PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Ninety-nine days until the November election, and there will be plenty of campaigning in the region this week.
It’s just another sign of how important western Pennsylvania is in the battle for the White House.READ MORE: Clifford's Three Touchdown Passes Not Enough For Penn State, Losing 30-27 To Michigan State
First, Vice President Mike Pence announced he was coming to Greensburg on Thursday. Then Dr. Jill Biden said she’d be in Pittsburgh virtually on Tuesday, and now Second Lady Karen Pence says she is coming on Wednesday.
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“It’s ground zero.”
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That’s how Democratic political strategist Mike Mikus describes the state for both Joe Biden and President Donald Trump.
And Republican political strategist Mike DeVanney narrows the focus.
“Without a doubt, western Pennsylvania is ground zero for the 2020 presidential election,” DeVanney told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Monday.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership's Elf Hunt Offers Big Prizes For Shoppers
Not to be left out, Jill Biden will hold a virtual visit to the city to talk about how to safely reopen schools.
“Both campaigns understand how critical it is,” says Mikus.
Visits to areas like Greensburg are calculated to shore up Trump’s winning base of 2016.
“That is a Republican base. That is an area where President Trump had huge margins against Hillary Clinton. I think you see him there making sure people don’t discount this race,” says DeVanney.
For Joe Biden, it’s winning support from suburban women, doing better with seniors than Democrats usually do, boosting turnout from people of color and chipping into Trump’s support among white males in the outlying counties.
“Hillary Clinton lost the counties outside of Allegheny County by wide margins in 2016. If that repeats itself, Donald Trump is going to win Pennsylvania and most likely reelection,” says Mikus.MORE NEWS: Najee Harris Spends Thanksgiving With Head Coach Mike Tomlin
For this region, it all adds up to lots of campaign visits in the next three months.