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President Joe Biden embarks upon another trip to eastern Pennsylvania tomorrow. He visits Allentown, where he will argue an economic case for his continued presidency to the American people. Biden is beginning the 2024 election cycle by touting his “Investing in America” agenda and what the White House has itself come to refer to as “Bidenomics.”
The president is expected to discuss how signature legislation he signed — including the American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act — has “ushered in a small business boom, created good-paying jobs with rising wages, strengthened local economies, and lowered costs for hardworking families,” as per a White House statement.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is being used to repair roads and build bridges around the country. Democrats hope that voters in electorally important states such as Pennsylvania will see the benefits from an influx of federal cash spent to create jobs, and that will translate to votes. Philadelphia has already been allocated around $350 million in grant funding, according to city officials, which is going to the repair of city streets, sidewalks, and intersections; airport improvements; upgrades to water, sewer, and stormwater services; and clean energy projects.
Key projects include an effort to rehabilitate the Martin Luther King Drive Bridge, accessibility and safety enhancements around six schools in North Philadelphia, safety improvements along 12 miles of Roosevelt Boulevard from North Broad Street to the Bucks County line, and an effort to reconnect Chinatown neighborhoods by capping the Vine Street Expressway between Broad Street and 8th Street where officials also hope to incentivize mixed-use development.
The strategy may just be starting to see some results. A fresh new poll from Quinnipiac University shows Biden with his biggest lead over the current top Republican nominee in the Keystone State. If the election were held today, Biden would win 49% of the vote beating Donald Trump’s 46%, according to the poll. This is a significant change from an October Quinnipiac poll which showed Trump with a 2% lead, claiming 47% of the vote compared to 45% for Biden.
However, Quinnipiac said the numbers indicate a race that is still “too close to call.” That may partly be because both candidates are underwater in favorability among Pa. voters. About 55% of those surveyed hold an unfavorable view of Biden, with 58% holding such a view of Trump.
Friday’s Allentown visit will mark Biden’s 21st visit to Pennsylvania, a testament to the importance of the Keystone State’s place on the election map with its 20 electoral votes. In 2020 Biden took the state with just over one percentage point and won the presidency. Trump edged out against Hillary Clinton in 2016 by three-quarters of a percentage point.
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