The US election campaign, with four days to go

An election official adjusts a "Vote Here" sign in front of the voting center at Horace Mann Elementary School where people are casting their ballots for the US presidential election, on October 30, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo: AFP)
  • Agence France-Presse
  • October 31, 2020 3:42 AM

Washington, United States | President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden are to hit three states each, the Midwest takes center stage in the battle for the White House and Texas sees record early voting.

Here is a look at what was happening on Friday, four days before November 3 Election Day:

- Biden's busy Midwest day -

The Democratic candidate, who rarely ventured out of his home base of Wilmington, Delaware, in the early days of the campaign because of the pandemic, was on schedule to visit three states Friday, the most he has done in one day so far.

He was to host a socially distanced "drive-in" rally in Des Moines, Iowa, in the early afternoon, then another in Saint Paul, capital of Minnesota, and finally deliver a speech in Milwaukee, in the state of Wisconsin.

The former vice president is leading in all three states, according to a poll by RealClearPolitics.

"But I'm not taking anything for granted," Biden said early Friday.

In 2016, Trump narrowly lost to his rival Hillary Clinton in Minnesota, and he won by a thin margin in Wisconsin, two states that historically leaned Democrat.

Clinton had not even bothered to campaign in Wisconsin, an oversight that prompted much scorn after she lost the election.

Trump won comfortably in Iowa, a largely agricultural state with an overwhelmingly white population, but which could swing either way this time round, pollsters have said.

- Trump also in the Midwest -

Donald Trump will also be hitting the Midwest: not Iowa, but he will be steering a course through Michigan, which he won by a whisker in 2016.

This year, polls show Biden ahead in this Rust Belt state, which has 16 electoral votes of the 270 needed to win the White House.

Three "Make America Great Again" gatherings were scheduled: one in a suburb of Detroit in the early afternoon, then another in Green Bay, some 200 miles north of Chicago, and finally on to Rochester, south of Minneapolis.

- Record early voting in Texas -

In Texas, the number of voters who have already cast their ballots, either in person or by mail, has already exceeded the total number of votes cast in 2016.

More than nine million ballots have been sent or deposited in the Lone Star State, the second largest in the country in the number of Electoral College votes.

Friday was the last day for early voting in the huge traditonally conservative state, which has not backed a Democratic candidate for the White House since 1976.

With the race so tight and with record turnout, Democrats are quietly hoping for a win in Texas which would redraw the electoral map.

© Agence France-Presse

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