Trump thinks he can peel voters away from Biden in Democratic-heavy Philadelphia. Here's how he plans to do it.

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally in Pennsylvania.Jeff Swensen/Getty Images
  • Trump on Saturday is headlining a rally at Temple University in deep blue Philadelphia.

  • The former president hopes to make inroads with Biden's base of Black voters.

  • Trump has focused his campaign message on the economy. But Biden retains deep ties to the city.

For former President Donald Trump, few states anchor his potential path back to the White House more than Pennsylvania.

The former president lost the Keystone State to Biden by 1% in the 2020 election after narrowly winning the state over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016.

And a huge part of why Biden won in 2020 was his strong margins in the Philadelphia area — the city and its affluent suburbs — which offset the substantial edge Trump enjoyed.

But Biden has struggled over the past year to reactivate the liberal-leaning coalition that sent him to the White House four years ago. Support among Black and Hispanic voters is particularly shaky.

It's part of why Trump will speak at Temple University on Saturday in Philadelphia. He hopes to woo voters who may not have considered him in the past and may be up for grabs in November. He'll also be joined by Pennsylvania GOP Senate nominee David McCormick, who'll face veteran Democratic Sen. Bob Casey Jr. in the fall.

Here's a look at how Trump is looking to win over these voters and the deep challenges that he faces in doing so.

It's all about the economy…

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate has sat at 3.4% for eight consecutive months as of May 2024, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.

That's below the current US unemployment rate of 4%.

But similar to most national polls, Trump leads Biden on the question of which candidate would better handle the economy. In the most recent New York Times/Philadelphia Inquirer/Siena College poll conducted in late April and early May, Trump had a 12-point advantage over Biden on the issue among registered voters. And only 21% of respondents said the US economy was "good" or "excellent," while 78% described it as "fair" or "poor."

Trump is banking that many Democratic-leaning voters, who rate inflation and elevated housing costs as major concerns, could give him a lift in Philadelphia — a city where voters gave 81% of their votes to Biden in 2020.

In 2020, Biden won Pennsylvania by roughly 80,000 votes out of more than 6.9 million ballots cast. And over 604,000 of those ballots cast for Biden came from Philadelphia voters. So any small movement toward Trump, especially among Biden's base of Black support in the city, could have dramatic implications for the statewide results.

… but Biden's Philly ties run deep

There's perhaps no city outside of Delaware that Biden loves to visit more than Philadelphia.

He's lavished attention on the City of Brotherly Love — paying particularly close attention to its Black voters and union workers — before and during his presidency. As a US Senator from Delaware who resided in Wilmington, he was only miles away from Pennsylvania's largest city.

So he has a natural relationship with many elected Democrats and union leaders. He can easily find himself among receptive audiences in the city's numerous Black churches, where a loyal base of older Black voters are overwhelmingly supporting his bid for a second term.

Biden has stumbled with younger Black voters over issues like the conflict in Gaza and student-loan debt relief. And many young voters overall are largely unaware of his work on climate issues. But it would take a huge electoral shift — which can often take several cycles to come to fruition — for Biden to be seriously in danger of losing a large chunk of his Philadelphia base.

So far, many down-ballot Senate Democratic candidates like Casey are outperforming their GOP challengers in critical races across the country. It's something that the Trump campaign is surely noticing as they look to flip Pennsylvania.

Right now, the statewide race is incredibly tight. And Philadelphia is poised to once again have its say in the outcome.

Read the original article on Business Insider