US election battle shifts to Arizona as candidates descend on border state

US election battle shifts to Arizona as candidates descend on border state

Mike Pence, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris all descended on the Grand Canyon state which is emerging as a key battleground. There were more MAGA caps than masks at Mike Pence’s rally in Phoenix. Even cowboy hats gave masks a run for their money. And social distancing was not in evidence.

“I had a little debate with Kamala Harris…” Mr Pence told the festive crowd. “Some people think we did alright.”

The vice president looked like a cat that got the cream. “You whooped her!” yelled a supporter. It felt a lot like 2016 again, not coronavirus-ravaged 2020.

With the president indisposed, Mr Pence had been dispatched to Arizona as the cavalry. The Grand Canyon state is emerging as a key battleground that could tip the election scales. Traditionally Republican, it is hard to see Donald Trump remaining in office without it. But Joe Biden leads by three points in the polls.

For that reason all roads led to Phoenix on Thursday. Mr Biden, and Kamala Harris, descended for their first joint in-person events since becoming a ticket.