President Trump heads to the crucial general election state of Wisconsin on Thursday to tour and speak to workers at a major shipyard that recently won a contract to build up to 10 Navy frigates and to sit down for a town hall with Fox News.
But his visit to Wisconsin comes as two new polls spell trouble for the president in a state he narrowly carried four years ago.
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The president will visit Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wis., where he’s expected to tout the $5.5 billion federal contract, which the company says will allow them to expand their shipyard and possibly add 1,000 jobs.
Later in the day, Trump will sit down in Green Bay with Fox News’ Sean Hannity for a town hall that will air at 9 p.m. ET on Fox News Channel.
The trip, the president’s first to the state since January, comes as a New York Times/Siena College poll released Thursday indicates former Vice President Joe Biden – the presumptive Democratic nominee – is leading Trump by a 49-38 percent margin in Wisconsin. And a Marquette Law School survey released on Wednesday showed Biden topping Trump 49-41 percent. A RealClearPolitics average of the most recent surveys in the state – including a Fox News Poll – puts Biden 8 percentage points ahead of the president.
Even though it’s an official White House trip rather than a campaign stop, the visit will give the president media attention in a pivotal state that could decide November’s election.
Wisconsin is one of three of the so-called “Rust Belt” states – along with Pennsylvania and Michigan – that Democrats carried in presidential elections dating back a quarter-century until Trump narrowly flipped them from blue to red in 2016, helping him upset Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to win the White House.
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Trump’s stop in the state comes just two days after Vice President Pence made a pair of appearances in Wisconsin to court evangelical voters.
Ahead of Thursday’s trip by Trump, Biden took aim at the president.
“Today, Donald Trump is in Marinette to take credit for Obama-Biden Administration-fueled successes in an attempt to paper over the fact that Wisconsin has been bleeding blue-collar manufacturing jobs over the past few weeks. Instead of offering real relief to working families, he’s trying to claim credit for progress in Marinette he did not build,” Biden wrote.
The former vice president also touted that “the Obama-Biden Administration invested in shipbuilding in Marinette and fostered good-paying jobs across the Fox Valley to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for the better part of a decade.”
Fox News’ Madeleine Rivera contributed to this report.