With Multiple Visits To Pennsylvania, Candidates And Surrogates Are Thinking Strategically

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If it seems like the presidential candidates and their surrogates cannot get enough of Pennsylvania, you are right.

As political editor Jon Delano reports, who visits and where is a key part of the campaigns’ get-out-the-vote plan.

Both President Donald Trump and Joe Biden’s campaigns are traversing the state in a non-stop fervor. At this stage, it is not about persuading voters. It is about getting their voters to actually vote.

When Westmoreland County Commissioner Gina Cerilli and her father virtually welcomed Dr. Jill Biden back to Westmoreland County on Wednesday, the focus was an ethnic one.

“Family, kindness, loyalty, generosity, passion, patriotism, those are the Italian values that my great-great-grandparents brought with them,” Jill Biden said.

Joe Biden knows Trump will carry Westmoreland County, but he wants to cut into Trump’s lead, hence the appeal to Italian Americans, the third-largest ethnic group in the state.

“There are enough votes, just in Westmoreland County, to flip the state,” said Pitt professor Kristin Kanthak.

At the same time, second lady Karen Pence was in Lancaster to increase Republican turnout.

“This is a county that is Trump territory,” Kanthak said. “Those are good votes there. They want to see a good turnout.”

On Thursday, Eric Trump will be in Ambridge. Beaver County voted for his father in 2016.

“This is a place where people who haven’t been traditionally Republican voters but may like Trump. They want to see them turn out,” Kanthak said.

For Joe Biden, a key constituency is Black voters, and former President Barack Obama was in Philadephia on Wednesday to boost the Black vote. When Obama ran, two-thirds of Black voters voted. That dropped seven percent four years ago.

“What we saw in 2008 was a massive turnout among African Americans. That has gone back to normal,” Kanthak said.

Normal won’t cut it for Joe Biden or Donald Trump either. We’re also hearing Bernie Sanders will be in the state this weekend for Biden. A good guess is someplace with young people, another key constituency that doesn’t always vote.