President Joe Biden is set to embark on a visit to Michigan on Thursday in an effort to garner support among voters in this crucial battleground state, according to three individuals familiar with the matter, as reported by POLITICO.
This trip marks Biden’s first visit to Michigan this year, strategically designed to build on his momentum among the state’s blue-collar workers. The President received a robust endorsement from the United Auto Workers just six days ago, and the upcoming visit aims to capitalize on this support.
The White House officially confirmed the trip on Tuesday, stating that Biden would participate in a political event. Insiders familiar with the matter revealed that Biden’s event will revolve around his endorsement from the UAW. The President is expected to visit the greater Detroit area, providing him with a platform to emphasize his backing for labor.
This move is particularly significant in a state with a substantial concentration of union members and allows Biden to draw a sharp contrast with GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, who recently criticized the UAW.
Earlier this week, Trump labeled UAW president Shawn Fain as a “dope” for endorsing Biden and called for his removal from the union’s leadership.
Biden, known for joining UAW members on the picket line during their six-week strike against Detroit automakers last year, is counting on the union’s organizational influence to boost his chances in the November elections. Recent polls have indicated that Biden is trailing Trump in Michigan by several points.
However, the visit may not be without challenges. Biden is facing growing discontent within the state over his support for Israel’s actions in Gaza.
His stance has prompted criticism from Michigan’s Arab-American community, leading to divisions within the broader Democratic Party. Local officials have warned that Biden risks losing Michigan unless there is a significant change in policy.
Arab-American and Muslim leaders in the state rejected an invitation to meet with Biden’s campaign manager, Julie Chávez Rodríguez, during her visit last week. Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud anticipates protests against Biden’s visit due to the ongoing conflict in Gaza, expressing dissatisfaction with the White House’s response.
Despite the concerns over Biden’s position on Israel, some state representatives argue that the greater worry is the President’s overall polling weakness in Michigan. Rep. Dan Kildee emphasized the need for the Biden campaign to invest more resources in communicating the administration’s economic achievements to Michigan voters.
He stressed the importance of connecting the dots for voters and addressing their concerns through repeated messaging and increased on-the-ground efforts in the state.