US President Joe Biden, Democratic superstar Barack Obama and Republican firebrand Donald Trump all converged on Saturday on Pennsylvania to push their parties to the finishing line in a race Mr Biden said marks a “defining” moment for America’s democracy.
The battle of the serving and two former presidents marked the start of a final crescendo before Tuesday when Americans will decide who controls Congress during the last two years of Mr Biden’s first term.
Polls put Republicans well ahead in the fight for the House of Representatives and also show them gaining momentum in the Senate races as voters, riled up by culture wars, seek to take out frustration over four-decades-high inflation and rising illegal immigration.
With Pennsylvania one of the handful of swing states that will decide the overall balance of power, both sides brought out their big guns — and the contrasts were dramatic.
Mr Biden and Mr Obama rallied in Philadelphia alongside Senate hopeful John Fetterman and governor candidate Josh Shapiro.
Mr Trump, who was defeated by Mr Biden in 2020 but has spent the interval promoting conspiracy theories and plotting a possible White House comeback, flew to Latrobe to boost Mr Fetterman’s opponent, TV celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, and Mr Shapiro’s far-right opponent Doug Mastriano.
Speaking to thousands in a Philadelphia arena, Mr Biden and the Democratic candidates labelled the Republicans as the party of the wealthy and emphasised their support for trade unions, social security and abortion access.
Voters face “a choice between two vastly different visions of America”, Mr Biden said.