Biden and Harris campaign in Philadelphia focusing on black voters

PHILADELPHIA – For the first time this year in Pennsylvania, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will attend a campaign event together in the battleground state’s largest city. A joint appearance at Girard College to announce the launch of the Black Voters for Biden-Harris program highlights the importance of Black voters to the Biden-Harris campaign, a key voting bloc that helped win the Pennsylvania seat in 2020.

“We will continue to be aggressive, innovative and thorough in our work to win the support of the same voters that sent Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House in 2020, and we will do it again in 2024.” – Biden-Harris 2024 director Deputy campaign manager Quentin Fulks said in a Wednesday statement announcing the launch.

Biden and Harris will be joined at the event by Black leaders including Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV), Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis and Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker.

Following his speech at Girard College, Biden will attend a compact business event hosted by the Black Chamber of Commerce at a local Black-owned compact business. The campaign will also host a voter registration phone bank with U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and others after the event.

The support of Black voters has been key to winning the Democratic presidential ticket for decades.

In 2020 Pennsylvania exit poll shows that 92% of black voters supported Biden’s candidacy, and 7% voted for former President Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party in 2024. However, results of recent polls that Biden doesn’t seem to be reaching the same level support this cycle, potentially jeopardizing his re-election bid in Pennsylvania and beyond.

To that end, the campaign refocused on courting black voters. Harris gave keynote speech last week at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) convention in Philadelphia, when the group elected its first black woman president.

Vice President Harris continues to focus Biden campaign on courting union voters during visit to Philadelphia

Earlier this month, Biden delivered the commencement address at Morehouse College in Georgia, a historically black college. He pledged to continue supporting HBCUs, boasting that during his administration, federal funding for HBCUs has exceeded $16 billion.

And both Biden AND asset the campaign ran ads focusing on black voters in battleground states, including Pennsylvania. The Biden-Harris campaign already launched ads last fall in swing states focused on black voters as part of a $25 million campaign in key battleground states. One spot, titled “Get Ahead,” touted how the Biden-Harris administration has “made justice a cornerstone of its administration’s policy agenda.”

State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (Philadelphia) serves on the Biden-Harris National Advisory Council and campaigned for the seat throughout Pennsylvania, as well as in South Carolina and Wisconsin.

“The president’s consistent actions have been to treat people with respect, not to tell them they have to vote, but to make arguments as to why they can vote,” Kenyatta told the Capital-Star. “I am absolutely confident that he and the vice president are more than capable of doing this and that we will succeed in large part because this president has a track record of success and Donald Trump has only a track record of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.”

Biden last appeared in Philadelphia at the end of a weeklong visit to three Pennsylvania cities in April, ahead of the state’s primary. He received the support of several members of the Kennedy family at the Dr. Recreation Center Martin Luther King Jr. in North Philadelphia. During that visit, he mentioned sitting behind a resolute desk and having busts of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., saying he thought about what they would do in arduous situations.

During his first visit to Pittsburgh in 2024, Biden focused on unions and steel

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day Biden was a volunteer at the Philabundance food bank in Philadelphia along with Mayor Cherelle Parker, visited the city over the holidays for the third time since winning the 2020 presidential election. Also this year, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, several elected officials in Pennsylvania, including Gov. Josh Shapiro and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, there were Girard College present for what is referred to as the country’s largest Day of Service an event commemorating the king’s legacy.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, who helped fuel this campaign Biden will lead the Palmetto State’s 2020 primaryhas he campaigned for the Biden-Harris ticket in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in an attempt to raise support among black voters. Clyburn is widely credited with helping Biden win the 2020 Democratic nomination because the influential congressman was an early supporter of Biden’s campaign.

Wednesday is Biden’s eighth visit to Pennsylvania this cycle. This is Harris’ fifth visit to the state in 2024, with four of them in the Southeast.

In 2024, Trump has made three visits to Pennsylvania so far, performing in Philadelphia once to announce a up-to-date line of Trump-branded sneakers. Although Trump has not visited the Keystone State since his visit April rally in the Lehigh ValleyHe gathered supporters in Wildwood, New Jersey earlier this month before an audience attended by many Pennsylvanians.

The the latest election programs Trump with a slight advantage Biden and U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) holding: narrow advantage Republican challenger David McCormick.

Multiple national ratings points including Cook Political Reportthey rate the Pennsylvania presidential race as a “toss.” The 19 electoral votes on the line make it the largest swing state in this category in the 2024 cycle.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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