The evening air in the southern states is still warm and soft in late October. This will remain the case when a narrow crescent moon has displaced the last sunlight from the sky. Men’s shirts and women’s blouses have short sleeves. Hardly anyone wears a mask, even though the files at the entrance kept offering it.
A festival atmosphere hangs over the small sports airfield in Gastonia, a suburb of Charlotte, the capital of North Carolina. When patriotic songs like “I’m proud to be an American” blast from the speakers, the audience fervently sings along.
Many wave red hats that say “Make America Great Again” and American flags. Likewise when “We are the champions” is about battle and victory.
Strange choice of music: “Time to say goodbye” for Trump’s performance
The choice of music doesn’t seem well considered across the board. Why does ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ play shortly before the hero appears? But then Donald Trump walks to the lectern. And now they are jumping up from their seats, shouting and clapping
13 days until the elections. The Democrats are getting nervous, Trump boldly claims. One thing is clear, here in North Carolina they love me and will give me the win like they did in 2016.
A look at the surveys, this description of the situation refers to wishful thinking. North Carolina is actually a republican state. But even here, Trump is on the defensive and has every reason to be nervous. Joe Biden leads the survey by more than two percentage points.
Both camps focus on North Carolina and Pennsylvania
Therefore, this state and Pennsylvania are currently the two “battlefields” on which both sides concentrate their armed forces. When President Trump appears in Gastonia on Wednesday evening, his predecessor Barack Obama will promote Biden in Philadelphia and Democratic vice-candidate Kamala Harris will speak in Charlotte. She originally wanted to come a week ago, but at the time, two employees tested positive for Corona.
Barack Obama also promoted Joe Biden in Philadelphia Photo: AFP
Meanwhile, Joe Biden is training Thursday night for the final TV debate against Trump. He was in Durham last Sunday for a ride in the rally; his supporters had to stay in the car while he gave his address. Ivanka Trump campaigned for her father in Raleigh on Tuesday.
It stands out: Trump needs the rallies with a lot of people regardless of the corona rules. It charges itself with energy. Democrats avoid crowds.
A battleground for the majority of the Senate
North Carolina is not only about the White House, but also about the majority in the Senate. Republican Senator Thom Tillis is behind Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham – and while he’s just been convicted of an extramarital affair, the polls haven’t changed significantly to his detriment. A Democrat smugly jokes: Perhaps this is because Donald Trump has also shifted standards in judging adultery.
The trump cards at the sports airport in Gastonia cannot say how serious the situation is for their idol. They cheer him on when he makes fun of “Sleepy Joe,” with whom no foreign head of state wants anything to do, out of concern that Biden will fall asleep while talking. Or if Trump claims that “socialists, communists and left-wing extremists” would de facto come to power with Biden, raise taxes and plunge the US into “a worse depression than 1929”.
Trump sometimes aggressive, sometimes rippling. Some go
Trump makes a mixed appearance. He’s aggressive for the first 20 minutes. Then he gets a quieter chatter in which he lists all kinds of injuries, but his words are not always easy to understand despite the loudspeaker.
He imagines an alternative world, loosely based on Trump. His inauguration was the greatest of all time, but the media falsely claimed that fewer people came than Obama. He was treated so unfairly in the Russia affair. Then he talks about his calls with the President of Ukraine, of which there were fortunately transcripts, which supposedly surprised the Democrats so that he emerged victorious from the impeachment.
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After 30 minutes the first audience starts to leave. In small numbers there is no electricity, the large amount remains until the end. But there are fewer and fewer. In the last 20 minutes of an hour and a half in total, Trump resurfaces, even though he now repeats himself over and over again about “Sleepy Joe,” the danger posed by the left and their tax increases. On the other hand, he will be “the prettiest and most beautiful for the US after reelection.” biggest revival in US history ”.
He does not mention any plans for the second term
He does not mention specific goals for a second term. The ambition is apparently aimed at keeping everything as it is. He quickly introduced the candidates for the governor’s office, the seats in the Senate and the House of Representatives. And honors radio talker Rush Limbaugh, who has just been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Then he says goodbye.
Is that the energy with which Trump scored points in North Carolina in 2016 and got a clear victory here? The faithful church that stayed to the end apparently believes he will do it again.
Without North Carolina, there is probably no road to victory for Trump
The studies do not show that. In 2016, Trump won North Carolina by about five percentage points; now he is almost three percentage points behind Biden. The state has only given preference to a Democrat for the White House once in the past few decades: Obama in 2008. In 2012 and 2016, North Carolina went back to Republicans.
Without the state’s 15 voters, it will be difficult for Trump to get the 270 votes nationwide that will mean victory. It is of course also the question how much these gigs will move at the last minute. 1.5 million people have already voted, about a quarter of the alleged voters. The ‘gender gap’ is striking: according to surveys, Biden leads among female voters by eleven percentage points, among male Trump with ten.