Trump trails Biden as campaigns head for battleground states – live

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…and welcome to the morning after the Trump rallies the night b.....e follows.

Good morning…

…and welcome to the morning after the Trump rallies the night before, in which the president went to Michigan and Wisconsin, two swing states, and:

  • Accused Joe Biden and the left of wanting to “erase American history” and “purge American values”
  • Said Democrats were “anti-American radicals”, which meant moderates had “a moral duty” to join the Republican party
  • Said a Joe Biden presidency would spur “the single biggest depression in the history of our country” and “turn Michigan into a refugee camp”
  • Said Biden would “shut down the country, delay the vaccine and prolong the [coronavirus] pandemic”
  • Asked: “Can you imagine if I lose? I will have lost to the worst candidate in the history of American politics. What do I do?”
  • Prompted a chant of “Lock her up” about Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer – the subject of an alleged kidnap or even murder plot by white supremacist terrorists

Whitmer’s digital director, Tori Saylor, urged Trump to stop, writing on Twitter: “Every single time the president does this at a rally, the violent rhetoric towards [the governor] immediately escalates on social media. It has to stop. It just has to.”

That does not seem likely, any more than Trump seems likely to stop holding rallies in states experiencing sharp rises in coronavirus cases without overly insisting on mask-wearing or social distancing or following any other public health advice.

The polls in Michigan and Wisconsin are not good for Trump – nor are they encouraging nationally or in many other battleground states. But the Associated Press, my source for the summary above, also reports on a memo to supporters from Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon, which warns about becoming complacent.

The reality is that this race is far closer than some of the punditry we’re seeing on Twitter and on TV would suggest. If we learned anything from 2016, it’s that we cannot underestimate Donald Trump or his ability to claw his way back into contention in the final days of a campaign, through whatever smears or underhanded tactics he has at his disposal.”

Trump will rally in Nevada on Sunday, in Arizona on Monday and in Pennsylvania on Tuesday. Biden is in North Carolina today.

One more line from the AP’s fine campaign report: Biden is heavily out-fundraising the president, who is even campaigning in states like Georgia which a Republican would usually expect to win. But on Saturday, Trump claimed he would be “the greatest fundraiser in the history of politics” if he tried … but he didn’t want to make calls and didn’t need the money.”

Here’s Lois Beckett on guns, power and the right. More follows.