Trump vs. Obama in the final weekend of the midterms

Lynne Sladky  AP FILE

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum voted Tuesday morning in rainy Tallahassee, while Republican nominee Ron DeSantis voted in St. Johns County as a small crowd of supporters chanted, "We want Ron".

"Democrats Sen. Bill Nelson and Mayor Andrew Gillum have identical seven-point leads entering the final hours before Election Day in the races to be the next governor and USA senator from Florida", said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. "These automated calls are being sent into homes just days before President Trump arrives, reminding voters exactly who is promoting a political climate that celebrates this kind of vile, poisonous thinking". "That's what you can do when you vote on Tuesday", he said. He is running against Democrat Bill Nelson, who now holds a Florida Senate seat.

Kemp issued a statement calling the tactic "vile" and "contrary to the highest ideals of our state and country", adding a condemnation of "any person or organization that peddles this type of unbridled hate and unapologetic bigotry".

Scott, the Republican governor seeking a Senate seat, and Gillum, the Tallahassee Democratic mayor running for governor, rushed back to the state capital after a gunman killed two people and injured five others before killing himself. "That's a case-in-point example of why Americans don't trust the media - why President Donald Trump's labeling of the press as the enemy of the people resonate with the people", Washington Times columnist Cheryl K. Chumley wrote in a piece published by the conservative paper.

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The governor's race in Florida is a key one to watch on election night.

Former president Barack Obama on Friday decried as a "political stunt" Donald Trump's plan to send thousands of U.S. soldiers to the Mexican border to block migrants from entering the country. Quite frankly I think they underestimate the people of the state of Florida.

"You have a president that's going to be here today and you have an entertainer that's in office right now", said Rashawn Watson, a Democrat from Miami Gardens.

But the main thrust of his argument was more expansive, touching on the political left's existential concerns over what they see as hypocrisy in Trump and disdain for democratic norms.

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"You know what, it's an old playbook", Obama said after another protester interrupted him.

DeSantis told reporters that he is entering election day "roughly at parity" with Democrat Andrew Gillum after the early voting period, which gave the Democrats a slight edge based on calculations through Monday.

He praised both Republican candidates, called Gillum a "radical socialist", and said Nelson never calls him to push programs that would benefit Florida.

Gillum recalled that his Republican opponent Ron DeSantis said after winning his party's primary that "the last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda". Swing Left, which is leading the effort, and has raised more than $9 million for candidates in 84 swing districts this cycle, says its volunteers called and knocked on the doors of almost 500,000 voters just last week.

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