With election week upon us, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she is “confident” that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will win Michigan.
Voting in the 2020 General Election has been underway for weeks in Michigan with early in-person voting and absentee voting. More than 2 million Michigan residents have already voted early in the presidential election, and clerks are still seeing large numbers each day leading up to November 3.
Both Biden and President Trump have been focusing campaign efforts in Michigan over the last week in an effort to appeal to voters ahead of Tuesday. According to the latest Local 4/Detroit News polling, Biden holds an eight-point lead over Trump in the state.
In an interview with Dan Harris on Good Morning America Saturday, Whitmer said that she believes Biden and his character will win over Michigan voters.
“He understands what people are going through. He is a humble, decent human being who knows that, as an American president, he serves everyone in this country -- not states that are red or blue -- but everyone," Whitmer said. "We need a president who will bring us together, who will fight for the middle class -- the working people of this country -- and ensure everyone’s got a real path. That’s what Joe Biden offers and I think that’s why he resonates so well with Michigan voters.”
The Michigan governor also addressed the rising COVID-19 cases in the state and around the country, saying the Trump Administration has not been “serious” about controlling the virus, but that Biden would be if he wins the election.
“Here’s the thing about Joe Biden: His plan around getting the American economy back up and running, in concert with getting our arms around COVID, that’s how we really get things done,” Whitmer said.
Whitmer has frequently criticized the Trump Administration’s response to the pandemic going as far as calling the president the “biggest threat to the American people.” She is also calling for a Congressional oversight investigation into the Trump administration’s pandemic response. Trump also often criticizes Whitmer’s response to the pandemic in Michigan. The pair have been at odds in the public eye throughout the year, both accusing the other of inciting violence earlier this month.
Though Michigan’s stay-at-home order was lifted in June, Trump has been rallying voters against Whitmer at his campaign events by saying the state is “locked down” and it needs to “open back up.” Most Michigan businesses have been allowed to reopen amid the pandemic, following coronavirus restrictions mandated by the state’s health department.
Trump’s remarks come as Michigan sees a significant surge in COVID-19 cases. The state reported its highest single-day increase of COVID cases on Oct. 29, and then again on Oct. 31.
Amid the rising virus cases, Trump’s campaign has focused efforts in Michigan just ahead of Election Day, holding numerous rallies throughout the state. Including in her interview Saturday, Whitmer has often shown concern over the president’s rallies and the likelihood of COVID-19 spreading among participants -- and beyond.
“People are packing in right next to one another, many of them are not wearing masks. They are shouting and yelling, and I mean, this is the circumstance in which we have seen COVID spread-- we’ve seen it from his rallies. They’ve been contact-traced back to the rallies,” Whitmer said Saturday.
“The fact of the matter is, we are posting the worst COVID numbers over the last eight months right now in many states in this country. And it’s frankly because this White House has never been serious about having a national strategy,” Whitmer added. “Almost 230,000 people have died, tens of millions unemployed, people in food lines who never imagined they would be, and they still don’t have a national strategy eight months in -- and they’re contributing to more spread.”
The president has claimed that there is social distancing at his rallies, but footage -- and a recent study -- seem to say otherwise.
President Trump held a rally in Washington Township on Sunday. There were many attendees wearing masks, and many not wearing masks. Trump will visit the state again on Monday to campaign in Traverse City.
Trump and Biden have both focused campaign efforts on the “battleground” state just days before Election Day. On Saturday, Biden was joined by President Barack Obama at drive-in rallies in Flint and Detroit. So far, Biden’s campaign events have featured face masks and social distancing.
Douglas Emhoff, husband of Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, also campaigned in Michigan on Sunday. Actress Kerry Washington and her husband, former NFL player Nnamdi Asomugha, will campaign for Biden-Harris in Inkster, Taylor and Detroit on Monday.
Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Haven’t voted yet? Here’s everything you need to know before voting in the General Election in Michigan.
View starting Nov. 3: Michigan General Election results