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Biden, Trump headline dueling rallies in final midterm push

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will headline rallies in New York and Florida, respectively, on Sunday in a bid to galvanize their core supporters, just two days before a hard-fought midterm race. in which Republicans are pushing to flip both houses of Congress.

Biden will appear in Westchester County, normally safe Democratic territory, where Republicans nonetheless threaten to make gains, thanks in part to incessant messaging that paints his opponents as soft on crime and inflation. Democratic New York Governor Kathy Hochul faces an unexpectedly tough challenge from Republican Lee Zeldin, while Democratic incumbents in the US House of Representatives are locked in close battles across the state.

Meanwhile, Trump will appear in Miami alongside the state’s US senators and several US representatives. Florida has flipped from one party to another for years, but has recently gone Republican and is not considered a major battleground in this election.

Trump’s frequent rallies have served to maintain his own profile as he contemplates launching a third White House bid after the midterm elections, advisers say. Florida, in particular, could serve as a major battleground in any nomination race, as strategists see its Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, as a formidable contender for the GOP nomination, should he run for office. Arena.

That has made DeSantis an increasingly frequent target of Trump, who referred to the governor as “Ron DeSanctimonious” at a Saturday night event.

Key Democratic and Republican figures have been campaigning strongly in recent weeks. Both Trump and Biden appeared in Pennsylvania on Saturday, as did former Democratic President Barack Obama.

First Lady Jill Biden will attend voting events for Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo in Texas on Sunday, while Vice President Kamala Harris will be in Chicago, whose suburbs host a pair of competitive races for the camera.

For Democrats, Sunday rallies, held in traditionally party-friendly areas, are a last-minute opportunity to cut losses on Tuesday.

In recent weeks, momentum has shifted toward Republicans, Democratic strategists acknowledge, as voter concerns about inflation and crime have proven more enduring than concerns about abortion. Democrats’ head start in several Senate races, including races in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada, have narrowed or evaporated altogether in recent weeks.

Top Democrats have emphasized their work to lower prescription drug prices and portrayed their opponents as a threat to Social Security at recent rallies, while Republicans have questioned the strength of their opponents’ support for enforcing the law. law and have criticized his handling of the US-Mexico border.

Nonpartisan election forecasts and polls show that Republicans are heavy favorites to win control of the House of Representatives, with the Senate squandered. Control of even one of those chambers would give Republicans the power to block Biden’s legislative agenda and launch potentially damaging investigations.

Biden’s unpopularity also works against the Democrats. Only 40% of Americans approve of the president’s job performance, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll completed on Tuesday, which has prompted Biden to refrain from campaigning in some swing states.

(Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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