A small group of supporters gathered in Pennsylvania for a rally hosted by President Joe Biden and Senate candidate John Fetterman on Monday as the president sought to seize on recent party wins to gain momentum ahead of the November election.
Photos taken at the event at the United Steelworkers of America Local Union 2227 hall just south of Pittsburgh showed a crowd of several dozen supporters, eliciting criticism online for the smaller-than-average turnout. The Labor Day rally was Biden’s third Pennsylvania appearance in the last week as he seeks to stump for Fetterman, who is challenging Trump-backed candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz in November.
Biden’s rally coincided with appearances by former President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania over the weekend as he sought to elevate Oz in the key midterm race that could determine which party gains control of the Senate come November. Pennsylvania is seen as an especially crucial state in the midterm elections because voters are set to pick a new governor, attorney general, and senator — choosing between Democrats and several Trump-backed candidates who echo the former president’s claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
The president seized on those claims during a prime-time speech in Philadelphia last week, seeking to weaken those candidates by warning voters about threats to democracy posed by “MAGA forces.”
“MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards — backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love,” Biden said during his speech.
Biden’s most recent appearances come at a crucial time as midterm elections are usually an assessment of how well a president is doing during his term, typically resulting in a shift of power in Congress if a president’s favorability is low. This spells trouble for Biden, who has been plagued with low ratings over the last several months.