Monday is the last full day of campaigning ahead of midterm elections in the US, with current President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump making a final push for votes in the divided country.
More than 41 million votes have already been cast in advance, during an election year that unfolded against a backdrop of economic turmoil, the elimination of federal abortion rights and broad concerns about the future of democracy.
Biden is holding a rally in Maryland on Monday evening, a state where Democrats have one of their best opportunities to reclaim a Republican-held governor’s seat. The appearance is in line with Biden’s late-campaign strategy of sticking largely to Democratic strongholds rather than stumping in more competitive territory, where control of Congress may ultimately be decided.
Meanwhile Trump will hold his final rally of the campaign in the state of Ohio, as he prepares to announce another run for the White House. Ohio holds special meaning for Trump, because it was one of the first places where he was able to prove his enduring power among Republican voters.
Monday’s focus will be ensuring that supporters either meet early voting deadlines or make plans to show up 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 election since the violent 6 January insurrection, the final days of the campaign focused on fundamental questions about the nation’s political values.
Campaigning in New York on Sunday, President Biden said Republicans were willing to condone last year’s mob attack at the Capitol and that, after the recent assault of Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, some in that party made “light of it” or were “making excuses.”
“There’s never been a time in my career where we’ve glorified violence based on a political preference,” the president said.
Meanwhile, a Sunday evening Trump rally in Miami, a reference to Nancy Pelosi prompted changes of “Lock her up!” — a stark reminder of the nation’s deep divide.
Trump was campaigning for Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s reelection, but also focused on his own political future. After telling a crowd in Iowa last week that he’s “very, very, very probably” going to run for president again, he again teased the possibility on Sunday and encouraged supporters to watch his Ohio rally.
“I will probably have to do it again, but stay tuned,” Trump said, teasing the Monday event. “We have a big, big rally. Stay tuned for tomorrow night.”