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© Reuters. U.S. President Donald Trump reacts as he leaves after his marketing campaign rally at Center Georgia Regional Airport in Macon, Georgia, U.S.

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By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump will take his re-election push to Michigan and Wisconsin on Saturday earlier than launching a tour of western states to shore up political assist as he trails Democratic rival Joe Biden in nationwide polls.

Days after recovering from the coronavirus and simply two and a half weeks earlier than the election on Nov. 3, Trump is holding rallies across the nation to attempt to safe the states he gained 4 years in the past.

The previous New York businessman prevailed in Michigan and Wisconsin in 2016 however polls present him operating behind Biden, the previous vp, in these states this 12 months.

Trump’s advisers have lengthy seen these two states, in addition to Pennsylvania, as key to his possibilities of securing one other election victory. Trump can also be enjoying protection in conventional Republican strongholds, together with Arizona, the place he plans to marketing campaign on Monday, and Georgia, the place he campaigned on Friday night time.

Biden, who has stepped up journey in current weeks after conserving a decreased schedule due to the pandemic, plans to stay in his residence state of Delaware on Saturday.

His operating mate, Senator Kamala Harris of California, can also be eschewing journey for just a few days after an aide got here down with COVID-19.

U.S. presidential elections are decided by electoral votes, allotted to U.S. states and territories primarily based largely on their populations, relatively than a tally of the favored vote nationwide. Candidates should get 270 out of 538 electoral votes to win.

Wisconsin has 10 electoral votes, Michigan has 16 and Arizona has 11. Nevada, the place Trump will marketing campaign on Sunday, has 6 electoral votes.

Capturing these votes will come down partially to convincing voters who’s finest positioned to answer the persevering with coronavirus disaster.

Biden has criticized Trump sharply for his response to the pandemic, which has killed greater than 217,000 individuals in the USA alone.

Trump, who normally avoids sporting a masks and whose rallies embrace hundreds of individuals with out social distancing, has mentioned the nation is popping the nook on the illness regardless of a rise in infections and projections of a larger loss of life toll to come back.

Biden mentioned on Friday that Trump had been untruthful and negligent in his response to the virus.

“We’re so a lot better than this as a rustic,” he mentioned at a marketing campaign occasion in Detroit. “Regardless of the disaster we face, we’ve got an infinite alternative to construct again higher.”

Trump has praised his personal response to the virus and argued that Biden would shut down the U.S. economic system needlessly to combat it. “We saved hundreds of thousands of lives,” Trump mentioned at a rally in Georgia on Friday. “It is wonderful what we have been in a position to do.”

Trump’s string of marketing campaign stops comes forward of a vital week subsequent week. The 2 candidates will face one another of their second and closing debate on Thursday.

Biden advised reporters on Friday night time he was not engaged in intense debate preparation. “No, I’m simply listening to him (Trump),” Biden mentioned.

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