Former Vice President Joe Biden plans to travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin, later this week as the protests and riots spawned by the shooting of Jacob Blake continue to vex his campaign.
Biden, who has blamed President Donald Trump for the violence witnessed across America’s cities, will journey to Kenosha on Thursday. During his visit, the former vice president is scheduled to hold a community meeting “to bring together Americans to heal and address the challenges” facing not only Kenosha, but the country.
“We’ve spoken to all the leaders up there,” Biden said, during a press conference in Delaware on Wednesday. “We’ve got to heal, put things together, bring people together. My purpose in going will be to do just that, be a positive influence on what’s going on.”
The announcement of the trip comes only one day after Symon Sanders, the former vice president’s senior adviser, told CNN that Biden would be traveling to Wisconsin, but she was worried about “creating a tussle” on the ground with his appearance.
Biden’s visit also comes as the presidential race appears to have tightened. A slew of new polls has found that the Republican National Convention, coupled with concerns over social unrest in America’s cities, is boosting Trump’s chances for reelection.
In Wisconsin, in particular, the race appears to be tightening, with the incumbent witnessing a steady rise in support since the rioting began. Similarly, throughout the month of August, a survey by Marquette University found that support for the Black Lives Matter movement and protests linked with the cause has plunged across the Badger state.
The situation has a number of Democrat strategists worried that a backlash against Biden could be brewing among suburban and swing voters. Both constituencies are considered must-win if Democrats have any hope of winning the White House in November.
Biden, himself, appears to be taking the threat seriously. On Thursday, the former vice president’s campaign announced they were launching a $45 million ad buy across the Midwest highlighting the candidate’s opposition to rioting and accusing Trump of mishandling the crisis.