With just 43 days before the election, President Trump has been hitting the campaign trail while his opponent appears absent from the important battlegrounds.
President Trump had two campaign stops in Ohio Monday, a state that Biden has largely been absent from since his nomination. The events, the “Great American Comeback” in Swanton, and “Remarks on Fighting for the American Worker,” showcase just how valuable the state is to the Trump Campaign.
Biden has taken a more virtual approach to campaigning in the state, with the former vice president releasing a statement about Trump’s visit to Ohio. The statement accused the president of failing Ohio, and of breaking promises to the Buckeye State. Biden launched an ad campaign targeting Ohioans last month and has held several virtual events over the past few months; However, unless his plans change in the next few days, Biden’s first visit to the state since March will be to take part in the first presidential debate on September 29th.
In July, Forbes reported that the former Vice President wouldn’t be holding events, largely due to the coronavirus. In August, Biden’s absence was noted by several press outlets, with U.S. News and World Report stating that “Biden’s visual absence from the campaign trail – driven by concerns about the coronavirus – deprives the candidate of perhaps his best asset: connecting with voters who tell him their troubles or share struggles similar to Biden’s own.”
The former Vice President seems to be walking back his commitment to not campaign in person during the pandemic, after making his first campaign stop in Wisconsin on Friday. The LA Times has noted that the usually blue state has become a battleground, with President Trump campaigning hard with rural voters. Fears of Trump taking the state he narrowly lost in 2016 and the start of early voting likely spurred Biden into action.
Even with a return to in-person events, the Biden Campaign is still relying heavily on virtual events. Over the next week, the Biden campaign has several virtual events planned, including a prayer group and a volunteer choir event, where attendees can sing along with a remix of the O’jays famous song “Love Train” to show support for the presidential hopeful.
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Ben Kolodny is a reporter for The Ohio Star and the Star News Network. Follow Ben on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]