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On US Labor Day, Trump, Biden Focus on American Workers

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The U.S. presidential campaign turned to the homestretch Monday on the annual Labor Day holiday, with both Republican President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, focused on the fate of American workers amid the coronavirus pandemic. With fewer than 60 days until the November 3 national election, Trump said on Twitter, “Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during an event with local union members in the backyard of a home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Sept. 7, 2020.The U.S. jobless rate dipped to 8.4% in August, but economic experts say it could take months for a more robust recovery to take hold. Only about half the 22 million jobs that were lost in the pandemic have been recovered, with many employers paring their payrolls even as they have reopened their businesses. Biden was set to collect endorsements from three organized labor groups: the Laborers’ International Union of North America, the International Union of Elevator Constructors and the National Federation of Federal Employees. Collectively, the three unions represent hundreds of thousands of workers nationwide the Biden campaign hopes to mobilize to support his campaign. Biden’s vice-presidential running mate, California Senator Kamala Harris, and Vice President Mike Pence both visited the highly contested election state of Wisconsin in the Midwest. Harris, in her first solo, in-person campaign appearance as part of Biden’s ticket, is meeting with unionized electrical workers and Black business owners in Milwaukee. Pence, Trump’s second in command, is touring an energy facility in the city of La Crosse. Both Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, two traditionally Democratic states that Trump won in 2016 to help him capture a four-year White House term, are again expected to be pivotal states in the 2020 contest. Polls show Biden narrowly ahead in both states. President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference on the North Portico of the White House, Sept. 7, 2020, in Washington.While the pandemic has sharply curtailed huge political rallies that are a mainstay of typical U.S. presidential campaigns, both Trump and Biden are planning numerous trips in the coming weeks to politically important states in front of more modest crowds or in Biden’s case with virtual events. Trump has appeared before sizeable gatherings in recent weeks, including at the White House August 27 to deliver his presidential Republican renomination acceptance speech.  Trump plans to visit North Carolina, Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania later in the week. Biden plans to return to Pennsylvania on Friday, when both he and Trump plan to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the 2001 al-Qaida terrorist attacks on the U.S. in Shanksville, where a jetliner crashed into a field as passengers tried to commandeer the plane from the hijackers. Biden, as he has for months, is maintaining his lead over Trump in national polls, by about 7 percentage points, although his lead in battleground states is thinner. The U.S. decides the presidency through an indirect form of democracy, not by the national popular vote but in the Electoral College, where the winner in each state receives all of that state’s electoral votes. Each state’s number of electoral votes is based on its population. Would-be presidents must win at least 270 of the 538 electoral votes. The most populous states — Democratic-leaning California with 55 votes, and Republican-dominated Texas with 38 — hold the most sway. Seven states and the national capital city of Washington have the fewest electoral votes, three apiece. 

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