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As the final weekend before Election Day dawns, the candidates are packing in rallies and other campaign events to try to win voter support in critical states. The focus was on the Midwest on Friday, with President Trump and Joe Biden both visiting Wisconsin -- a state setting single-day records for COVID-19 infections and deaths. Yamiche Alcindor reports.
The presidential campaign is down to the wire, one last weekend, only three days left to win hearts, minds, and votes.
White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor has been watching a full day of rallies, and she has this report.
The last Friday before Election Day, and the candidates are trying to make every minute count.
President Donald Trump:
We're doing a lot of traveling. We will be doing a lot of rallies. We have some big ones.
Former Vice President Joe Biden:
I don't take anything for granted. We're going to work for every single vote up to the last minute.
Today, the focus was on the Midwest. First up for President Trump was Waterford Township in Michigan.
This is a great group. Four days from now, we're going to win this state.
The day's schedules then converged, with planned stops for both candidates in Wisconsin. It's a state setting single-day records for COVID-19 infections and deaths.
In Green Bay, President Trump claimed the crisis would soon be over.
With or without the vaccine, we're rounding the turn. But the vaccine makes it go faster. The vaccines are going to be out very soon, very, very soon. And the truth is, we have done an incredible job with our ventilators, the vaccines, therapeutic.
In fact, in the last 24 hours, the nation has had its worst day yet, 91,000 new cases.
And with more than nine million total cases, hospitalizations are up 50 percent this month. Both candidates also scheduled rallies in Minnesota. For President Trump, it's a last-ditch effort to win a state he narrowly lost in 2016.
More than 1.5 million ballots in the state have already been accepted. and Minnesotans who still haven't sent in their ballots thought they would be counted so long as they were postmarked by November 3 and arrived within a week after the election, but, last night, a federal appeals court ruled against that grace period, ordering the state to separate those late-arriving ballots.
Meanwhile, Biden also campaigned to bring back another Republican-leaning state. Earlier today, he swung by Des Moines, Iowa.
We're going to change the course of the country, and, quite frankly, the world, right here in Iowa, with all of you. In the final days, please keep your sense of empowerment. Keep your sense of optimism.
And while the presidential hopefuls targeted the Midwest, the running mates had their eyes on the Sunbelt.
Vice President Mike Pence visited Flagstaff, Arizona.
Vice President Mike Pence:
On November 3, we need Arizona to show America that this is Trump country.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
And Senator Kamala Harris made the rounds in Texas. The Biden campaign is trying to flip a state that hasn't backed a Democratic presidential candidate since 1976, but polls show the race is close there.
One of her stops came in Fort Worth.
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.:
Today is the last day of early voting in Texas, and you all have been doing your thing. Now, we know this is no time to let up on the pedal, though.
With more than nine million ballots already cast, Texas today surpassed its total turnout for the 2016 election. In some places, Texans were voting around the clock, literally. Officials in Harris county, the biggest in Texas, opened up all-night polling places last night.
It's very convenient, especially for the people that work at night and have to sleep during the day. So, yes, it's very convenient.
For the candidates and the rest of the country, there are now less than four days left to find out what this unprecedented turnout will mean.
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Yamiche Alcindor is the White House correspondent for the PBS NewsHour; the moderator of Washington Week, the weekly public affairs show on PBS; and a political contributor for NBC News and MSNBC. She often tells stories about the intersection of race and politics as well as fatal police encounters. She is currently covering the administration of President Joe Biden and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
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