July 15, 2024
Biden, Trump Indicate Virginia Back in Play as Battleground State

Biden, Trump Indicate Virginia Back in Play as Battleground State

(Sarah Roderick-Fitch, The Center Square) If there were any doubts that Virginia is returning to its status as a key battleground state in the upcoming presidential elections, visits by First Lady Jill Biden and former President Donald Trump would indicate confirmation.

Biden is scheduled to greet campaign volunteers in Virginia Beach on Thursday, hours before the president and former president will square off in their first presidential debate. Trump on Friday comes from Atlanta to a 3 p.m. rally in Chesapeake.

In January, the president and Vice President Kamala Harris essentially chose Virginia to kick off their bid for reelection by holding a joint event in Manassas with a focus on abortion.

In recent weeks, Trump has signaled Virginia is very much in play between visits and new campaign investments.

The most significant piece of evidence is that the Trump campaign is zeroing in on the commonwealth with plans to open 11 field offices, as reported by CBS News.

Earlier in the month, Trump met with Virginia’s Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin during a closed-door meeting at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling to strategize how to win in the commonwealth. At the time, Youngkin told ABC 13 News Now that the commonwealth appears “competitive” in the presidential race.

“There’s a lot of interest in how this election is going to go,” Youngkin said. “So our political teams have been coordinating on how best to do that and we had to sit down and talk about it and we talked about Virginia and, and how I was able to win my election in 2021. And the lessons learned.”

Youngkin is expected to appear with Trump at the Friday rally. The governor did not attend a March rally by the Trump campaign in Richmond.

A May poll by Roanoke College shows Trump and Biden are neck-and-neck in the commonwealth, despite Biden beating Trump by over 10% in the 2020 election and Hillary Clinton handily winning Virginia in 2016.

The commonwealth has not gone for a GOP presidential candidate in 20 years, when former President George W. Bush was up for reelection.


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