kunc-header-1440x90.png
Our Story Happens Here
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
NPR News

Trump, Biden Make Final Statements Before Election Day

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Donald Trump and Joe Biden are getting out their final messages to voters.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Hello, Michigan. How are you doing, Michigan? How are you doing? It's cold, but I feel very warm in this group. This is a great group.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOE BIDEN: Hello, Milwaukee. It's good to be back. It's good to be back. I tell you what, they told me it's going to be indoors. You are a hearty bunch, Milwaukee.

SIMON: NPR political correspondent Scott Detrow has been following every step of the candidates and joins us now. Scott, thanks so much for being with us.

SCOTT DETROW, BYLINE: Good morning.

SIMON: And can you tell us where Trump and Biden are traveling now and what their itinerary might say about their strategy?

DETROW: Well, we are ending this race where we began it - in the Great Lakes states that gave President Trump the White House four years ago. That's Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan. That is where both candidates are spending most of their last few days before Election Day. President Trump is going to hold four different rallies in Pennsylvania today. Biden will be there Sunday and Monday. And today, he's in Michigan holding his first joint rally with his one-time running mate, former President Barack Obama. So get ready to hear a lot of honking at that big drive-in rally.

So again, the focus is on those key states, though. You know, it's worth pointing out Kamala Harris was in Texas yesterday, and that's probably a surprise from what we were thinking about earlier this year.

SIMON: And, of course, we note, nearly 230,000 Americans have died from coronavirus. There are increasing infection numbers. Both candidates are talking about the pandemic but in different ways.

DETROW: Could not be more different. As the pandemic surges again, particularly in the Midwest, President Trump continues to downplay it, continues to hold big rallies where there are not many masks worn. And recently, he has taken his skepticism to a new level, implying hospitals are inflating COVID cases. Here he is yesterday in Michigan.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: You know, our doctors get more money if somebody dies from COVID. You know that, right? I mean, our doctors are very smart people. So what they do is they say, I'm sorry, but, you know, everybody dies of COVID.

DETROW: And just to be clear, the American Medical Association and other health groups say doctors are absolutely not inflating COVID numbers. Biden responded to this claim from Trump last night when he was in Wisconsin.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BIDEN: This guy says that they're raking it up because they want to make more money. Doctors and nurses go today - go to work every single day. Donald Trump should stop attacking them and start doing his job.

DETROW: And this is all as cases in Wisconsin in particular just surge through the roof. Biden has campaigned on the idea that he would approach this with a centralized federal plan and work hard to get the virus under control.

SIMON: And, Scott, this extraordinary early voting turnout, what does it mean to each of the campaigns?

DETROW: Well, Democrats feel good about a lot of the early voting trends, particularly the number of younger voters who haven't voted before. But there is one exception - that is more and more Democrats getting worried that Black voters are not turning out in similar numbers. And that's, of course, a key, important voting bloc for the Democratic Party. With so much of the Democratic early vote probably already banked, Democrats are certainly going to be focusing on that going into Tuesday.

SIMON: NPR's Scott Detrow, thanks so much for being with us.

DETROW: Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.