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Trump, Biden on Offense in Flip States 10/19 06:13

   President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden went on offense over 
the weekend as both campaigned in states they are trying to flip during the 
Nov. 3 election, just over two weeks away.

   CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) -- President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe 
Biden went on offense over the weekend as both campaigned in states they are 
trying to flip during the Nov. 3 election, just over two weeks away.

   Trump began his Sunday in Nevada, making a rare visit to church before a 
fundraiser and an evening rally in Carson City. Once considered a battleground, 
Nevada has not swung for a Republican presidential contender since 2004.

   The rally drew thousands of supporters who sat elbow to elbow, cheering 
Trump and booing Biden and the press. The vast majority wore no masks to guard 
against the coronavirus, though cases in the state are on the rise, with more 
than 1,000 new infections reported Saturday. The Republican president, as he 
often does, warned that a Biden election would lead to further lockdowns and 
appeared to mock Biden for saying he would listen to scientists.

   "He'll listen to the scientists. If I listened totally to the scientists, we 
would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression," Trump 
said.

   Biden, a practicing Catholic, attended Mass in Delaware before campaigning 
in North Carolina, where a Democrat has not won in a presidential race since 
Barack Obama in 2008.

   Both candidates are trying to make inroads in states that could help secure 
a path to victory, but the dynamics of the race are remarkably stable. Biden 
enjoys a significant advantage in national polls, while carrying a smaller edge 
in battleground surveys.

   Earlier in the day, Trump sat in the front row at the nondenominational 
International Church of Las Vegas as the senior associate pastor, Denise 
Goulet, said God told her early that morning that the president would secure a 
second term.

   "At 4:30, the Lord said to me, 'I am going to give your president a second 
win,'" she said, telling Trump, "you will be the president again."

   Trump spoke briefly, saying "I love going to churches" and that it was "a 
great honor" to attend the service. He dropped a wad of $20 bills in the 
collection plate before leaving.

   The message was far different in both style and substance later in the day, 
when Biden attended a virtual discussion with African American faith leaders 
from around the country.

   Biden held up a rosary, which he said he carries in his pocket every day, 
and described it as "what the Irish call a prisoner's rosary" since it was 
small enough to be smuggled into prisons.

   "I happen to be a Roman Catholic," Biden said. "I don't pray for God to 
protect me. I pray to God to give me strength to see what other people are 
dealing with."

   Earlier, at a drive-in rally in Durham, North Carolina, Biden focused 
heavily on promoting criminal justice changes to combat institutional racism 
and promised to help build wealth in the Black community.

   He noted that Trump had said at one of his rallies that the country had 
turned the corner on the pandemic.

   "As my grandfather would say, this guy's gone around the bend if he thinks 
we've turned the corner. Turning the corner? Things are getting worse," Biden 
said.

   In addition to public polling that indicates Biden has an edge, the former 
vice president enjoys another considerable advantage over Trump: money.

   Trump raked in $12 million during a fundraiser Sunday afternoon at the 
Newport Beach home of top GOP donor and tech mogul Palmer Luckey, which also 
featured a performance by the Beach Boys.

   But over the past four months, Biden has raised over $1 billion, a massive 
amount of money that has eclipsed Trump's once-overwhelming cash advantage.

   That's become apparent in advertising, where Biden and his Democratic allies 
are on pace to spend twice as much as Trump and the Republicans in the closing 
days of the race, according to data from the ad tracking firm Kantar/CMAG.

   Though Trump has pulled back from advertising in Midwestern states that 
secured his 2016 win, he's invested heavily elsewhere, including North 
Carolina, where he is on pace to slightly outspend Biden in the days ahead.

   In Nevada, which Trump came close to winning in 2016, Democrats are set to 
outspend Trump in the closing days by a more than 3-to-1 ratio.

   Trump's visit to the state is part of an aggressive schedule of campaign 
events, where he has leaned heavily into fear tactics.

   Trump's Carson City rally was held at an airport with a golden scrub 
brush-covered hill providing a dramatic backdrop. He relived fond moments from 
his 2016 campaign against Hillary Clinton, revisited his long-running feud with 
NFL players and went on an extended rant about water management policy, which 
he blamed for people having to "flush their toilet 15 times."

   He also added to his litany of hyperbolic attacks against Biden, claiming 
that, if Biden were elected, he would mandate new lockdown measures that would 
make Carson City "a ghost town" and "the Christmas season will be cancelled."

   As he surveyed his crowd, Trump expressed disbelief that he could possibly 
be tied (in fact losing, according to public polls) to Biden in the state.

   "How the hell can we be tied?" he asked. "What's going on? ... We get these 
massive crowds. He gets nobody.... It doesn't make sense!" Biden has held very 
small and virtual events in recent months because of the ongoing pandemic.

   Biden started his day with Mass in Delaware at St. Joseph's on the 
Brandywine, as he does nearly every week. He and his wife, Jill, entered 
wearing dark-colored face masks. She carried a bunch of flowers that including 
pink roses.

   The church is a few minutes' drive from Biden's home. Biden's son Beau, who 
died of brain cancer in 2015, is buried in the cemetery on its grounds. Joe and 
Jill Biden visited the grave after the service.

   Trump attends church far less often but has drawn strong support from white 
Evangelical leaders and frequently hosts groups of pastors at the White House. 
Trump often goes to the Church of Bethesda-By-The Sea near Mar-a-Lago in 
Florida for major holidays, including Easter, and he attended a Christmas Eve 
service last year at Family Church in West Palm Beach before the onset of the 
pandemic.

   If elected, Biden would be only the second Roman Catholic president in U.S. 
history and first since John F. Kennedy. The former vice president speaks 
frequently about his faith and its importance in his life.

 
 
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