Melania Trump put on a stylish show on Tuesday morning as she arrived in the swing state of Florida to cast her vote in the 2020 election, looking elegant in a $4,500 chain-print Gucci dress.
The 50-year-old First Lady flashed a small smile at the cameras as she arrived at the polling station in the Trumps’ home state of Florida, one of several key swing states where her husband is hoping to hold victory against Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
However the final poll heading into election day showed that Biden, 77, held a narrow lead over Trump, 74, in six swing states, including Florida, as well as Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
Milestone moment! Melania Trump arrived at a polling station in Palm Beach, Florida, on Tuesday morning to cast her vote in-person
Style star: The 50-year-old put on an elegant display in a $4,500 chain-print Gucci dress as she arrived at the polling station in the swing state
Support: Melania will likely return to Washington, D.C. to be by her husband’s side as they await the first results of the 2020 election on Tuesday night
Every vote counts: Melania’s trip to the polling station came hours after a final pre-election poll showed that Joe Biden held a narrow lead in Florida, as well as five other swing states
In Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – all of which Trump won in 2016 – Biden had the edge as of Monday night, however the poll showed the race as still being hotly contested, with the result hanging in the balance.
Wisconsin was the safest of the six, with Biden leading by 53 per cent and Trump claiming 45 per cent of support.
North Carolina was the narrowest of the six, with Biden generating a wafer-thin 49 per cent of support, and 47 per cent backing Trump.
Across all six the average was 50 per cent for Biden, and 46 per cent for Trump.
The Trumps’ home state of Florida was another incredibly close race, with the poll showing Biden leading by 51 per cent, while President Trump had 48 per cent of the support.
However Melania didn’t let that stop her from showing her support for her husband with an in-person trip to her local polling station at the Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center, which is located just ten minutes’ drive from President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago golf club.
The President and his wife made the decision in late 2019 to change their official home state from Manhattan to Palm Beach, with the New York Times first reporting the news on October 31.
Home: The First Couple became official residents of the state of Florida in late 2019, when they both filed paperwork to make Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort their main domicile
Team: Melania was flanked by several Secret Service agents as she exited the polling station, having spent just a matter of minutes inside casting her vote
Helping hand: The mother-of-one was escorted out of the polling station by Wendy Sartory Link, the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections
Sunny days ahead? Melania took full advantage of the balmy Palm Beach weather with her summery ensemble, which she accessorized with a Hermes Kelly bag, worth around $17,000
Trump, who was born in Queens, New York, then confirmed the news later that day, citing ‘bad treatment by the political leaders of both the city and the state’ as the reason for his move.
‘I hated having to make this decision, but in the end it will be best for all concerned,’ he tweeted at the time. ‘As President, I will always be there to help New York and the great people of New York. It will always have a special place in my heart!
‘Despite the fact that I pay millions of dollars in city, state and local taxes each year, I have been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state. Few have been treated worse.’
Melania certainly seemed happy to take advantage of the balmy weather in Palm Beach, making the most of the warm 77 degree temperature by wearing a summery ensemble that included her silk Gucci dress, which she accessorized with nude pointed-toe Christian Louboutin heels, and a pair of tortoiseshell shades.
She completed the elegant look with a canvas-and-leather Hermes Kelly bag, which is likely to be worth around $17,000.
Melania’s trip to the Palm Beach polling station came just hours after she tore into Biden in a speech at her final solo rally in North Carolina, calling the former Vice-President a ‘career politician’ who ‘apologizes for American greatness’ and is a proponent of the radical left’s agenda.
Hotly contested: The final pre-election poll showed that Biden leading in Florida by 51 per cent, while President Trump had 48 per cent of the support
On her way: It is thought that Melania will return to Washington, D.C. today in order to join her husband as they await the first results of the election
Nail biter: Florida polls – except those in the Panhandle, which is on Central Time – will close at 7PM EST and the first exit polls are expected soon after the Panhandle closes at 8PM EST
Hoping to hold on: Trump claimed victory in Florida in 2016, however this year’s election results are expected to be closer than ever
The First Lady stood out in a $5,990 tan leather peplum jacket by Ralph Lauren as she addressed the crowd at the ‘Make America Great Again’ rally held at Magnolia Woods in Huntersville, a suburb of Charlotte.
‘When rioters and looters were burning our cities and wrecking small businesses that belong to hard working families and bring jobs to our communities, where were the Democrats?’ she asked the crowd.
‘Why should we trust Joe Biden when he suggests he can do a better job? All you have to do is look back on his 47 years in political life to determine whether you think he is suddenly capable of putting the American people first.’
Melania insisted that, in contrast, her husband has spent the past three and a half years fighting for the American people.
She told the crowd: ”Today, we have a President who upholds and defends our justice system. We can vote to keep that a reality or people can choose a candidate who is willing to pack the Supreme Court to protect a radical leftist agenda.
‘We can vote for a President who protects our communities and our law enforcement or a politician who will defund them. My husband is a President who takes care of our veterans, rebuilt our military, and has kept us out of new wars.’
The First Lady added that ‘healthcare for every citizen remains a priority’ for Trump.
Melania went on to accuse Democrats of attempting ‘to make COVID-19 the most politically charged, polarizing, and divisive topic of the last decade.’
‘Instead of working with our Administration to unify and protect our nation, they only sought to attack us,’ she said. ‘With very little information, they created their own narrative and stoked fear. It was not only dishonest — it was a disservice to the very people they claim to keep informed.
All smiles: Melania’s trip to the polls came just hours after she campaigned for her husband in Huntersville, North Carolina, on Monday night
Outfit of the day: The First Lady donned a $5,990 leather jacket by Ralph Lauren for the ‘Make America Great Again’ rally at Magnolia Woods
‘President Trump is moving this country forward,’ she said. ‘Under his leadership, our nation continues developing safer procedures and practices so that children can get back in the classroom.
‘Restaurants and businesses are reopening safely and people are earning an income again. This President is focused not only on destroying the virus, but creating ways for people to safely start gathering with friends again,’ she added. ‘This is about mental health as much as it is about physical wellbeing.’
COVID-19 cases have been rising rapidly in nearly every state in the days leading up to the election as the death toll continues to climb.
There have been more than 9.33 million coronavirus cases reported since the start of the pandemic and over 231,000 deaths.
Melania accused Biden of trying to scare the American people and shut down the country again.
‘Joe Biden predicts a dark winter. His solution is to shut things down, to scare the people of our country and hurt our economy and our jobs,’ she said. ‘That is not leadership. That is trying to scare people for votes. My husband sees something different.’
Melania blamed the media for ‘open disdain and hostility’ towards Trump supporters, claiming it has led them to be afraid to wear Trump clothing or put up Trump signs.
‘People expressing their right to free speech, including our youth, have been harassed for wearing Trump clothing,’ she said. ‘Because of acts of intolerance and even violence, honest and hardworking Americans are sometimes afraid to put Trump signs in their yards.
‘Members of our White House staff have been thrown out of restaurants just for serving their country. Even big tech companies are now politically censoring us. All this from the supposedly tolerant left. But like my husband, we cannot and we will not give up.’
The look: Melania paired the trench-coat style jacket with a matching suede skirt and heels
Beaming: Melania had a bright smile on her face as she stepped on stage at the rally
‘We’ve had three and a half years of winning. Let’s have another four,’ she said as she ended her speech.
On Saturday, Melania urged Americans to ‘practice safe, responsible behaviors’ during the upcoming holiday season as she barnstormed the Midwest for her husband’s reelection campaign.
The First Lady made the remarks during a speech delivered to a crowd of supporters at Kingsheart Farm in West Bend, Wisconsin.
Almost all of FLOTUS’ fans appeared to have heeded her advice and were seen wearing face masks as they packed close together and listened to her address.
‘For families participating in Halloween festivities this year, I encourage you to visit the CDC website to read the latest safety guidelines,’ Melania stated.
‘As we approach the holiday season, we must all do our part to ensure we practice responsible, safe behaviors.’
The First Lady’s comments came as America recorded its highest daily number of coronavirus infections since the pandemic began. On Friday, more than 99,000 people tested positive for the virus in just 24 hours.
Melania then turned her attention towards the Democrats, blasting left-wing politicians for questioning the safety and efficacy of a vaccine that could be released under the Trump Administration.
‘Shame on anyone who casts doubt on the potential effectiveness of a vaccine just because it would come under my husband’s leadership,’ FLOTUS fumed.
‘The success of a vaccine will save millions of lives and we should all work towards that together as one nation.’
The glamorous First Lady — who bundled up against the Midwest autumnal chill in a long, dark coat — also ripped into congressional Democrats, accusing them of ‘selfishly’ holding up financial aid for needy Americans.
‘This Administration has worked tirelessly to support families and people struggling financially during this pandemic while Democrats in Congress refuse to sign another stimulus package,’ she raged.
Campaigning: Melania has implored Americans to ‘practice safe, responsible behaviors’ during the upcoming holiday season while in West Bend, Wisconsin, on Saturday
Happy to be there: FLOTUS appeared in high spirits as she delivered a speech to hundreds of supporters at Kingsheart Farm
Covered: Almost all the attendees wore masks as they crowded into a semi-open barn to listen to the speech
‘Such selfish, politically corrupt decisions are what separate the swamp politicians from President Trump and his Administration.’
However, she saved her most pointed attacks for her husband’s presidential rival, accusing Biden of ‘hiding in his basement’ and claiming he would send the country back into lockdown.
‘Joe Biden said this will be a dark winter. That is not the statement of a leader. He wants to make us hide in fear in our basements rather than work bravely within our communities to find lasting solutions. His solution is to move backwards and to shut things down,’ the First Lady stated.
‘Joe Biden says he could do a better job leading our great nation. Apparently when you hide in a basement, you feel safe communicating your wishful thinking.’
Melania painted President Trump in contrast, saying her husband was interested in opening up the economy and looking toward the future.
‘We now have careful safety measures in place in every city and state. These safety measures allow our children to get back in the classroom. This President is focused on not just destroying the virus, but creating ways for people to safely start gathering with friends again. This is about mental health as much as it is about the physical well-being of people.’
The First Lady has only just returned to the campaign trail following her coronavirus diagnosis.
She appeared on stage with Donald in Florida and North Carolina on Thursday, and then headed to Pennsylvania on a last-minute blitz of several must-win swing states.
Trump won both Wisconsin and Pennsylvania in 2016, becoming the first Republican presidential candidate in more than 20 years to win the two states, effectively destroying the Democrats’ ‘blue wall.’
However, Melania has stepped up her push to help her husband secure four more years in the White House, with polls showing Biden ahead in both those states.
According to a RealClearPolitics , Biden leads by an average of four points in Pennsylvania and by six points in Wisconsin.
Trump closes the gap even further: Biden hangs on to a slim lead in six swing states Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in final poll heading into election day
Joe Biden holds a narrow lead over Donald Trump in six vital states, according to a poll released on Monday by CNBC/Change Research.
In Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – all of which Trump won in 2016 – Biden has the edge.
However, it shows the race as still being hotly contested, with the result hanging in the balance.
Wisconsin is the safest of the six, with Biden leading by 53 per cent and Trump claiming 45 per cent of support.
North Carolina is the narrowest of the six, with Biden generating a wafer-thin 49 per cent of support, and 47 per cent backing Trump.
Across all six the average is 50 per cent for Biden, and 46 per cent for Trump.
In Florida, 51 per cent of respondents said they were voting for Biden, versus 48 per cent for Trump; in Arizona, 50 per cent backed Biden, and 47 per cent Trump.
In Michigan, Biden was winning the support of 51 per cent of voters, while Trump had 44 per cent.
And in Pennsylvania, where a fight over the counting of ballots went all the way to the Supreme Court, Biden won 50 per cent, versus 46 per cent for Trump.
The swing-state poll surveyed 3,328 people from Thursday to Sunday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.7 percentage points.
The survey showed a remarkable level of early voting.
Of those questioned, 68 per cent said they had already cast their ballot, either by mail or from voting early.
In Arizona, 85 per cent of respondents said they already voted, while 82 per cent in Florida and 81 per cent in North Carolina said the same.
Sixty three per cent of Wisconsin respondents and 57 per cent of Michigan voters said they had cast ballots.
The lowest level of early voting was in Pennsylvania, where only 40 per cent said they had voted.
The state is warning that their results may not be known for several days, and on Monday the governor, Tom Wolf, a Democrat, told voters in his state to have patience.
‘These are unprecedented times. Because of the coronavirus, there were millions of votes cast by mail so it may take longer than usual to count every vote,’ he says in a new ad for the nonpartisan group, The Voter Project.
‘The folks in our election offices – your neighbors, family and friends are working hard ensuring every single vote is counted.’
Meanwhile, the battleground-state poll shows Democrats leading close races for three pivotal Senate seats.
Republicans currently have a 53-47 majority, which is under threat, with strong challenges being posed in Arizona, Michigan and North Carolina.
In Arizona, Mark Kelly, a former astronaut and the husband of former congresswoman Gabriella Giffords, shot in the head at a rally, leads Republican Senator Martha McSally by a 51 per cent to 47 per cent margin.
Michigan’s Democratic Senator Gary Peters holds a 51 per cent to 46 per cent edge over John James, a Republican army veteran and businessman.
And in North Carolina, Democratic former state Senator Cal Cunningham leads Republican Senator Thom Tillis by a 50 per cent to 46 per cent margin.
Cunningham’s campaign was marked by revelations of him cheating on his wife with a married woman in California, and yet his lead over Tillis – who contracted COVID-19 after the White House ‘super spreader’ event in the Rose Garden – has remained consistent.
Coronavirus has strongly influenced the thinking in the six swing states.
Fifty four per cent of respondents in the states disapproved of his handling of the pandemic, with 46 per cent approving.
Almost the same amount – 53 per cent – said they prefer Biden and the Democrats to handle coronavirus, versus 47 per cent who chose Trump and Republicans.
Trump, 74, performed better on the economy, with 51 per cent of the swing state voters approving his handling of the nation’s finances.
Asked to name their three top issues, 48 per cent chose the economy, jobs and cost of living; 41 per cent said COVID-19; and 34 per cent said political corruption.