posts, Oz criticized Fetterman and Biden for not supporting the domestic energy industry enough and vowed to fight inflation if elected.
“As the next senator, I will focus on the issues that matter to voters in all communities, including lower prices on everything from gas to groceries,” he wrote.
TRUMP PREPARES ANOTHER RACE
Trump is poised to support his Republican Senate nominee Oz and Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano at a rally in Latrobe, southeast of Pittsburgh.
He is also working to maintain his own profile as he considers another run for the White House.
It could set the stage for a Biden-Trump rematch, though some Democrats say heavy losses for Biden’s party on Tuesday could increase pressure on the president to step aside and let someone else carry the burden. party coat in 2024.
The Fetterman-Oz Senate race is one of three critical contests, along with Georgia and Nevada, that will determine whether Democrats retain their razor-thin Senate majority, and with it the power to confirm Biden’s nominees to positions ranging from his Cabinet to the Supreme Court.
Election forecasters and nonpartisan polls show Republicans the clear favorites to take control of the House, with the Senate in check. Control of just one would give Republicans the power to block Biden’s legislative agenda and launch potentially damaging investigations.
More than 39 million Americans have already voted early, either in person or by mail, according to the US Elections Project. Election officials have warned it could take days after Tuesday for the final results to be clear in hotly contested elections, such as the Pennsylvania and Georgia Senate races.
Both parties have given Pennsylvania particular attention both because of the race’s strategic importance and because of its voters’ history of swinging from one party to the other in the past four elections. presidential.
Fetterman held a sizable lead in the race throughout the summer, which Oz has reduced over the past two months.
Some factors may be local: A stroke this spring forced Fetterman to curtail his campaign schedule and affected his speech. During a debate last month, he often stumbled over his words, in a performance that even allies have privately described as shaky.
But Oz’s gains also reflect a nationwide shift in momentum in favor of Republicans, as voters’ focus on inflation and crime proved more enduring than concerns over abortion. The Democrats’ lead in several other Senate races, including contests in Georgia and Nevada, has also shrunk or completely evaporated in recent weeks.
Biden’s unpopularity also works against the Democrats. Only 40% of Americans approve of the president’s job performance, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll on Tuesday, leading Biden to refrain from campaigning in some key states.
Reporting by Greg Savoy in Pittsburgh, Jarrett Renshaw in Latrobe, Pennsylvania and Trevor Hunnicutt in Joliet, Illinois, additional reporting by Ted Hesson and Makini Brice in Washington, Writing by Gram Slattery; Editing by Scott Malone, Daniel Wallis and Jonathan Oatis
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