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Trump to rally in Philly as polls show former prez leading Biden in critical Pennsylvania: ‘We’re all hurting’

Mandatory Credit: Photo by SARAH YENESEL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (14433783ae) People react while former US President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, USA, 13 April 2024. Trump returned to the swing state of Pennsylvania days before the state's primary election and before he is due in criminal court in New York. Former US President Donald Trump holds rally in Pennsylvania, Schnecksville, USA - 13 Apr 2024 Former US President Donald Trump holds rally in Pennsylvania, Schnecksville, USA - 13 Apr 2024

PHILADELPHIA — As Donald Trump gears up for his Saturday night rally in Philadelphia, Republicans on the ground are preparing to welcome him with open arms — and hoping he’ll keep his message laser-focused.

“I’m a strong supporter of President Trump,” said Bill Allen, president of the Pennsylvania Integrity Network. “I’ll be right up front!”

Trump’s visit to the Liacouras Center — the 10,200-seat North Philly arena home to Temple University basketball and various other events — comes as polls show him opening up a narrow lead over President Biden in Pennsylvania. A Marist College poll released last week found voters in Biden’s birth state prefer the former prez to the incumbent by 2 percentage points (47% to 45%).

Specific poll questions proved even more troubling for Biden, as 54% of respondents said their families were “better off” under Trump (compared with 43% under Biden). Roughly the same share of those surveyed thought Trump’s presidency (54%) had a more positive impact on the country than Biden’s (45%).

It’s a message Allen — who also manages the GOP House campaign of Aaron Bashir in Pennsylvania’s 2nd Congressional District — and other Philly Republicans hope Trump will focus on to spur turnout among dissatisfied urban youth.

“He needs to drive that home: What has the Democratic Party given you? Seriously, what are they doing for you?” Allen said of Trump’s message to urban voters. “And if he drives that home, I guarantee you he’s gonna have a landslide win in Pennsylvania. He will have up to 40% of the vote in Philadelphia.”

The Cook Partisan Voting Index rates Bashir’s district, which covers an entirely urban area of North/Northeast Philadelphia, D+20. Despite this, Allen believes Trump’s message could make the race winnable for his candidate.

“I was down at a car dealership in Northeast Philly [Monday], and everybody there is gonna vote for Trump,” Allen said, noting that most of those he spoke with were minorities. “It doesn’t matter what the past looks like. We know, we’re all hurting.”

Doors open for the rally at what was originally called the “Apollo of Temple” at 3 p.m. Trump is scheduled to speak four hours later.

Trump’s visit to the Temple campus marks his fourth stop in the Keystone State this year.

Back in February, Trump campaigned at a National Rifle Association event in Harrisburg and made a surprise appearance at Philadelphia SneakerCon — where the former prez unveiled his signature $399-a-pair “Never Surrender” high-top shoes. Then in April, he rallied at Schnecksville Fire Hall in the Lehigh Valley.

By contrast, Biden has made eight appearances in Pennsylvania this year — most of which have been to heavily blue Philadelphia and its suburbs.

During their most recent visit to Philly, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris branded Trump a racist in an attempt to court black voters as polls also show them slipping away from Democrats. That event was held May 29 in a half-full gymnasium at Girard College, a majority-minority boarding school that serves the children of single-parent families.

By contrast, Biden has made eight appearances in Pennsylvania this year — most of which have been to heavily blue Philadelphia and its suburbs.

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