Joe Biden’s campaign says the Democratic presidential nominee can defeat President Trump and win the White House even without carrying two crucial battlegrounds: Florida and Pennsylvania.
Campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon told reporters on Tuesday that the former vice president was “leading by 8-points coming into Election Day” in the key battleground states thanks to the surge in voting ahead of Tuesday’s election.
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Roughly 100 million Americans cast ballots through early in-person voting, absentee and mail in balloting, which is nearly three-quarters of all votes cast in the 2016 election. Dillion emphasized the “enthusiasm in early voting,” which she said is “continuing today in voting so far.”
Dillon highlighted “that allows us to continue to have these multiple paths to victory” to the 270 electoral votes needed to capture the White House.
And she stressed that “we can win 270 electoral votes even without Pennsylvania and Florida. So I think that that is something that really helps put into sharp relief, what Trump has to accomplish today and what we’re positioned to do.”
“Trump has such a harder hill to climb today to overcome the advantage we came in with,” Dillon added.
Both Biden and the president have poured time and resources into both Florida and Pennsylvania, two states Trump narrowly won four years ago in his historic come from behind upset of 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
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Four years ago, Trump became the first Republican nominee to win Pennsylvania since George H.W. Bush in 1988. Trump carried the state – and its 20 electoral votes – by just seven-tenths of 1%, outperforming the final polls that favored Clinton.
Four years later, the Biden campaign heavily concentrated efforts on Pennsylvania. On Sunday, Biden campaigned in Philadelphia and in Pittsburgh and other parts of western Pennsylvania. On Monday Biden campaigned in western Pennsylvania while running mate Sen. Kamala Harris concentrated on Philadelphia and the eastern part of the state. Biden returned to Pennsylvania on Election Day, with stops in Scranton, where he was born, and Philadelphia.
Trump campaigned in the Keystone State on Saturday and returned to Washington on Monday. Vice President Mike Pence also made a stop in the state on the eve of the election.
“We spent a lot of time in Pennsylvania. It’s always been a very good place for me. I went to college there and it’s always been good. I think Pennsylvania is very important. Florida is very important, obviously,” Trump told campaign aides on Tuesday.
With 29 electoral votes up for grabs, Florida is the largest of the traditional battlegrounds. Four years ago, Trump narrowly edged Clinton by 1.2 points to flip the state from blue to red.
Biden campaign general counsel Bob Bauer highlighted that “by and large voting is proceeding smoothly” so far on Election Day and added that he’s seen “minimal issues and disruptions.”
Bauer added that “the rejection rates of ballots are falling well below what many would be the case just a few months ago.”
Fox News’ Allie Raffa and Madeleine Rivera contributed to this report.