President Trump, hoping to regain the energy that led him to a surprise victory four years ago, gathered crowds in Ohio and Wisconsin on Saturday, as he and Joseph R. Biden Jr focused on battlefield states in the final days of a race clouded by increasing coronavirus cases.
Arriving in Circleville, Ohio on Saturday night, Mr. Trump played down the threat of the virus, citing his own family’s experience as an example of why a pandemic that has killed more than 220,000 Americans is not that bad. He also recalled his victory in Bellwether State four years ago, raising the question of why he chose to campaign there 10 days before election day.
The answer: an erosion of support in suburbs like Circleville, outside of Columbus. While exit polls from four years ago showed Mr. Trump gaining the Ohio suburbs by 20 points, a Fox poll earlier this month put him 10 points behind Mr. Biden.
On Sunday, Mr. Trump is campaigning in New Hampshire, the only state on his weekend itinerary he did not complete in 2016. He will also be making a trip to Maine.
Mr Biden had no in-person events scheduled for Sunday, but was planning to speak at a virtual concert in support of his campaign.
Mr Biden spent much of Saturday in Pennsylvania, staging two drive-by rallies as he tried to overturn a major election prize Mr Trump narrowly won four years ago.
Mr Biden has traveled to suburbs of Philadelphia, where he hopes to improve Hillary Clinton’s performance in 2016, propelled by college graduates voters rejected by Mr Trump. Then he flew to Luzerne County in northeastern Pennsylvania, a county Mr. Trump won in double digits after former President Barack Obama won it twice.
Speaking from a scene decorated with pumpkins and hay bales, Mr Biden spoke to Mr Trump about a number of topics, including his handling of the coronavirus, noting that more new cases have been reported across the country on Friday than any other day since the pandemic began. Mr. Biden also tried to push back Mr. Trump’s attacks on his position on fracking or fracking.
“I’m not banning hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania or anywhere,” he said. “And I’m going to protect jobs in Pennsylvania, period.