'No do-overs’: Jill Biden stops in Tallahassee to rally ‘Souls to the Polls’

The event was the first of a three-city tour for Jill Biden on Sunday, the final day of early voting in Florida.
Former Second Lady Jill Biden tries to rally supporters in front of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee on Sunday, the final day of early voting in Florida.
Former Second Lady Jill Biden tries to rally supporters in front of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee on Sunday, the final day of early voting in Florida. [ LAWRENCE MOWER | Lawrence Mower ]
Published Nov. 1, 2020

TALLAHASSEE — Former Second Lady Jill Biden and the family of George Floyd stopped in Tallahassee on Sunday to rally support among Black Floridians on the final day of early voting in Florida.

Speaking to hundreds of Democratic supports on the footsteps of the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, near Florida’s Capitol, Biden encouraged a last-minute turnout for her husband, former Vice President Joe Biden.

“This is it. There are no do-overs,” Biden said. “If we win here, there is no stopping us.”

The stop was the first of a three-city Florida swing on Sunday for Biden, whose husband was spending Sunday in the other crucial swing state of Pennsylvania. After Tallahassee, Jill Biden was scheduled to stop in Orlando before hosting a drive-in rally in Tampa at Hillsborough Community College at 5 p.m.

Biden was joined by Tallahassee civil rights attorney Ben Crump and relatives of George Floyd, 46, who suffocated to death after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes.

“My brother’s life, my brother’s blood, is on the ballot,” Bridget Floyd said.

Biden spoke of the racial injustice and moving on from the “chaos” of the last four years under President Donald Trump.

“Our hearts are broken for every life taken too soon, and that’s especially true for the Floyd family,” she said, turning to Floyd’s brother and sister. “Joe and I often think about your family and the time we’ve been able to spend with you.”

Afterward, about 200 supporters marched to an early voting site about half a mile away.

Souls to the Polls, typically held on Sundays, are crucial for Democrats in Florida for generating significant turnout among Black Floridians. Democrats' turnout advantage over Republicans has shriveled with nearly each day of early voting. By Sunday, two days before Election Day, that lead over Republicans was less than 100,000 voters, according to Democratic statistician Matt Isbell.

“I’m pretty confident that Souls to the Polls should generate some good African-American turnout across the state,” Isbell said.

But he said he was less concerned with turnout among Black voters, who tend to vote closer to Election Day, than he was Hispanic voters, particularly in Miami-Dade.

“They’ve got to get that Hispanic Democratic turnout down there on Election Day,” he said. “Otherwise there’s going to be pain down there for them.”

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