Biden tells PA voters “change is in your hands”

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden addresses supporters gathered in the parking lot of Sharon Baptist Church in West Philadelphia on Sunday. 
PHOTO: Jack Tomczuk

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden stopped in Philadelphia Sunday, less than 48 hours before voters head to the polls.

At a drive-in rally, Biden told supporters gathered in the parking lot of Sharon Baptist Church in West Philadelphia that they have the opportunity to cast out President Donald Trump, who he accused of “fanning the flames of hate.”

“We only have two more days,” he said. “Two more days and we put an end to this presidency that has from the very beginning sought to divide us and tear us apart.”

“In two days, we can put an end to a presidency that has failed to protect this nation,” Biden added.

He spoke in front of a banner that read, “Battle for the Soul of the Nation.” Attendees, many of whom were Black church leaders and elected officials, honked their horns in approval and waved signs out of their car windows.

Biden said he views recent protests against police brutality as “a cry for justice,” and he mentioned Walter Wallace Jr. in the same sentence as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Jacob Blake.

Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man, was fatally shot by officers Monday, Oct. 26, while wielding a knife in West Philadelphia. A video of the incident circulated on social media, spurring demonstrations that were accompanied by vandalism and looting.

City leaders have said footage from police body-worn cameras will be released Wednesday.

Later Sunday, Biden planned to hold a drive-in get-out-the-vote rally at FDR Park in South Philadelphia.

The Democratic nominee has made Pennsylvania a key part of his campaign, which was launched in Pittsburgh and is headquartered in Philadelphia.

“There’s still a lot of Pennsylvanians that haven’t voted yet, and we need every single one of you to get out and vote on Tuesday,” Biden, who was born in Scranton, said.

“Pennsylvania is critical in this election,” he added. “The power of change in this country is literally in your hands.”

Trump has also made frequent visits. He held four rallies across the state on Saturday, including an event in Bucks County.

Political observers see Pennsylvania, a traditional battleground state, as perhaps the most pivotal race in deciding who wins the White House.

On Monday, Biden and his wife, Jill, as well as his vice presidential pick, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris and her husband, attorney Doug Emhoff, are scheduled to make appearances.

Harris and Emhoff are planning to host an evening rally in Philadelphia that will reportedly feature performer John Legend.

Polls released Sunday show Biden with a 4-to-7 point lead in Pennsylvania, and an average of surveys compiled by Real Clear Politics has Biden ahead by 4%.

He appears to have more significant advantages in Michigan and Wisconsin and thinner margins in Florida, North Carolina and Arizona, according to the RCP polling averages.

Former President Barack Obama, who visited Philadelphia last month for his first public appearance on the campaign trail, and other Democrats have urged voters to not put stock in the data.

“There were a whole bunch of polls last time. Didn’t work out because a whole bunch of folks stayed at home,” Obama said at an Oct. 21 rally at the South Philadelphia sports complex. “Not this time, not in this election.”

Both candidates are hoping their time in Pennsylvania pays off Tuesday.

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