The Democratic nominee returned to the crucial swing state where he’d begun his campaign 19 months ago with the same message: The 2020 presidential campaign is a battle for the soul of the nation.
“Tomorrow’s the beginning of a new day,” Biden told hundreds of supporters at a socially distanced drive-in rally, which became a hallmark of his campaign in its closing weeks. “The power to change this country is in your hands.”
The Biden campaign’s final rallies featured an innovative setup: The campaign pinballed back and forth between Biden’s rally in Pittsburgh and one led by his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, in Philadelphia, weaving the two together digitally as one event.
“Are you ready to tell Donald Trump, ‘You’re fired’?” Jill Biden said.
Then it was back to Legend and rapper Common in Philadelphia, followed by Harris’ speech.
“We all know from the time the polls open tomorrow morning until they close, every minute counts. So we cannot let up, because it ain’t over till it’s over,” Harris said.
And then the feed shifted to Pittsburgh again, for a performance by Lady Gaga and Biden’s speech.
The state is also at the core of Biden’s political identity. At campaign events for decades, he has told the emotional story of his father losing his job in Biden’s hometown of Scranton, ultimately moving his family to Delaware. Biden has at times during the campaign visited the house in Scranton where he grew up. He has cultivated decades-old ties to labor unions in the area.
After a launch event in Philadelphia, Biden kicked off his campaign with a rally in Pittsburgh in April 2019. He closed it in the same city Monday night.
“You represent the backbone of this country: hardworking families who are asking nothing but a fair shot, an even chance. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” Biden said.
Biden, Harris and their spouses will fan out across the country Tuesday for Election Day get-out-the-vote events.
Biden is focused on Pennsylvania, heading to Philadelphia and Scranton. Harris is traveling to Detroit, where Democrats are counting on a surge in Black turnout and a suburban shift in their favor.
Jill Biden is spending the day in the Tampa Bay region in Florida and in Wake County, North Carolina — the home of Raleigh and one of the fastest-growing regions in the country. And Emhoff is visiting Columbus, Ohio, as part of the campaign’s late push to pick off a state that Trump almost certainly can’t win reelection without.
The campaign’s primary battleground has been in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — the three “blue wall” states that Trump toppled in 2016.
But Biden’s campaign also believes it is positioned to win some Sun Belt states. It has targeted Arizona, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, dispatching Harris to each of those states in the race’s closing days and sending former President Barack Obama to Atlanta and Miami on Monday.
It is also eyeing three states that weren’t expected to be presidential battlegrounds this year: Iowa, Ohio and Texas, where early voting numbers exploded this year, surpassing the total number of votes cast there in the 2016 election.
Trump, meanwhile, has sought to put in play two states Hillary Clinton won in 2016: Minnesota and Nevada.
“Under no scenario will Donald Trump be declared a victor on election night,” Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said in a public briefing Monday.
“At the end of the day, we believe we’re going to win this race,” she said. “We believe we’re going to be able to do that with our pathways to victory regardless of what Donald Trump says.”
CNN’s Sarah Mucha, Arlette Saenz and Jasmine Wright contributed to this report.