WASHINGTON: Republicans formally re-nominated US President Donald Trump for the 2020 national election on Monday as the party’s four-day convention kicked off.
The official naming of Trump and Vice President Mike Pence as the party’s presidential ticket followed a roll-call vote of state delegates who backed the president as he now formally enters the race against Democratic nominee Joe Biden as the underdog.
A CBS News/YouGov poll released Sunday indicates Biden is leading the incumbent president by a formidable 10 points nationally among likely voters with just 71 days until the Nov. 3 election.
Many other polls, including in battleground states, have shown Biden enjoying sizable leads as the US under Trump continues to struggle with the coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 176,000 in the country.
In unannounced, but widely expected remarks, Trump continued to cast doubt on the daunting numbers, saying he is “up by massive figures on enthusiasm,” a reference to voter enthusiasm.
“They’re taking all of that enthusiasm that our party has, and we have tremendous enthusiasm, I think we have record enthusiasm, we have a base the likes of which nobody has seen,” he said.
“They have no enthusiasm for their candidate,” Trump added about Democrats. “This is the most important election in the history of our country. Don’t let them take it away from you.”
The president continued to tout his achievements in office, drawing repeated chants of “four more years” and “USA” from the assembled crowd.
Earlier addressing the convention, Pence continued to charge Biden and vice presidential running mate Kamala Harris as being “overtaken by the radical left,” claiming the country cannot risk a change in administration.
“Not just the Republican Party, but America needs four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House,” Pence said. “Today is about four more years. This week we will take our case to the American people.”
Trump is expected to address the convention each day before formally accepting the nomination from the White House Thursday night.