US President Donald Trump says a Joe Biden victory will result in a national COVID-19 lockdown as American voters get set to head to the polls.
US President Donald Trump says a Joe Biden victory will result in a national COVID-19 lockdown as American voters get set to head to the polls.

Closing messages on election choice

With a blood red sunset behind him and a sea of supporters braving the freezing cold to hear his words, Donald Trump made his last argument for why he should be elected in one of five final campaign rallies.

Declaring that his Democrat opponent was a corrupt Washington insider who was now a puppet of the socialist wing of his party, Mr Trump said Joe Biden wanted to shut the country down in fear of COVID.

"Joe Biden is bought and paid for by big tech big media and powerful special interests," Mr Trump said in Michigan.

"He will always do whatever they want.

"I definitely don't do what they want."

Thousands of Trump supporters braved freezing conditions to see the US President. Picture: Mark Kauzlarich
Thousands of Trump supporters braved freezing conditions to see the US President. Picture: Mark Kauzlarich

Mr Biden took a stage with celebrity backers at a drive-in rally in Pennsylvania, the battleground state that swept Mr Trump to power in 2016 and is again poised to decide the election.

But in an odd move, his star booster was pop sensation Lady Gaga, an outspoken critic of the mining industry that drove a pre-COVID boom in Pennsylvania.

Gaga made a pointed plea to women to vote Mr Trump out.

"To all the women and to all the men with daughters, and sisters and mothers," she said.

"Now is your chance to vote against Donald Trump, a man who believes his fame gives him the right to grab one of your daughters or sisters or mothers or wives by any part of their bodies.

"Vote for Joe. He's a good person."

Earlier, at an outdoor event in Pittsburgh, Mr Biden warned the future of the country was at stake.

"I have a feeling we're coming together for a big win tomorrow," he said.

"We are really at one of those inflection points. This is going to be more than just who governs the next four years.

"What happens now, what happens tomorrow, is going to determine what this country looks like for a couple of generations."

Mr Biden told the crowd that "the power to change this country is in your hands".

He also spoke about the disproportionate effect COVID-19 has had on the African-American community.

"We're done with the chaos, we're done with the racism, we're done with the tweets, the anger, the hate, the failure, the irresponsibility," he said.

Thousands of Trump supporters braved below zero conditions and snow flurries for a last chance to see the president in Pennsylvania, before polling booths opened in some states last night.

 

Mr Trump, 74, chose Scranton, the birthplace of his opponent, to launch his final pitch to Pennsylvanians.

Mr Biden, 77, lived in the scrappy city until he was nine years old and has often characterised the race as a choice between his hometown and Mr Trump's on Park Ave.

"He left Scranton," Mr Trump said to cheers.

"This guy is a stone cold phony."

He also zeroed in on Mr Biden's plans to "transition" away from fossil fuels.

The US has become energy self sufficient under the Trump administration, in part due to opening up states including Pennsylvania to fracking.

His campaign earlier released a statement slamming the appearance of Gaga, "a fracking activist".

"Now he's got Lady Gaga," he said.

"Lady Gaga - is not too good. I could tell you plenty of stories. I could tell you stories about Lady Gaga. I know a lot of stories about Lady Gaga."

Robin Belcher and partner Steve Rogers are gunning for a Trump victory. Picture: Mark Kauzlarich
Robin Belcher and partner Steve Rogers are gunning for a Trump victory. Picture: Mark Kauzlarich

Among those who crowded onto a tarmac at Scranton airport were Suzanne Gillis, who brought along her granddaughters Gigi, 10, and Lucy, 8 and her sister Anne Marie Vancosky.

"I don't see how Joe Biden can win this, everyone in Pennsylvania is being Trump because he has done so much for us," said Mrs Gillis, from Wilkes-Barre.

"I was a Democrat until 2016 but I voted for Trump because our economy was in a lot of trouble.

"We have noticed things are better all over, my husband's paycheck, everything."

Farmer Steve Rogers, who own a 350 acre cattle farm in Susquehanna County, is a registered Democrat but voted for Trump in 2016 and plans to do so again.

"I'm voting for him again because I think everything was great in this country until the coronavirus came along, and that was not the president's fault," he said.

Suzanne Gillis with her granddaughters and sister Anne Marie Vancosky. The Wilkes-Barre residents backing Trump again because he has helped the local economy. Picture: Mark Kauzlarich
Suzanne Gillis with her granddaughters and sister Anne Marie Vancosky. The Wilkes-Barre residents backing Trump again because he has helped the local economy. Picture: Mark Kauzlarich

He and partner Robin Belcher also said they thought Mr Trump could win.

Almost 100 million Americans cast early votes ahead of Election Day due to coronavirus concerns, more than two thirds of the total in 2016, and a record turnout is predicted.

US elections are regulated at state level with many differing systems for overseeing ballots.

Scrutineers can't even begin counting in Pennsylvania until polls open, while Florida, Arizona and North Carolina are expected to make a call on Election Day.

If Mr Trump loses these states, which he won in 2016, pundits say he will struggle to regain the White House.

Mr Biden focused his efforts on Pennsylvania while Mr Trump held rallies in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and two in Michigan.

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Originally published as Trump's closing message on election choice


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