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

YONKERS, New York, Nov 6 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden warned that a Republican victory in Tuesday’s midterm elections could weaken U.S. democracy, while former President Donald Trump hinted at another bid for the White House from the polls: two days before Republicans could take control. Both houses of Congress.

The comments, made at fight rallies in New York and Florida, underscored the bleak outlook facing Biden’s Democrats despite delivering on his promises to boost clean energy incentives and repair crumbling roads and bridges.

Republicans have blamed Biden for high inflation and rising crime in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and nonpartisan forecasters favor them taking control of the House and possibly the Senate. Early Democratic leads in Senate races in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Nevada have evaporated.

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

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Biden has warned that many Republican candidates are threatening democratic norms by repeating Trump’s false claims about a stolen 2020 election.

“Democracy is literally on the ballot,” he told students at Sarah Lawrence College in upstate New York. “One cannot love the country only by winning.”

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. Senator John Fetterman and Pennsylvania Democratic Governor Josh Shapiro in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., November 5, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarck.

Trump advisers say the 2024 presidential election announcement could come this month.

Despite Biden’s warnings about democracy, many of his fellow Democrats have emphasized more practical issues, such as their work to lower prescription drug prices and protect Social Security. While many have campaigned on abortion rights, polls show it has faded as a top concern among voters.

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Republicans have questioned Democrats’ support for law enforcement and used concerns about crime, which have emerged as a key election issue after homicide rates spiked during COVID-19.

“Don’t you feel pain in two short years?” Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker said at a rally in Georgia. “This is under their watch.”

Democrats have been buffeted by Biden’s unpopularity, which has forced him to pull back from campaigning in competitive states. Only 40% of Americans approve of his job performance, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll that ended Tuesday.

Biden spoke in a normally safe Democratic area outside New York, 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 are 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 increase their margins in the Senate. “If we get two more senators, the president can sign it into law,” he said.

First Lady Jill Biden visited Texas, a Republican-dominated state with several competitive races. “Choosing someone to lead our community is one way we can 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; Andy Sullivan writes; Editing by Daniel Wallis, Deepa Babington and Kenneth Maxwell

Our standards. Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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