Tuesday is formally Election Day in the United States but in reality it marks the culmination of a drawn-out election month.
With a huge expansion in mail-in voting to safeguard against the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 100 million people have already cast ballots, highlighting the passion in what is turning into a referendum on the norm-shattering Republican’s first term.
But where many of the early votes are believed to have been cast by Democrats – encouraged by Joe Biden to take advantage of the opportunity – Donald Trump’s side is hoping for a massive wave of Republican supporters voting in person today.
Trump predicts ‘another beautiful victory’
On the eve of Election Day in the tensest race in recent memory, Trump flew to five rallies in four swing states, hammering home the dark message that his Democratic opponent will bring anarchy and that attempts are being made to rig the result against him.
The choice of Kenosha for his penultimate rally underlined his push to make right-wing anger over nationwide anti-racism protests a keystone of his campaign.
It was here in August during a botched arrest that police shot a Black man at close range while his children looked on, sparking riots and inflaming widespread anger already spreading across the United States.
Trump on Tuesday predicted a “beautiful victory” in his final reelection campaign stop hours before polls open across the United States.
“We’re going to have another beautiful victory tomorrow,” he told a crowd in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the same place where he held the climactic rally of his 2016 campaign, when he upset the polls to beat Hillary Clinton.
“We’re going to make history once again,” he said.
“We brought law and order to Kenosha,” Trump said to cheers, as soon as he took the stage. “They’re waging war on our police.”
Biden urges voters to ‘take back’ democracy
Democratic White House hopeful Joe Biden concluded his last major rally on the eve of the US election by calling on voters to “take back” American democracy from Trump.
“It’s time to stand up and take back our democracy. We can do this,” the 77-year-old former vice president said as he wrapped up a boisterous drive-in rally in Pittsburgh in the critical swing state of Pennsylvania.
“I have a feeling we’re coming together for a big win tomorrow,” he said to cheers and honks, adding that if elected president he would act to “get Covid under control on day one.”