President Donald Trump officially kicked off his re-election bid Tuesday with a raucous rally in Florida — a perennial swing state which he won by a narrow 1.2% margin in 2016.
Vice President Mike Pence introduced Trump, saying Democrats offer “socialism.”
“But it was freedom, not socialism that ended slavery [and] won two wars,” Pence said of the Civil War and the two world wars, the second of which the United States fought alongside the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The president took the stage alongside First Lady Melania Trump, who thanked the attendees for being there. It had rained heavily outside the venue.
Trump claimed during his second term Americans will cure cancer, eradicate AIDS and lay the groundwork for putting American astronauts on Mars at one point during his rally.
The president begins his re-election campaign with his approval rating well underwater.
Morning Consult found Trump with an approval rating equal to his disapproval rating in Florida, higher than his national approval rating which on average sees roughly 10% more Americans disapprove than approve of his job as president.
In matchups with the Democratic front-runner, Joe Biden, Trump has not been ahead of the former vice president in a single poll taken during his presidency. A Quinnipiac poll released last week found Biden leading Trump by 13% nationally, and a poll it released Tuesday found Biden with a 9% lead in Florida.
Winning the presidency does not require winning the national popular vote — which Trump did not do in 2016 — it requires winning a majority in the electoral college, which he did.
Biden leads Trump in polls by at least 6% in each state key to Trump's 2016 win, and Trump’s own campaign data found him in a close race with Biden in Texas, leading him by only 2% in a state every Republican presidential nominee has won since 1980.
The 2020 presidential election is still hundreds of days away though, and voters could change their minds in the interim.