WASHINGTON– An election year played out against a backdrop of economic turmoil, the abolition of federal abortion laws and widespread concerns about the future of democracy, concludes with a final full day of campaigning in which leaders of both parties will make urgent appeals to their supporters.
President Joe Biden holds a rally in Maryland Monday night, giving Democrats one of their best opportunities to retake the seat of a Republican-held governor. The appearance is consistent with Biden’s late-campaign strategy of sticking largely to Democratic strongholds rather than stumbling into more competitive territory where control of Congress could ultimately be decided.
His predecessor, former President Donald Trump, will hold his final campaign rally in Ohio. As he prepares another run for the White House, Ohio holds special significance for the former president, as it was one of the first places he could demonstrate his enduring power among Republican voters. His endorsement of JD Vance was crucial in helping the author and venture capitalist — and former Trump critic — secure the GOP’s nomination for a Senate seat.
With more than 41 million ballots already cast, Monday’s focus will be on ensuring supporters either meet early voting deadlines or plan to appear in person on Tuesday. The results will have a powerful impact on the final two years of Biden’s presidency, shaping policy on everything from government spending to military support for Ukraine.
In the first national elections since the violent January 6 uprising, the final days of the campaign focused on fundamental questions about the nation’s political values.
Biden, who was running for governor Kathy Hochul in New York on Sunday, said Republicans were prepared to condone last year’s mob attack on the Capitol and after the recent attack by Paul Pelosi, husband of the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, some in this party were “making light of it” or “making up excuses”.
“There has never been a time in my career when we have glorified violence based on political preference,” the president said.
Meanwhile, a Trump rally Sunday night in Miami, a reference to Nancy Pelosi prompted changes from “Lock her up!” – a stark reminder of the nation’s deep divisions.
Trump campaigned for Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s re-election, but was also focused on his own political future. After telling a crowd in Iowa last week that he was “very, very, very likely” to run for president again, he again teased the possibility on Sunday and encouraged supporters to watch his rally in Ohio.
“I’ll probably have to do it again, but stay tuned,” Trump teased Monday’s event. “We have a big, big rally. Stay tuned for tomorrow night.”
Not attending the Miami event was Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is running for re-election against Democrat Charlie Crist and is widely regarded as Trump’s most formidable challenger should he also be in the White House race.
DeSantis held his own separate events in other parts of the state on Sunday, where he stuck to the core tenets of his reelection campaign, including ranting about COVID-19 vaccine mandates. The governor’s counter-political programming avoided angering Trump — meaning the dueling events of 2024 that could take place in his and Trump’s near future did not materialize.
Trump said Sunday that Florida would “re-elect Ron DeSantis as your governor.” But he was more confrontational during a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday, referring to Florida’s governor as “Ron DeSanctimonious.”
It’s a rivalry that’s been smoldering for more than a year as DeSantis takes increasingly bold steps to raise its national profile and build a deep fundraising network — even as Trump undoubtedly remains the party’s most popular leader.
For national Democrats, meanwhile, the focus is on their tight control of the House and Senate, which could evaporate after Tuesday.
Voters can blame the party that controls the White House and Congress amid rising inflation, concerns about crime and pessimism about the country’s direction. History suggests that the party in power will suffer significant losses in the midterms.
Biden has argued that the nation’s democracy is on the ballot, and the first lady went to Texas on Sunday to sound a similar alarm.
“There is so much at stake in this election,” Jill Biden said in Houston. “We must speak out on justice and democracy.”
Traveling in Chicago Vice President Kamala Harris said, “These attacks on our democracy will not only have a direct impact on the people of our country, but arguably around the world.”
Trump has long falsely claimed he lost the 2020 election solely because Democrats cheated, and has even begun to raise the possibility of voter fraud this year. Federal intelligence services warn of political violence by right-wing extremists.
Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, said Democrats are “inflation deniers” trying to deflect her party’s anti-democracy branding from the other side for rejecting the results of the free and fair 2020 presidential election simply because Trump she had lost.
“If we win back the House and Senate, the American people are saying to Joe Biden, ‘We want you to work for us, and we want you to work across the aisle to solve the problems we face have to do,” McDaniel told CNN.
Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
https://6abc.com/2022-midterm-elections-joe-biden-donald-trump-campaign/12426130/ 2022 midterm elections: Joe Biden in Maryland, Donald Trump in Ohio on last full day of campaigning