By Beatriz Pascual Macias
Washington, Nov 2 (efe-epa).- Just hours before the polls open in the United States, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden urged voters to save the “soul” of the nation, while his rival, President Donald Trump, firmly touted his hostile brand of nationalism and profiled himself as an anti-system figure and not a Washington politico.
The two candidates on Monday held rallies in the handful of states that will decide the result of the election.
Biden began his day in Ohio, where Trump won by eight percentage points four years ago and where the former vice president argued that the elections represent a battle for the soul of the nation, the same message that he has stuck to right from the beginning of his campaign.
“The character of America is literally on the ballot,” Biden told voters at a drive-in rally in Cleveland. “It’s time to take back our democracy.”
“Tomorrow we can put an end to a presidency that has divided this nation,” Biden told supporters. “Tomorrow we can put an end to a presidency that has failed to protect this nation. Tomorrow we can put an end to a presidency that has fanned the flames of hate across this nation.”
In addition, he called the election a referendum on US morals and on the leadership of the president.
Saying that it’s time for Trump to pack his bags and leave the White House and adding that voters have had enough “chaos… tweets … (and) irresponsibility,” Biden shouted that “We have a lot of work to do!”
One of Biden’s great strengths is his ability to empathize with Americans, who see him as someone who is close to them, a centrist leader with working family roots, who can understand the anxiety of people who are suffering from the health and economic consequences of the pandemic.
Biden took advantage of the image the US has of him and, in an Ohio rally, said that what has bothered him most emotionally is the way in which Trump has spoken about people who have served in the US military, whom he has called “suckers” and “losers.”
He recalled that his son Beau, who died of cancer in 2015 and – when he was attorney general of Delaware – decided to volunteer for military service during the Iraq war.
“My son was not a loser … My son was a patriot,” said Biden, likening him to all other people who have served in the US military.
On Monday, Biden and his wife Jill also held campaign events in western Pennsylvania and closed out the campaign together in Pittsburgh, the emblematic US industrial city, appearing at a rally there with pop singer Lady Gaga.
Meanwhile, Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, was campaigning in eastern Pennsylvania and will close out her day in Philadelphia, where she will share the stage with crooner John Legend.
Biden’s campaign is focusing its final efforts in Pennsylvania due to the state’s heavy weight in the Electoral College and because the battle there has been especially hard-fought. Trump won the state in 2016 by less than 1 percent and now voter surveys give Biden a 4-5 point advantage, which is significant but could fall within the error margin of some of the polling.
Pennsylvania also has special significance for Biden, since his campaign headquarters has been in Philadelphia since the start of the pandemic and he was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, 77 years ago.
Meanwhile, in a provocative move, Trump held his second campaign rally of the day in Avoca, just 15 minutes by car from Scranton and where he was welcomed with applause by a sea of red-capped supporters waiving US flags, including Briton Nigel Farage, one of the leaders of the Brexit movement that took the UK out of the European Union.
Trump spent time lambasting Lady Gaga and Jon Bon Jovi at the rally, saying: “Now (Biden’s) got Lady Gaga – Lady Gaga. It’s not too good. I could tell you plenty of stories. I could tell you stories about Lady Gaga. I know a lot of stories – Lady Gaga. And Jon Bon Jovi: Every time I see him, he kisses my a–,” whereupon the crowd laughed.
The president also dissed Beyonce, Jay-Z and LeBron James at the rally over their support for Democratic candidates.
Trump also skewered the decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to allow mailed ballots received in the three days after Nov. 3 to be counted as a “very dangerous situation, and I mean, dangerous physically.”