While Mr Trump was showing a brave face, the fact that he was fighting for the two southern states he won four years ago showed how much ground he has to catch up in the 18 days leading up to the election against Mr Biden.
Mr Trump is fully focused on his core Republican base in the hope that high-energy supporters will emerge in large numbers.
In Ocala, Florida, the coronavirus was an afterthought.
Instead, Mr. Trump tossed the large, loudly cheering amount of red meat on immigration, race and his conspiracy theory that Mr. Biden is steeped in corruption.
The President spiced up his speech with blatant exaggerations and claimed that the “Biden family is a criminal enterprise”.
He said Democrats “have nothing but contempt for your values” and “want to turn America into a communist country” – a replication of his successful 2016 message, based on white working class resentment.
“It’s time we sent a message to these rich liberal hypocrites,” he told the cheering crowd in Macon, Georgia Friday night.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks in Michigan.
Mr Trump also responded to racially motivated comments on Latin American migrants, saying Democrats would “flood their communities with illegal aliens, drugs and crime”.
And he hit one of his most outspoken critics, Somali-American Democratic Congressman Ilhan Omar, and said, “She hates our country” and “comes from a place where there isn’t even a government.”
Mr Trump had even more poison for journalists whom he called “the enemy of the people”.
Joe Biden Reformed Pandemic
Meanwhile, Mr Biden was campaigning in Michigan, dealing with Mr Trump’s handling of the coronavirus – the biggest problem in his campaign.
“He keeps telling us that this virus will go away like a miracle,” Biden said in Southfield.
“Sir! It’s not going away, in fact it’s on the rise again, it’s getting worse as predicted, ”Biden said.
He also touched on another area where Mr Trump has regularly been the subject of controversy – his often poor responses when asked to condemn far-right groups and white supremacists.
He said Mr. Trump’s comments were a “dog whistle” for such groups. “Look, everyone knows who Donald Trump is. Let’s show them who we are, ”said Biden at a car rally in Detroit.
“We choose hope over fairness, unity over division, science over fiction, and yes, truth over lies.”
However, Jen O’Malley Dillon, manager of the Biden campaign, warned Democrats to be cautious, saying national polls are particularly misleading.
“We’re not two-digit ahead,” she said. “These are inflated national public election numbers.”
Mr Biden will get help from Democratic superstar Barack Obama on Wednesday as the former president fights in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
As the election clouds darken for Mr Trump, prominent members of his own Republican party – including Senator Ben Sasse from Nebraska and Senator Ted Cruz from Texas – are sounding the alarm.
Senator Sasse said on a constituency phone call received this week from the Washington Examiner that defeat was “likely” for Mr. Trump and that Republicans could potentially lose the Senate as well.
He also had harsh words for Mr. Trump for being “TV-obsessed”, “narcissistic” and allowing his family to “treat the presidency like a business opportunity”.
But Senator Lindsey Graham, a key Republican ally for Mr Trump, said voters would weigh the pros and cons of the two parties instead of focusing on Mr Trump’s bloody personality.
“I think it’s getting better for us every day,” he said.
Mr Trump and Mr Biden will hold a closing debate next Thursday.
One was slated to hold one this Thursday, but Mr Trump resigned after it was turned into a virtual debate following his COVID-19 diagnosis. Instead, the candidates held rival town hall events.
Mr. Trump, a former reality television star, won’t be happy with the ratings: 14.1 million tuned in to Mr. Biden’s event, while 13.5 million watched the president, according to Nielsen ratings data.
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