Trump, Biden aim to use dueling rallies in these states post-debate to put each other on defense

After their first debate next week in their 2024 election rematch, President Biden and former President Trump will stay in the south as they hold rallies in states where they’re trying to expand the map.

Following their face-to-face on-stage showdown Thursday evening in Atlanta – the capital and largest city in the key southeastern battleground state of Georgia – the president heads to North Carolina, where he’ll hold a rally Friday in a state he lost to Trump by a razor-thin margin in 2020.

While Biden’s in North Carolina, Trump will be holding a rally Friday in Virginia, which he lost by 10 points four years ago.

HOW BIDEN AND TRUMP ARE PREPARING FOR NEXT WEEK’S PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

File photos of President Biden (left) and former President Donald Trump  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon / Curtis Means/DailyMail.com via AP, Pool)

It’s been two decades since a Republican carried Virginia in the race for the White House. 

You have to go back to then-President George W. Bush, who won the Commonwealth in his 2004 re-election victory.

But recent polling indicates a close contest.

CHECK OUT THE LATEST FOX NEWS POLL IN VIRGINIA 

A Fox News poll conducted June 1-4 indicates the Democratic president and his Republican predecessor in the White House each with 48% support in a head-to-head match.

In a multi-candidate race, Biden stands at 42% and Trump at 41%, with Democrat-turned-independent Robert K. Kennedy at 9% and Green Party candidate Jill Stein and independent Cornel West each at 2%.

Donald Trump keeps padding his delegate lead over Nikki Haley in the GOP presidential nomination race

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Richmond, Virginia  (AP Photo/Steve Helber) (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

University of Lynchburg political science professor Dave Richards, asked about the apparently deadlocked race in his state, said “politics down here are in a confused state and I think that’s being reflected in the polling, where there’s not a clear front-runner.”

At a closed-door Republican National Committee retreat for top-dollar donors earlier this spring at a resort in Palm Beach, Florida, senior Trump campaign advisers Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita and veteran pollster Tony Fabrizio spotlighted internal surveys that suggested both “Minnesota & Virginia are clearly in play.”

“In both states, Donald Trump finds himself in positions to flip key electoral votes in his favor,” the survey, which was shared with Fox News, emphasizes. 

THIS REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR SAYS HIS STATE IS IN PLAY IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia agrees, at least when it comes to his state.

A couple of days ahead of the Fox News poll’s release, the governor said in a Fox News Digital interview that “we’re here in June and there’s still a lot of water to go under the bridge, but Virginia looks like it’s in play and that’s pretty exciting.”

Trump and Youngkin smile for photo

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and and former President Donald Trump met earlier in June at Trump’s private country club in Loudon County, Virginia (Trump campaign)

Youngkin will join Trump at next week’s rally, sources familiar confirmed.

The governor’s appearance will likely spark more speculation about Youngkin as a possible running mate. The two politicians met in person last week for the first time ever, as they discussed flipping Virginia in the autumn election.

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When asked in an interview last week with Fox News’ Aishah Hasnie about Youngkin, Trump said he’s “great” and “I think I could consider it.”

President Biden returns to North Carolina on Friday June 28, the day after the first debate with Trump, to hold a rally in the key battleground state

President Joe Biden gestures as he delivers remarks on his economic plan during a visit to Abbotts Creek Community Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, on January 18, 2024. REUTERS/Nathan Howard (REUTERS/Nathan Howard)

Biden on Friday will be in Raleigh, North Carolina’s capital city.

The president lost the state by just 74,000 votes four years ago. As he aims to be the first Democrat since former President Obama in 2008 to carry North Carolina, he’s beefed up his campaign’s footprint in the state and flooded the airwaves with ads.

Biden’s stop next week will be his fourth so far this year in North Carolina, which has seen a surge of new residents since the 2020 election that potentially may benefit the Democratic incumbent.

“I think with the fact that only 75K votes differentiated between Trump and Biden, and the fact that registered Republicans have a higher turnout rate than registered Democrats, I think Biden’s campaign sees the opportunity,” Michael Bitzer, chair of the politics department at Catawba College.

But Bitzer emphasized “it’s an opportunity only if they invest in the ground operations to make that turnout work.”

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

This post was originally published on Fox News

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