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President Biden tries to bump turnout for Crist, Demings in midterm election's final days

'This isn't your father’s Republican Party,' Biden says
Posted at 5:51 PM, Nov 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-01 17:51:07-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — President Joe Biden to the rescue?

Down in most polls, Democrats Charlie Crist and U.S. Rep. Val Demings are attempting to get a boost Tuesday evening from the nation's chief executive in their respective campaigns for governor and U.S. Senate.

It comes as the GOP appears set for a significant victory in the Sunshine State, turning out large numbers of voters ahead of Nov. 8.

Biden first stopped in Broward County for a press event focused on keeping Democrats in control of Congress.

The president warned Republicans were mulling plans that could potentially cut programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security by putting them up for renewal every five years. Florida GOP Sen. Rick Scott championed the idea, announcing it earlier this year.

"Very important programs that are going to affect Americans as much as anything else," Biden said. "They are under siege by our Republican friends. And by the way, this isn't your father's Republican Party."

Later, Biden was set to attend events for Crist and Demings. Both are trailing their GOP rivals in many of the recent polls.

White House officials told us Biden wanted to remind voters that not only is the future of social welfare programs on the ballot this year— but abortion access as well.

"We have extreme MAGA Republicans like Sen. Scott, like Gov. DeSantis, that are really hurting our ability to move forward," White House assistant press secretary Kevin Munoz said. "We should not be moving backward as a country, so the president is excited to share that message with Florida today."

Political experts didn't think the president was likely to influence anyone on the fence. Professor Josh Scacco, who analyzes political communications at the Unversity of South Florida, said the visit was more about raising funds and turning out as much of the party's base as possible.

"These types of visits are important for reminding individuals that there is an election," Scacco said. "And also for generating voter enthusiasm at the last minute."

Scacco said it would be the same for former President Donald Trump. The Republican is scheduled to stump for Sen. Marco Rubio on Nov. 6.

At the moment, Republicans continue to win the battle for turnout. As of Tuesday morning, the GOP lead increased to more than 137,000 ballots ahead of Election Day.

Scott, meanwhile, tried to undercut any help from Biden's visit with a new adrunning in South Florida through Tuesday night. The former governor attacked the president as a "tax cheat" and called for his resignation.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, meanwhile, hosted a competing rally in Pensacola on Tuesday afternoon. He, too, put Biden on blast.

"He's reminding every voter that these Democrats are with Joe Biden 100% of the time," DeSantis said. "That’s not what we want in the state of Florida. In Florida, we have gotten it right, and Biden has gotten it wrong."

The incumbent's campaign also detailed plans for the election's final days. DeSantis is now scheduled to spend Nov. 4-7 on the road for the "Don't Tread on Florida" tour.

Campaign officials said the 13-stop tour would feature several state officials and last year's ACM winner for "New Artist Of The Year" and current CMA "New Artist of the Year" nominee Parker McCollum.