Biden argues that democracy is in jeopardy as Republicans eye a ‘red wave’
UNITED STATES: President Joe Biden pulled out all the brakes on Sunday to mobilize US voters in defense of democracy, aiming to fight a Republican “red wave” in this week’s midterm elections that might put Donald Trump on a path to regaining the presidency.
“If you all turn up and vote, democracy will be upheld, not a joke,” the 79-year-old said at a rally in upstate New York, which is traditionally Democratic territory, two days before Tuesday’s election.
“This is the time for your generation to defend it. To maintain it. To select it, “Biden told the audience at St. Lawrence University, growing sombre as he recalled last year’s assault on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters who refused to accept defeat, that the assault was a result of their refusal to accept defeat.
In Miami, near the southernmost tip of the Atlantic coast, Trump addressed a rally in support of Florida Republican candidates, but his own political future was more prominent.
“I’ll probably have to do it again,” said the 76-year-old, wearing his signature red hat, as he urged fans to “stay tuned” for his final campaign rally, scheduled for Monday evening in the Midwestern state of Ohio.
Carrying placards that said “Again!” the crowd shouted “Four more years!” – the length of a presidential term in the United States.
Republicans are ahead in the campaign for the House of Representatives, and they are also gaining ground in crucial Senate races, according to final polls, as voters seek to vent their anger over four-decades-high inflation and surging illegal immigration.
Tens of millions of Americans have already voted early, but it is probable that Tuesday’s turnout will be pivotal.
With all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, a third of the 100-member Senate, and a multitude of state jobs up for grabs, Democrats were putting on a brave face, but recent polls have placed them on the defense.
“This will be a wake-up call for President Biden,” said the Republican governor of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin, whose campaign offered “common-sense solutions” to everyday problems such as inflation and crime.
‘A defining moment
The midterm elections in the United States are often viewed as a referendum on the incumbent president, whose party tends to lose seats in Congress, especially if, like Biden, the president has a popularity rating below 50%.
Uncomfortably for Democrats, a recent NBC News survey indicated that 72% of voters believe the country is moving in the wrong direction, compared to only 21% who say it is on the right track.
Sunday at his event in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz drove home this idea to fire up the crowd.
He questioned the crowd in the Pittsburgh suburbs, to a roar of applause, “How many of you are concerned about America right now?”
Paul Nelson, 80, a lifelong Republican from a Philadelphia suburb, identified two goals for America: reducing inflation and tightening border controls with Mexico to combat drug smuggling.
“If Republicans take control of Congress,” Nelson added, donning a baseball cap emblazoned with the American flag, “we will have a president like Trump. We will return to where Trump left off.”
With the former president digging down on voting conspiracy theories and numerous candidates in his camp casting doubt on the approaching midterm results, party head Ronna McDaniel reassured voters that Republicans will accept the conclusion, even if they lose.
In response to a direct question posed by CNN on Sunday, she stated, “They will.”
Biden has repeatedly cited the growing acceptance of election conspiracy theories by Trump supporters as a matter of grave concern, warning at a rally in Philadelphia that “democracy is literally on the ballot” and describing the situation as “a defining moment for our nation.”
Polls reveal that Democrats have struggled to persuade Americans on kitchen-table topics that are essential to the election, despite Biden’s grim warnings.
Democrats have fought back against the notion that a Republican takeover of Congress is inevitable.
“We’re going to keep this majority,” Sean Patrick Maloney, director of the Democratic congressional campaign arm, said NBC, adding that Biden gets an unfair “bad rap” for inflation and not enough credit for accomplishments like as job growth.
But Biden’s choice of destination on Sunday — to assist New York’s Democratic governor, Kathy Hochul, who faces an unexpectedly strong Republican reelection battle — demonstrates how worried his campaign has become.