Biden takes economic pitch to onetime industrial Pennsylvania hub

US President Joe Biden | Credits: Reuters
US President Joe Biden | Credits: Reuters

United States: On Friday, US President Joe Biden will make his second trip of the year to Pennsylvania, a hotly contested 2024 campaign state, where he will try to pitch programs aimed at revitalizing faded manufacturing areas.

Biden is scheduled to utilize the backdrop of several small businesses in the Lehigh Valley, a former steel and industrial hub, to argue that middle-class entrepreneurs and workers are thriving, inflation is declining, and the 81-year-old Democrat deserves a second term.

Heavy manufacturing in the so-called Rust Belt began to decline in the 1970s, hollowing out once-thriving American communities as growing prices and global trade drove companies away. Allentown’s unemployment rate is now about 3.9%, close to a 20-year low.

Biden’s Dual Campaign Strategy

Biden is combining a bread-and-butter argument on decreasing consumer inflation and low unemployment, aimed at the plurality of voters who say the economy is their top worry, with the case that Republican Donald Trump‘s authoritarian impulses pose a threat to American democracy. The latter 2024 election pitch was the focus of his most recent trip to Pennsylvania, which occurred last Friday, according to a report by Reuters.

Challenges and poll numbers

Biden has struggled so far to make either message resonate with voters. Polls show Biden in a tight fight with Trump, as many Americans appear dissatisfied with their options.

Pennsylvania – A Must-Win State for Biden

According to the report by Reuters, Biden’s advisors regard Pennsylvania, where he was born in Scranton, as a must-win state. Earlier in 2016, Trump won Pennsylvania with 48% of the votes.

Visual Representation for voting in Pennsylvania | Credits: Reuters

Dueling Strategies 

Biden’s political advisors are gearing up for the general election, seeking to court swing-state voters as Trump remains focused on the ongoing primary campaign in Iowa, which will conduct a Republican caucus on Monday but is not considered to be a close race in November.

Trump, who served as president from 2017 to 2020 and is currently dominating the Republican primary race, has made inflation during the Biden administration a prominent aspect of his re-election campaign.