PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There are 13 days to go until Election Day. And tonight, Philadelphia was the focus of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign, as former President Barack Obama came to town to get out the vote.
Obama fired up a socially-distant crowd at a drive-in rally. It’s the former president’s first in-person appearance on behalf of Biden and vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris.
Obama’s trip to Philadelphia underscores the importance of Pennsylvania as a battleground state.
“You know Joe, the scrappy guy from Scranton. He knows you, he understands your issues,” Obama said.
Striking a personal tone, the former president implored voters to support the Biden-Harris ticket, calling this the most important election in our lifetime.
“The thing is, this is not a reality show, this is reality,” Obama said. “Our proud reputation around the world is in tatters. Right now, you can vote for my friend Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris as the next president and vice president of the United States of America.”
Pennsylvania is a battleground state with 20 electoral votes up for grabs. Officials say winning the commonwealth could tip the election one way or the other and help pave the way to the White House.
“Pennsylvania is the fifth-largest state in the country so it always has an importance, and it’s a battleground state,” Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said.
Wolf says 3 million mail-in ballots have already been received as of Wednesday.
The ticketed event of about 200 people is made up of mostly Biden-Harris campaign volunteers. All say they want to see change.
“I’m super excited. I’ve been working with students since March, trying to get everybody registered in the Philadelphia School District, so I have a team of students I’ve been working with and they’re so excited and have really been putting in the work to get their peers registered and ready,” voter Angelique Hinton said.
“I’m thinking about having real leadership and solutions to our many, many problems that we have in this country,” voter Allison Glickman said.
Just before taking the stage at the sports complex, Obama met with a small group of Black male leaders and male voters in North Philadelphia to discuss issues affecting their communities and to impress upon them the importance of their voting presence in this election.
“It’s not that voting makes everything perfect, it’s that it makes things better,” Obama said at the meeting.
“I think Black males are going to shock a lot of people. I think we’re gonna come out 96% for Vice President Joe Biden. I think people are galvanized to come out here to vote, they’re energized and I think that — I don’t want to get too political — but we have a reason to come out here and vote,” voter Hassan Freeman said.
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