President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden are focusing intensely on Pennsylvania less than 22 days from the 2020 presidential election as many Republican and Democratic strategists believe the battleground state will be the tipping point, according to several news reports.
Trump currently trails Biden in the state in nearly every poll by at least 7 percentage points, just as he trailed Hillary Clinton in 2016 around the same time. But he beat Clinton by fewer than 45,000 votes back then and is banking on a similar outcome, warning that Biden would hurt the state’s fracking industry.
A Politico report points to blue-collar, working-class Luzerne County in northeastern Pennsylvania as essential for Trump to take. The president beat Clinton by 26,000 votes in 2016 in the county, nearly 60 percent of his margin of victory in the state.
But recent New York Times/Siena College polls found that Trump is underperforming in northeastern Pennsylvania compared to 2016.
Former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell thinks Biden won’t beat Trump in Luzerne County, “but he’ll lose it by a lot less than Hillary Did.”
“It’s changed over time. The demographics have changed,” Rendell told Politico. “Trump is popular in Luzerne. But Joe has got some fans in Luzerne.”
Justin Behrens, chair of the Luzerne County Republican Party, told the news outlet voters want someone who will give them jobs and “someone who’s speaking their language. And the Democratic Party is no longer speaking that language. They’ve left them. And now we have a president who is speaking that language.”
Both Trump and Biden have increased their spending in Pennsylvania, according to the Washington Post, and both campaigns see the state as a must-win.
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