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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Biden, Trump take campaigns next to battleground Georgia

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WASHINGTON, DC—Days after Joe Biden delivered a combative State of the Union message, he and rival Donald Trump were campaigning on the same turf Saturday (Sunday in Manila): the battleground state of Georgia, carried by Biden in 2020 by fewer than 12,000 votes.

The president, hoping to ride the momentum from a feisty and generally well-reviewed speech Thursday, is focusing on the closely divided states like Georgia that may determine the outcome of the November election.

He was to campaign Saturday in Atlanta, which with its large African American population and growing number of Hispanic voters is reliably Democratic.

“The stakes of this election could not be higher for voters of color,” said Biden campaign director Chavez Rodriguez in a statement.

That campaign, gearing up toward November, has just announced a $30 million “buy” of television commercials in the closely divided states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, Nevada and North Carolina.

Trump, meanwhile, is set to address an afternoon rally in Georgia’s far more Republican-leaning northwestern corner as he begins picking up his campaign schedule.

The dueling visits underscore the importance of a state like Georgia, where the candidates’ contrasting styles and clashing policies—on key issues like immigration, inflation and foreign policy—will be on full display.

Georgia was so closely divided in the 2020 election that Trump famously phoned a top state official to ask him to “find” a few thousand extra votes. The former president still faces criminal charges there of working to overturn the state’s election results.

The twin appearances in Georgia come days after Trump nearly swept the key Super Tuesday primaries, forcing out his last Republican rival, Nikki Haley.

Biden dominated in his own parties’ nominating contests. He and Vice President Kamala Harris plan to visit all the battleground states in coming weeks, his campaign said.

Georgia was long reliably Republican but has become more competitive, and Biden won it in 2020 by a scant 0.2 percent margin over Trump.

But recent polls show Trump holding an edge there— as they do in most of the swing states.

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