By Nikhila Natarajan
New York, Nov 2 (IANS) With 24 hours to go before election morning dawns in the US, Donald Trump stayed wide awake till 2 am on November 2 and tweeted his final pitch to American voters, headlined by self-congratulatory messages for record low gasoline prices and projecting fears that a Biden presidency would put in motion a “an economic death sentence” in must-win Pennsylvania.
“How do you like the $2 gasoline? You’ll have it for a long time if you elect Trump,” the US president told supporters Sunday.
Oil is clearly on Trump’s mind, his 2am tweets show. Trump has seized on fracking as a late gambit in Pennsylvania, hoping to land a late surge of white voters who helped him to an upset victory in 2016. He even signed an executive order to protect fracking while on a plane to Pennsylvania over the weekend, to “save the American dream.”
The boom in hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’, which started around 2010, made the US the world’s top producer of hydrocarbons.
Trump followed up with 2 am tweets. “…As I said at the debate – “Will you remember that Texas?Pennsylvania? Ohio? New Mexico?” I will always protect American Energy and American Jobs! Get out and VOTE”
“Just learned that Sleepy Joe Biden is campaigning in Pennsylvania with Lady Gaga, a proud member of “Artists Against Fracking.” This is more proof that he would ban Fracking and skyrocket your energy prices…”
Biden is on the front foot on his promise towards net-zero greenhouse gases emissions by 2050. Trump’s version goes like this: “Biden has vowed to abolish the entire US oil industry — no fracking, no mining, no natural gas.”
Trump describes Biden’s clean energy plan “an economic death sentence for Pennsylvania.”
Trump’s pitch is rife with familiar grievances, wild theories and imagined crises – all designed to drive a late surge over wedge issues. Trump’s best path to re-election runs through Pennsylvania and Florida. Biden leads Trump there by an average of 4 points in a RealClearPolitics poll of polls where the margin of error ranges between the high 2s to the 4s.
Trump is closing out his 2020 campaign congratulating himself for low gasoline prices sparked mostly by a pandemic that has killed more than 230,000 Americans, claiming that the US is rounding the corner on the coronavirus and warning voters that his opponent would lock down the country for years.
Gasoline prices have fallen on account of parked cars in the driveway and the work from home model scaling worldwide during the coronavirus. World demand for oil has fallen by 8 million barrels a day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Trump is framing the upside as a personal win.
Pennsylvania, according to most pollsters, is the state most likely to tip the 2020 election. The state accounts for 20 electoral votes of the 270 required to win. Trump’s late blows here are styled very similar to his 2016 plan to turn union workers away from Hillary Clinton.