President Donald Trump exhorts supporters in Greenville ahead of televised town hall

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- President Donald Trump knows North Carolina is a state he must win.

On Thursday, he sounded the alarm to his base, saying they must vote.

"The radical will confiscate your guns, destroy suburbs," Trump told an energetic crowd at Pitt-Greenville Airport.

At times, the large group chanted, "We love you."



Many wore masks, but some did not despite North Carolina's record surge Thursday in new COVID-19 cases.

On Thursday, ABC11 met Sarah Carlson and David Beach just before going inside for the event.

The couple said they drove two hours from Brunswick County to see Trump in Greenville.

"We just had to come and see," Beach said.

"We love it. We love him. This is exciting," Carlson added.

READ MORE: Some wait hours to vote early in North Carolina

Updated polling by the ABC-owned website FiveThirtyEight shows that nationally, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has 53% of the popular vote while Trump has 45%. This polling also favors Biden to win the electoral vote.

"Joe Biden and the Democrat socialists will kill your jobs," Trump said. "They've killed jobs, dismantled your police department, and dissolving your borders, releasing criminal aliens and raising your taxes by four times."

A handful of protesters demonstrated outside the airport.

"Trump 2020, you're fired," said Heather Daggett, one of the protesters.



At times, they clashed with supporters of the president who were going to the rally.

"After we're done here, we're going to vote," said Michelle Pettijohn, another protester. "I will stand there as long as I need to to vote him out."

After leaving North Carolina, the president was headed to Miami for a town hall discussion. Biden, meanwhile, will hold a similar town hall in Phildelphia.

The two were originally slated to meet face-to-face Thursday for a town hall-style debate in Miami, but the president rejected that after debate organizers shifted the format to a virtual event following Trump's coronavirus diagnosis.

Vice President Mike Pence will be campaigning in Johnston County on Friday.
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