Trump predicts 'red wave' of voting in Florida during rally in Ocala
OCALA, Fla. - President Donald Trump is predicting a "red wave" of Republican voting in Florida.
Most polls show a close race in the important battleground state that both the Republican incumbent and Democrat Joe Biden are courting heavily.
Addressing a campaign rally Friday in Ocala, Trump reminded thousands of supporters that "I live here, too." He recently switched his legal residence from New York.
President Donald Trump departs Air Force One as he arrives to speak at a campaign event at the Ocala International Airport on October 16, 2020 in Ocala, (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
The president noted that early voting in Florida starts Monday. He says in 18 days, "we're going to win the state of Florida. We're going to win the White House." Trump won Florida in 2016.
Trump predicted a "red wave" of Republican voting, "the likes of which they've never seen before."
With less than three weeks to go until Election Day, this is the second time in a week that the president has visited the Sunshine State, bookending the week in Marion County after visting Seminole Conty on Monday -- the first campaign event on the road since he was diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Marion County, which includes Ocala, was a stronghold for Trump during his successful 2016 campaign. He beat Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton by nearly 46,000 votes in the county. Following the Ocala rally, the president headed for Macon, Georgia, the site of another rally on Friday night.
OCALA, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 16: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during his campaign event at the Ocala International Airport on October 16, 2020 in Ocala, Florida. President Trump continues to campaign against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Bide
President Trump continues to campaign against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden with 18 days until Election Day. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump waves to people as leaves his campaign event at the Ocala International Airport on October 16, 2020 in Ocala, (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
It's been just about four years to the day since Trump's last big campaign rally in Ocala, which was on October 12, 2016, at the livestock pavilion. Organizers expected the rally to bring between 5,000 and 15,000 supporters, who began lining up a day in advance to secure their spots at the event.
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Supporter Ryan Naylor showed up early to wait in line.
"It's just truly amazing. We're out here, we're ready to get in here. The president is gonna love this. He knows he loves this support, we just love President Trump so much."
President Donald Trump speaks with someone in the crowd as he leaves his campaign event at the Ocala International Airport on October 16, 2020 in Ocala, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Democratic challenger Joe Biden was on the campaign trail on Friday as well, warning Michigan voters that President Trump wants to strip health insurance from tens of millions of Americans with preexisting conditions.
Campaigning outside Detroit on Friday, the Democratic nominee said Trump promises to protect the insurance eligibility of all Americans but in reality wants to scrap the 2010 Affordable Care Act. That law for the first time set a federal standard that requires insurers to offer health insurance to customers regardless of their health history.
Biden says Trump "can only see from his penthouse" in Manhattan and doesn't see most Americans' daily struggles.
A 2017 study from the Department of Health and Human Services found that as many as 133 million Americans could be defined as having a "preexisting" condition by the standards insurers used before the 2010 law. Biden noted that the number could rise in the wake of the pandemic. Some patients who recover from COVID-19 have been found with lingering lung, heart or other organ damage.