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Trump to be in Green Bay for rally Friday

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — President Donald Trump planned to hold a rally in Green Bay on Friday, marking his third stop in a week to Wisconsin as part of a final push from both sides to capture the key swing state as coronavirus cases soared to new heights.

Democrat Joe Biden is also scheduled to campaign in Wisconsin on Friday, but he has not said where.

Vice President Mike Pence campaigned in central Wisconsin on Wednesday, appearing at the airport in Mosinee. Trump campaigned in Mosinee, which is near Wausau, last month. Pence touted his endorsements this week by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the state’s largest business group, and other Wisconsin-based groups.

“The road to victory goes straight through Wisconsin,” Pence said, encouraging people to take advantage of early voting and cast their ballot immediately.

Trump on Wednesday announced the Friday stop in Wisconsin, a state he won by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016. The Green Bay media market is a key part of the state for Trump where he needs to perform well to counter Democratic strongholds in Milwaukee and Dane counties.

Trump held a rally in the La Crosse area on Tuesday and was in the conservative Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha on Saturday.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, who represents the Madison area, decried the visits by Trump that attract thousands of people, most of whom don’t wear masks or distance from one another as recommended to not catch COVID-19. Wisconsin hit records highs for daily new cases and deaths on Tuesday and now has more than 210,000 confirmed cases and nearly 1,900 deaths.

“Three superspreader rallies in a week as our state passes 200,000 COVID cases is not just ill-advised– it is criminal,” Pocan said in a statement. “There are ways to engage voters without threatening their lives.”

A Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday showed Biden with a 5-point lead over Trump among likely voters, 48% to 43%. Since May, Biden has held a 5-point lead over Trump, plus or minus 1 point, in the poll.

The survey was conducted Oct. 21 through Sunday of 749 likely voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

The poll comes as more than 1.5 million people in Wisconsin have already voted by mail or in person. That is 51% of the total votes cast in the 2016 election. There were just over 287,000 unreturned absentee ballots as of Wednesday morning.

The poll also showed that Biden supporters make up the majority of early voters.

Among those who say they have already voted, 64% said they voted for Biden and 25% voted for Trump. Among those yet to vote, 35% said they will vote for Biden while 56% said they would cast their ballot for Trump.

Republicans, Democrats and elections officials have been urging people to return their absentee ballots before the close of polls at 8 p.m. on Election Day after the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to allow ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 to be counted if they’re received up to six days later.

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