WASHINGTON (AP) — With Election Day just three weeks away, President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden concentrated Tuesday on battleground states both see as critical to clinching an Electoral College victory, tailoring their travel to best motivate voters who could cast cast potentially decisive ballots.
Biden was in Florida courting seniors, betting that a voting bloc that buoyed Trump four years ago has become disenchanted with the White House’s handling of the coronavrius pandemic. It was Biden’s third visit to the state in a month, after making targeted appeals to veterans and the Latino and Haitian communities.
Trump was in Pennsylvania, Biden’s native state and one where Biden has spent far more time than any other in recent months. The president wants to hammer home the risk that a Democratic administration could limit hydraulic fracking in areas where the economy is heavily dependent on energy. It’s an effort to fire up a conservative base that Trump will have to turn out in droves to secure the 270 electoral votes needed to retain the White House.
The president also campaigned in Sanford, Florida, on Monday and will head back to the state on Friday.
The dueling trips come against the backdrop of a second day of hearings in the Senate to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Trump and top Republicans see a swift confirmation just weeks after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a chance to energize conservatives.
Biden’s campaign believes it can win the presidency without Florida’s 29 electoral votes, but it wants to lock up the state to pad a margin of victory over Trump, who has for months questioned the legitimacy of an election where many people will cast mail-in ballots amid the pandemic. Biden has vowed to win Pennsylvania, but