DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Joe Biden is bringing his case in opposition to President Donald Trump’s dealing with of the coronavirus to one of many states hit hardest by the pandemic.
Iowa has lengthy had one of many nation’s highest charges of infections, and on Friday it reported a document variety of circumstances and hospitalizations from COVID-19, a part of a spike being seen in dozens of states. The general public well being and financial crises ensuing from the pandemic are a part of why Democrats see a gap in a state that Trump gained by almost 10 factors in 2016. It was as soon as seen as a protracted shot for the celebration.
Throughout his Friday go to, Biden talked about these document circumstances and the financial toll of the pandemic. He mentioned Trump is “waving the white flag” and has “surrendered to the virus.”
“However the American folks don’t quit,” he advised the gang at a drive-in rally.
“We don’t cower — nor do I,” Biden added, promising to enact a plan to “take care of this pandemic responsibly” if elected.
The 200-plus automobiles packed in a car parking zone on the Iowa State Fairgrounds honked and cheered, with supporters leaning out of their home windows within the sunny 40-degree climate. The nice and cozy reception mirrored a exceptional shift for Biden: It was Iowa’s Democratic caucusgoers who almost worn out his candidacy in February after delivering him a fourth-place end within the state’s caucuses. That raised critical questions on his viability at first of the Democratic major season.
He limped out of the caucuses almost operating out of money and got here in fifth within the New Hampshire major, solely to show his marketing campaign round within the subsequent contests to turn into the nominee. Now Democrats have rallied behind Biden, and he enjoys a 2-to-1 money benefit over Trump.
Matt Paul, who ran Hillary Clinton’s Iowa caucus operation in 2016, mentioned Biden has made “a extremely robust case, because the major, in disqualifying President Trump.” He additionally mentioned Biden is a extra credible messenger than Trump on the difficulty voters care about most: well being care. Republicans’ fumbling of the pandemic could have pushed some senior voters that sometimes help Republicans over to Democrats this time, he added.
“The pandemic has simply exacerbated the difficulty, and it’s very clear that voters belief Democrats on well being care greater than they do Republicans,” he mentioned.
The pandemic stays certainly one of Trump’s biggest weaknesses in Iowa, a state the place the virus contaminated and killed about twice as many individuals per capita because the nationwide common between Oct. 10 and Oct. 16, in line with the White Home Coronavirus Activity Pressure. That included a 33% weekly enhance in deaths throughout that interval.
Biden additionally spoke about different points essential to Iowa voters, just like the struggles confronted by household farmers, extreme floods which have swept the Midwest and the commerce battle with China.
“I’m going to carry China accountable — which he hasn’t, from the beginning of the pandemic!” Biden mentioned of Trump.
Iowa is just not a must-win for Biden, who is targeted on the opposite states he’s visiting this weekend — Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — to ship a victory. However most surveys of the state present an in depth race between Biden and Trump, and a loss for the Republican would considerably slender his path to reelection.
The state holds significance for the battle for Senate management as nicely. Democrats must internet 4 seats to take again management of the higher chamber, and in Iowa, Republican Sen. Joni Ernst is locked in a good race with Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield, who spoke at Biden’s rally Thursday.
“I’m so fired up as a result of this can be a race we will win. And after we win it, we’re going to take again the vast majority of america Senate,” Greenfield predicted, including the race can be “a donnybrook all the best way to the end line.”
Biden additionally promoted Greenfield in his remarks, noting the similarities between the 2 — each having misplaced their spouses — and telling her, “You don’t have any concept how a lot you’re going to make my evening if you win.”
The Trump marketing campaign has been working aggressively to defend their maintain on Iowa. The president rallied supporters right here earlier this month, and his son, Donald Trump Jr., was right here for an occasion earlier this week.
Republican Nationwide Committee spokeswoman Preya Samundsar famous that Biden had all however ignored the state till not too long ago, and mentioned Iowans would reject the Democratic ticket’s “radical agenda.”
“Joe Biden’s determination to go to Iowa after ignoring the state for 271 days is yet one more signal that Democrats didn’t be taught something from the 2016 election,” she mentioned.
Paul mentioned Democrats within the state anticipate an in depth race. However regardless of the end result, they see the turnaround in fortunes as a lift for the celebration for years to return.
“It’s a exceptional flip of occasions, even when we lose the state by a few factors,” he mentioned.