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Biden in Michigan: President campaigns in Saginaw, meets supporters

Joe Biden
Biden delivered remarks to local officials and supporters in Saginaw Thursday, March 14. (Luca Perra, Shutterstock)
  • President Joe Biden visited Saginaw on Thursday for his second Michigan campaign visit of the year
  • Biden last month met with metro Detroit voters and UAW workers ahead of the state’s Feb. 27 primary 
  • Voters in Saginaw County have backed the winning presidential candidate in every general election contest since 2008 

President Joe Biden was back in Michigan Thursday, stopping in Saginaw as part of a swing state blitz to bolster his re-election campaign.

On Thursday afternoon, Biden attended a private organizing meeting at the home of City Council member Bill Ostash, where he gave brief remarks to supporters and local elected officials, including U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint. According to White House pool reports, Biden’s remarks were inaudible to reporters in attendance.  

The visit is Biden’s second to Michigan this year as the president prepares for a rematch with former President Donald Trump, who has also had plenty of face time with Michigan voters in recent months.

Vice President Kamala Harris also made an appearance last month in Grand Rapids.


Why Saginaw?

Saginaw County is a key swing county in Michigan that has historically picked the winners — voting majorities there have chosen the winning presidential candidate in every general election since 2008. 

The county is the 11th most-populous in Michigan, but it’s a bellwether in part because of big numbers of factory workers and African-American voters. In a turnout election, both demographics will be vital.

While the city of Saginaw's population has shrunk in recent years, it remains a hub for Black residents. More than 45% of locals are Black, which far exceeds the statewide rate of 14%.

In 2008 and again in 2012, the county went for former President Barack Obama. Trump won Saginaw County by about 1,070 votes in 2016, but Biden won it back by about 300 votes in 2020.  


Trump has also spent time in Saginaw County, campaigning there in both 2015 and 2020.

Where Biden stands

Biden easily won Michigan’s Feb. 27 primary last month with more than 81% of the vote. 

He also has the backing of the United Auto Workers union and recently visited with union members and other metro Detroit residents, telling attendees there that “When labor does well, everybody does well.”

But he faced pushback from more than 100,000 uncommitted voters in the primary, many of whom protested the president for not pushing a permanent ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

He’s also faced criticism from prominent Black officials in Michigan.


Wayne County Executive Warren Evans in a recent Detroit Free Press column argued that the Democratic Party's "inexplicable inability to sufficiently and productively engage with Black people" could cost Biden the election. 

Why Michigan matters 

Michigan will be among the swing states that help decide the presidential election.

In 2020, Biden relied on high turnout among reliably Democratic and moderate voters to secure his 154,188-vote win over Trump. Previously, Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes in the 2016 contest, in part because of tepid turnout in Democratic strongholds like Detroit. 

Biden’s allies have stressed the importance of protecting Democratic gains in Michigan, where all three statewide elected offices and the legislative majority are currently led by Democrats. 

But Trump continues to have staying power in Michigan, where Republicans backed the former president in the primary despite multiple ongoing criminal cases, including a federal indictment stemming from his failed bid to overturn his 2020 loss.

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