In final midterm push, Biden warns of threats, Trump hints at another run

YONKERS, Nov 6 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden warned that a Republican victory in Tuesday’s midterm elections could undermine U.S. democracy, while former President Donald Trump hinted at another White House bid, two days before Republicans vote to take control of both chambers of Congress.

The comments, made at dueling rallies in New York and Florida, highlighted the bleak future facing Biden’s Democrats even if they keep promises to boost clean-energy incentives and rebuild crumbling roads and bridges.

Republicans have slammed Biden for high inflation and increased crime in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and nonpartisan forecasters favor him to win control of the House of Representatives — and possibly the Senate. Democrats’ early leads in Senate races in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Nevada have evaporated.

Control of one chamber would allow Republicans to block Democrat Biden’s legislative agenda and launch potentially damaging investigations.

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Biden warned that many Republican candidates are threatening democratic standards by echoing Trump’s false claims about a stolen election in 2020.

“Democracy is literally at the polls,” he told students at Sarah Lawrence College north of New York City. “You can’t love a country only when you win.”

Meanwhile, at a Trump rally in Miami, the former president recycled many of his baseless complaints about the 2020 election and hinted that he may soon announce another presidential bid.

“I’ll probably have to do it again, but stay tuned,” he said, slamming the Biden administration for everything from violent crime to dirty airports.

U.S. President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama attend a campaign rally for Democratic U.S. Senatorial candidate John Fetterman and Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., November 5, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarck

Trump’s advisers say an announcement about the 2024 presidential election could come this month.

Despite Biden’s warnings about democracy, many of his fellow Democrats have emphasized more practical issues, such as his work to lower drug prices and protect Social Security. While many have campaigned on abortion rights, polling shows that has faded as a top voter concern.

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Republicans have questioned Democrats’ support for law enforcement and concerns about crime, which has emerged as a key election issue after homicide rates spiked during the COVID pandemic.

“In two years, won’t you feel pain?” Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker said at a rally in Georgia. “It’s on his watch.”

Democrats are fed up with Biden’s unpopularity, which has led them to hold off on campaigning in competitive states. Only 40% of Americans approve of his job performance, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll completed Tuesday.

Biden spoke outside New York City in a typically safe Democratic area where Republicans are threatening to make gains.

New York’s Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul faces an unexpectedly tough challenge from Republican Lee Zeldin, while Democratic House incumbents remain locked in tight battles across the state.

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Vice President Kamala Harris visited Chicago, another Democratic stronghold, where she said Democrats could pass national abortion-rights legislation if they add to their margin in the Senate. “If we elect two more senators, the president can sign it into law,” he said.

First Lady Jill Biden visited Texas, a Republican-dominated state with a handful of competitive races. “Choosing who leads our community is one way we live out our faith,” he told worshipers at Houston’s Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church.

Additional reporting by Nathan Lane in Georgia, Tyler Clifford in New York and Gram Slattery in Washington; Writing by Andy Sullivan; Edited by Daniel Wallis, Deepa Babington and Kenneth Maxwell

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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