Why will Donald Trump come to North Philadelphia for his first-ever rally in the city?

Former President Donald Trump will hold his first-ever rally on Saturday at Temple University in Philadelphia.

The Republican presidential candidate is expected to speak at Liacouras Center on Temple’s campus in North Philadelphia at 7 p.m. Doors open at 3 p.m. Protesters are expected.

Temple University’s square footage and precincts within a half-mile radius showed surprisingly low support for Trump in both 2016 and 2020, so it seems strange that he would pay him a visit. Philadelphia’s electorate as a whole is overwhelmingly blue. However, polls show Trump and President Joe Biden running neck-and-neck in Pennsylvania, and both candidates are expected to make recurrent visits to Pennsylvania between now and November.

Why is Donald Trump coming to Temple?

Pennsylvania is a critical state where every vote counts. Trump won the state in 2016 by just less than 1 percentage point, then lost to Biden in 2020 by just over 1 percentage point.

Biden will rely on maintaining or increasing support in Philadelphia and its suburbs, given the high concentration of Democratic voters in the region compared to the rest of the state. Or even a slight enhance in support for Trump in the Philadelphia area could lend a hand tip the scales in his favor.

” READ MORE: Trump continues to lie about winning Pa. in 2020. Still wrong.

The Trump campaign is also trying to capitalize on polls that show this his support among young and non-white voters maybe it got stronger — or at least that support for Biden among these groups has waned. According to 2020 census data, the population within a half-mile radius of Temple’s campus is 73% non-white, which is higher than the citywide non-white population of 66%.

Both Trump and Biden have made recent efforts to connect with Black voters in Philadelphia. Although Biden is still favored to win a large majority of the vote in Philadelphia and among the city’s black voters, even a small increase in support for Trump could make a difference in a difficult statewide situation race. Trump and his surrogates have tried to make a presence in Philadelphia this year, with Trump’s February visit to Sneaker Con and a “cigars and cognac” event this month hosted by U.S. Reps. Byron Donalds (R., Fla.) and Wesley Hunt (R., R.). ). ., Texas). The cigar event attracted national attention and backlash due to Donalds’ comments about black voters.

“President Trump is winning over historically Democratic voters, including Black Americans and Latinos, because he is unafraid to take his message to deep blue areas, as evidenced by this trip to Philadelphia and recent visits to Detroit, Harlem and the Bronx,” he added. Trump campaign spokesman Janiyah Thomas said in a statement.

” READ MORE: Billionaire-backed conservative Latino initiative comes to Pennsylvania, days after Democrats launch their own campaign

Saturday’s rally is also likely to attract Republicans from outside of Philadelphia. While the Temple rally may draw a different crowd than Trump’s rallies in more rural parts of the state, his supporters are known to travel to meet with him, and he is ultimately trying to reach all voters in Pennsylvania.

One of those traveling supporters will be Republican Senate candidate Dave McCormick, who lives in Pittsburgh and also spends time in Connecticut. McCormick said he would “speak about the leadership needed to get our country back on track.” post at X. The event will be McCormick’s first appearance at Trump rally, his campaign confirmed. Trump endorsed McCormick at an April rally in Lehigh County.

What are people saying about Trump’s arrival at the Temple?

Not surprisingly, Philadelphia politicians have made it clear that Trump will not be warmly welcomed in this predominantly Democratic city.

Mayor Cherelle L. Parker, a Democrat and staunch Biden supporter, said this week that she believed Philadelphians were focused on “preserving our democracy” and that Trump’s visit to the city was a distraction from the agenda she was working on.

“We are focused on getting things done here in our city, and in my opinion, any attention in that direction is a distraction,” she said. “And I have no interest in Philadelphians focusing on distractions.”

Councilmember Jeffery Young Jr., whose district includes the Temple campus, said he plans to show the city that Biden is the best choice for president and will join protesters on Saturday.

“The Fifth Ward is a diverse place where we welcome all perspectives,” the email said. “However, I and other Philadelphians will certainly take to the streets to show our contempt for his policies and politics.”

Temple University Democrats said in an emailed statement that the group did frustrated by “the arrival of the former president and his fascist supporters in our community” and pointed to Trump’s recent criminal conviction.

“Even though many Temple students go home for the summer, we want them to know that they are never welcome here,” group members said. “…And in November, we will show up at the polls again to make sure he is never welcomed into the White House again. We, young people, are the future and we have a lot to say. We will not be silenced. “

However, he will be embraced by Temple College Republicans, who supported him in the presidential election.

“Temple College Republicans are thrilled and grateful that Donald Trump has come to campus for his rally on Saturday,” President Billy Walker wrote in an email. “We thank the University for its commitment to creating an environment of diverse thoughts and opinions. We look forward to meeting President Trump and pray for a peaceful rally.”

” READ MORE: Why some adolescent voters in blue Philadelphia support the former president.

The university said it rents event space to the Trump campaign does not constitute approval, as with any other speaker. According to the university, the facility is managed and operated by an outside company and Temple is not responsible for the costs of the event.

Former President Barack Obama and Biden campaigned for Democrats at the Liacouras Center in 2022

What has the Trump campaign accomplished in Philadelphia this year?

Trump has made numerous stops in Philadelphia over the years, including speaking at the Union League during his 2016 campaign. He also organized a rally in Delco that year. But he has never attended rallies in Philadelphia, which is more likely to host enormous events for his Democratic rivals.

Trump, however, visited Sneaker Con in Philadelphia earlier this year to launch his own sneakers, and a Bucks County fan paid $9,000 for them.

” READ MORE: Meet the ‘degenerate collector’ from Bucks County who paid $9,000 for Trump sneakers and says they’re worth more

During this time, Trump also visited the Philadelphia region twice his recent criminal trial for falsification of commercial documentation in connection with hidden money payments. He was convicted of all 34 crimes.

The weekend before jury selection in April, he held a fundraiser in Bucks County, where he was greeted by hundreds of supporters before heading to a rally in the Lehigh Valley.

During last month’s trial, he held, among others: so in Wildwood.

The Trump campaign opened its first office in the city, in the Holmesburg section of Northeast Philadelphia, earlier this month as part of its “Black Americans for Trump” initiative. Later this push triggered a reaction an additional event organized by his allies just hours after the office opened dominated the news cycle over comments made by Donalds, a black congressman, about the Jim Crow era. Democrats also criticized the events for the lack of black Philadelphians as loudspeakers.

This event came shortly afterwards Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris visited Philadelphia to engage with Black voters.

Writer Anna Orso and graphic editor John Duchneskie contributed to this article.

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