Biden, Trump hit the campaign trail in final pitch to voters before Election Day

Washington — President Biden and former President Donald Trump are spending the final days of the midterm election cycle stumping for candidates from their respective parties running for federal and state office, issuing stark warnings to their supporters of what is at stake this election year.

On the final full day of campaigning before polls open Tuesday morning, Mr. Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden are heading to Maryland to participate in a rally for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore, who could make history as the state's first Black governor if elected. A victory by Moore over Republican opponent Dan Cox would also reclaim the governor's mansion in Annapolis for Democrats, after Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's two terms in office.

The stop in Maryland by Mr. Biden follows a visit by the president to Westchester County, New York, to campaign for Gov. Kathy Hochul, who is trying to fend off a challenge from Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin. Meanwhile, Jill Biden, who has been a fixture on the campaign trail this election year, was in Houston to gin up support for Democrats up and down the ballot in Texas.

Trump will spend the eve of Election Day holding a final rally in Ohio for Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance and other GOP candidates. Vance is facing off against Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman, and Trump's endorsement of Vance during the GOP primary helped him lock up the nomination.

The event in Ohio caps a weekend of rallies held by the former president in support of Republicans on the ballot in Pennsylvania and Florida.

During a rally Saturday in Latrobe, a GOP-stronghold in western Pennsylvania, for Republican candidates Dr. Mehmet Oz and Doug Mastriano, Trump mocked Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican rising star who is seen as a possible 2024 presidential candidate, calling him "Ron DeSanctimonious."

Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano shakes hands with former U.S. President Donald Trump during a rally at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport November 5, 2022 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.  / Credit: / Getty Images
Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano shakes hands with former U.S. President Donald Trump during a rally at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport November 5, 2022 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. / Credit: / Getty Images

But on Sunday in Miami, where Trump rallied support for Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who is running for reelection against Democrat Rep. Val Demings, the former president backed off his ribbing of DeSantis, instead telling supporters they would "reelect Ron DeSantis as your governor." DeSantis was not at Trump's rally in Miami, and instead held separate events elsewhere in the state.

Trump also teased his own potential future presidential run, telling the crowd in Miami that "I will probably have to do it again, but stay tuned."

More than 40 million Americans have already cast their votes, according to the U.S. Elections Project, and political heavyweights from both parties have spent the closing days of this election year criss-crossing the country making their final appeals too voters.

In addition to campaigning in New York, Mr. Biden headed to Philadelphia on Saturday to reunite with former President Barack Obama for an event in support of Democrats John Fetterman, running against Oz and Josh Shapiro, Mastriano's opponent for governor.

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senator John Fetterman, former President Barack Obama, Democratic candidate for Governor Josh Shapiro, and President Joe Biden raise their arms when departing after a rally at the Liacouras Center on November 5, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  / Credit: / Getty Images
Democratic candidate for U.S. Senator John Fetterman, former President Barack Obama, Democratic candidate for Governor Josh Shapiro, and President Joe Biden raise their arms when departing after a rally at the Liacouras Center on November 5, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. / Credit: / Getty Images

In their closing arguments to voters, Mr. Biden and Obama have warned that their fundamental rights are on the ballot Tuesday, and predicted that a Republican-controlled Congress would make it difficult for Mr. Biden to implement his policy priorities during the second half of his first term.

"I want to be very clear, and I mean this sincerely, about what's on the ballot this year: Your right to choose is on the ballot. Your right to vote is on the ballot. Social Security and Medicare is on the ballot," Mr. Biden told supporters in Philadelphia. "There's something else on the ballot: character. Character is on the ballot."

In New York, Mr. Biden underscored the importance of the crowd of attendees casting their ballots, saying, "If y'all show up and vote, democracy is sustained."

Democrats have sought to cast this year's election as crucial for countering threats to democracy from a faction of the Republican Party and protecting abortion access after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. But Republicans are hoping concerns about the economy and high consumer prices will lead voters to propel them to majorities of the House and Senate.

A CBS News Battleground Tracker found that Republicans are poised to retake the House, while Senate control remains a toss-up.

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