Biden, Trump push U.S. Senate candidates from Pennsylvania ahead of midterms

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 Republicans, including his predecessor Donald Trump, predicted a landslide victory.

The biggest names in American politics – Biden, Trump and former President Barack Obama – traveled to Pennsylvania on Saturday hoping to tip the scales in a turning point mid Road Senate race between Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman and famed Republican 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. to Temple supporters. University of Philadelphia.

“It’s a choice. A choice between two very different visions of America.”

At a rally in Latrobe, southeast of Pittsburgh, Trump listed a litany of grievances with Democrats, ranging from the party’s handling of inflation to education programs his supporters consider too progressive.

“If you want to stop the destruction of our country and save the American dream, then this Tuesday you have to vote Republican in a giant way,” Trump said.

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.

“We’re going to take back this beautiful home,” Trump said of the 2024 presidential race.

“DANGEROUS CLIMATE”

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, who was in Pennsylvania supporting Republican Senate candidate Oz and Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, is also trying to maintain his own profile as he is considering another race 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 mount pressure the president to step down and let someone else carry the party mantle 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.

In Philadelphia, Biden warned Republicans would attack Americans’ Social Security benefits if they won and would work to reverse recent legislation aimed at lowering prescription drug prices.

“They want to get rid of everything we just did,” Biden said.

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 lavished attention on Pennsylvania both because of the race’s strategic importance and because of its voters’ history of swinging from one party to another in the last four presidential elections.

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 reduce his campaign schedule and affected his speech. To debate last monthhe often stumbled over his words, in a performance even of the allies described in private so fragile.

But Oz’s earnings also reflect a change of momentum in favor of Republicans, as voter focus on inflation and crime proved more enduring than concerns about 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 professional performance, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll completed 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

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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