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April 23, 2024 3:31 am

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Biden campaign holding State of the Union watch parties across Pennsylvania in a few unexpected places

Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Kim Lyons, Pennsylvania Capital-Star
March 6, 2024

President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign will host watch parties for the State of the Union address in locations across Pennsylvania on Thursday, part of a broader national outreach to galvanize voters.

“On Thursday night, voters throughout Pennsylvania will get the chance to hear directly from President Biden on his vision for the future as well as the historic achievements from his first term, from creating millions of good-paying union jobs to lowering costs and capping cost of insulin at $35,”  Nikki Lu, the campaign’s Pennsylvania campaign manager, said in a statement. “In contrast, Donald Trump is a threat to our freedoms, our economy, and our democracy and the stakes of this election could not be higher. That’s the message we’re bringing to voters in every corner of the commonwealth.”

And while there are events in blue cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, there are also watch parties scheduled in areas of the commonwealth where Biden wasn’t victorious in his 2020 presidential run —  but which the campaign is targeting ahead of a November rematch with presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. 

“The Biden campaign has not only made it clear that Pennsylvania is a priority, but there is no part of the state that is being taken for granted,” said Stella Sexton, Vice Chair of Lancaster County Democrats. Trump won Lancaster County in the 2020 general election, taking 57.17% of the vote to Biden’s 41.34%.

“Here in Lancaster County we are committed to making sure voters know this is a choice between a President who has delivered on lowering costs, creating jobs, and combating gun violence in his first term, versus Donald Trump, a MAGA radical who wants to tank the economy, attack reproductive rights, and threaten our democracy,” Sexton added. 

Lancaster has potential to flip blue in November if early signs are any indication; the county had the fifth-highest number of signatures on nominating petitions for Biden to appear on the 2024 ballot, at 1,300 signatures. That’s just behind the usual Democratic stronghold counties of Allegheny, Montgomery, Chester and Bucks — all of which Biden carried in 2020.

The campaign said attendees at the parties will have opportunities to volunteer for the reelection campaign and participate in more traditional organizing efforts like phone banks and door-knocking to reach out to potential voters,  or relational organizing where people mobilize their personal networks of friends and family to get involved.

Biden and Trump both racked up wins across the board in most of the states voting in Super Tuesday primary elections. The Biden campaign has its first post-SOTU event scheduled Friday in Philadelphia, with details still to be announced.

A look at some of the county watch party locations and how each county voted in 2020:

  • Adams: Trump won 66.37% to Biden’s 32.20% in 2020,
  • Cambria: Trump 68.13%, Biden 30.79%; 
  • Crawford: Trump 67.99%, Biden 30.77%
  • Cumberland: Trump 54.53%, Biden 43.96%
  • Union: Trump 61.43%, Biden 37.16%
    Westmoreland: Trump 63.62%, Biden 35.24%
  • York: Trump 61.53%, Biden 36.95%

Other watch parties in counties where Biden won in 2020 — although not always in landslide victories — include: 

  • Delaware: Biden beat Trump 62.95% to 36.15%
  • Lackawanna: Biden 53.71%, Trump 45.35%
  • Montgomery: Biden 62.63%, Trump 36.35%
  • Philadelphia: Biden 81.44%, Trump 17.90%

Bucknell Democrats are holding a SOTU watch party, and Montour Democrats, a county where Trump won in 2020 59.81% to 38.59%, is holding a virtual watch party. The New Americans & Ethnic Coordinating Caucus is also holding a watch party on Thursday.

Six watch parties are scheduled in Allegheny County — an area where Biden has yet to campaign in 2024 but where he beat Trump 59.61% to 39.23% in 2020.  They include events hosted by Pittsburgh City Democrats, Allegheny County Democrats, the Steel City Stonewall Democrats, Pittsburgh college students, West Hills Women and an event in Mt. Lebanon.

Pennsylvania Capital-Star is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Pennsylvania Capital-Star maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Kim Lyons for questions: info@penncapital-star.com. Follow Pennsylvania Capital-Star on Facebook and Twitter.

This article is republished from Pennsylvania Capital-Star under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.