By: Phil Rauch | Managing Editor

President Trump held a Make America Great Again rally at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport Monday.

Trump made appeals to his voters about Vice President Biden’s plans on fracking, taxation, deregulation, the Second Amendment, and the military.

Former Vice President Biden made a “welcome home” visit to Scranton Tuesday. He was greeted at a parking lot on Pear Street by Senator Bob Casey, Mayor Paige Cognetti, and the press. From there, he visited his childhood home in Greenridge, and then visited Saint Paul’s Catholic Church on Penn Avenue.

Biden preparing to address supporters on Pear Street, Scranton, PA. Photo credit: Ariana Baldwin

Vice President Biden was accompanied by two of his granddaughters who had never been to Scranton before.

Ariana Baldwin, junior criminal justice major and political science minor with a concentration in legal studies, attended the Biden visit and identifies as a Biden supporter.

“I must admit that Joe Biden was not my first pick in the primary, but once I realized that he was the nominee that was going to run against Trump, I threw all my support behind him. Donald Trump’s America has been filled with nothing but racism, hatred, bigotry, and a perpetuation of divisiveness and polarization. When I saw Joe Biden step out of that car today, I felt a sense of unity, I felt hope, I felt energized. I didn’t see a perfect man. I didn’t see a perfect politician; I saw a man who cares about what middle America (which is proportionately most of America). I saw a man of the people, not just the 1%. I saw a fighter. I saw a former Scrantonian who was coming home the last day on the campaign trail with his two granddaughters at his side. I was moved to tears as he spoke to us when he said “‘we, you and me, us…we are fighting for the soul of the nation.'” I felt that.” Baldwin said.

The former Vice President gave brief remarks about his connections to the city, his great grandfather being the first Irish Catholic to serve in the Pennsylvania State Senate, and how he came back to Scranton after he had moved to spend summers away from Delaware.

He did not make much mention of policy goals, though. Senator Kamala Harris gave a speech yesterday in Jenkins Township. She addressed the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Chapter 1776. This union represents food processing and packinghouse employees in Luzerne County.

“”He’s going to expand the Affordable Care Act, build on its success right, expand on it, bring down premium costs, bring down drug prices, prescription drug prices. Joe knows. Look, when we’re talking about health care, the body doesn’t just start from the neck down; it goes neck up. That’s called mental health care,” Senator Harris said.

President Trump had a more policy-oriented visit, too, to Luzerne/Lackawanna County area. He continually critiqued the Biden agenda as being pro regulation, pro tax increases, and anti law-and-order.

President Trump tossing MAGA hats to supporters at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport Nov. 2, 2020. Photo Credit: AP

“Biden will raise your taxes $4 trillion, massively increasing your regulations. They’re going to increase your regulations, may be more important than the tax cuts. We gave the biggest tax cut in the history of our country, and maybe more importantly, we did regulation cuts, which were also the biggest in the history of our country. Whether it be four years, eight years, or in one case more. Shut down your economy, close down manufacturing, send your jobs overseas, destroy our suburbs and he will destroy our suburbs.” President Trump said.

The transcript of his speech can be located here.

Pennsylvania has always been a crucial state in presidential elections. With a large 20 electoral votes, and with its usually late results, it is an important state that has the potential to flip a close election.

Before 2016, the last Republican to take Pennsylvania was President George H.W. Bush in the 1988 presidential election. In 2016, President Trump broke the infamous Democratic blue wall.

The blue wall was a bloc of 18 states, combining 240 electoral votes, that consistently voted Democratic between 1992 and 2012. President George W. Bush narrowly secured electoral college victories in 2000 and 2004 by winning most states outside of this bloc. These states range from California, Oregon, and Washington to Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts.

Most notably, President Trump won Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania in 2016 to break through the wall and secure electoral college victory.