Democratic nominee Joe Biden will send his strongest surrogate to Florida this weekend.
Former President Barack Obama in Miami will hold his first in-person rally for his former running mate on Saturday, Bloomberg reports.
Sources told the outlet Obama will visit South Florida on Saturday, then circle back to the Sunshine State for an as-yet-unannounced Orlando stop sometime next week.
The news came shortly after Obama formally hit the trail this year with a Wednesday visit to Philadelphia. But the Pennsylvania stop involved a roundtable with Black leaders and a drive-in rally. The Miami event is expected to put the former President in front of an in-person crowd.
In Philidelphia, he warned that in spite of positive polling, Democrats can’t become complacent as they did four years ago.
“I don’t care about the polls. There were a whole bunch of polls last time,” he said. “Didn’t work out because a whole bunch of folks stayed at home and got lazy and complacent. Not this time. Not this election.”
Obama remains one of the most unifying and popular figures among the Democratic base. His arrival on the 2020 scene, after declining to endorse in the primary, comes less than two weeks from the Nov. 3 General Election.
Florida and Pennsylvania loom as the largest two swing states in terms of electoral votes. President Donald Trump won both in 2016, defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton by just over 1 percentage point in Florida.
But Obama won the state in 2008, by 3 points over John McCain, and in 2012, by less than 1 point over Mitt Romney. He’s the only Democrat to win the state twice for President since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Florida appears to be a must-win state for Trump to win a second term in office, and both he and Biden have fought aggressively. The winner gets all 29 of Florida’s electoral votes.