President Biden and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump are waging a proxy campaign war in Pennsylvania, dealing blows and optimizing respective rhetoric to win over voters in the battleground state where polls show they are virtually tied.

The battle for the key 2024 state comes into focus as Biden returned to the Keystone State in a multi-day swing to pitch his re-election campaign this week — while Trump was stuck in an NYC courtroom, at trial for his “hush money” criminal charges, complaining about not being able to join him.

Both 2024 candidates view the state as critical to cinching 270 delegates in November, and as Biden only won Pennsylvania in 2020 by 1.17%, both are honing their strategies to move the needle.

Trump’s attack plan

Trump, 77, has to ensure Pennsylvania is in play. To do so, his team has focused on 81-year-old Biden’s low approval rating, his economic policies and the Democrats’ “pro-criminal agenda.”

The message comes down to: the Keystone State is crumbling under Democrat policies.

Inflation is up, crime is up — with Pittsburgh reporting the highest number of homicides in a decade with 71 murders — and the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh police departments are understaffed, an RNC rep told The Post in an explainer of the former president’s main points.

Trump’s team also argued to The Post that Biden is “chasing” Trump to Pennsylvania, as the former president made stops in Newton and Schnecksville on Saturday.

In Schnecksville, he had tens of thousands of supporters in attendance, the RNC spokesperson said.

“Biden is chasing President Trump like he chased him to the border and Georgia,” the RNC rep said. “Joe Biden is a weak and failed leader. He is hemorrhaging support and desperately trying to make up ground he has lost.”

“With just 35% job approval, Joe Biden is floundering in his home state of Pennsylvania. Between higher gas prices, surging crime and failed Democrat policies crushing families at every corner, it’s no wonder that Pennsylvanians across the Commonwealth are increasingly rejecting the failed Biden agenda and supporting President Trump,” his national press secretary Karoline Leavitt said.

Beyond the messaging, Republican National Committee co-chair Lara Trump, the former president’s daughter-in-law, met with conservative activist Scott Presler at the committee’s Washington, DC, headquarters to speak about his mass voter registration efforts in the state.

It’s unclear the extent to which the RNC and Presler’s EarlyVoteAction group are partnering together, but he is working to register niche demographics who are likely to be Trump supporters — especially in Bucks and Luzerne counties, too-up counties where Presler thinks Trump has a chance to prevail.

“I had a wonderful meeting with Lara Trump a few weeks back at the RNC headquarters,” Presler told The Post.

“I’m a data and numbers-driven guy. So when I look at 2020 and the results of that election, 2020 was decided for Biden by 80,000 votes. So my goal is to target key demographics that I know are going to vote for President Trump,” he added.

Some key groups he’s targeting in Pennsylvania include the Amish, truckers and hunters. To reach them, he’s attending events like farmers’ markets, gun shows and WrestleMania.

Biden’s home turf

Meanwhile, Biden, 81, is focusing on his home state roots and his economic policies, and is attempting to draw a contrast between his Scranton “kitchen table” world view with Trump’s “Mar-a-Lago values.”

The Democrat’s team aims to defend his 2020 win by focusing on key minority demographics by reaching out to black, Latino and Asian American voters in the state, and are also ensuring key districts are in play to be blue.

“This week, President Biden will spend time in Lackawanna, Allegheny and Philadelphia counties, each of which represent a critical piece of the Biden-Harris coalition and played a key role in his 2020 victory,” a campaign memo sent out Tuesday read.

“With deep roots in the Commonwealth, President Biden has brought his Scranton values to Washington, DC, and has a strong story to tell about how he has delivered for the people of Pennsylvania: providing emergency pandemic relief to every city, county, and town; helping to create nearly half a million jobs; cutting costs for millions of people; and rebuilding roads and bridges across the state.”

Biden’s team aims to hit Trump by employing rhetoric about his abortion policies, tax breaks and efforts to “undermine our democracy,” according to the memo.

His re-election camp also has its eyes on York and Lancaster counties, which went for Trump in 2020, but the campaign believes “represent exciting opportunities for Democratic growth as shown by gains made at the local level.”

In terms of size, Biden’s team is hoping to establish a “behemoth” of a campaign in the much-needed state. They set up 14 offices in the month of March, engaged 1,700 volunteers and made headways to engage with minority groups.

2024 © Network Today. All Rights Reserved.