CLEVELAND — For the most part, when presidents come to states like Ohio, it is for one of two reasons. One reason is to pressure Congress to pass a piece of legislation that would be good for the area, as President Biden did in May of last year at Cuyahoga Community College in pushing for the Infrastructure Act or as he did in February in Lorain. The other typical reason for a presidential visit is to take a victory lap when legislation passes and it means a lot of money for the area, like $1 billion for a program like the Great Lakes Restoration initiative.
On Wednesday, look for President Biden's visit to Cleveland to highlight a little more of the latter — efforts they've taken to build the economy, in their words, "from the bottom up and the middle out." Biden is expected to highlight, things that residents may not be seeing, with record inflation and soaring gas prices.
"The president coming to Ohio to talk about the economy, to try to hit the reset button, if you will,” said Scripps National Political Editor Joe St. George. “To try to say to Ohioans, 'look I'm doing everything we can,' is his attempt to try to reset the narrative."
It was 30 years ago during the '92 presidential election that James Carville came up with the four-word reminder: "it's the economy stupid." Other issues like abortion and guns may concern voters, but the economy, the pocketbook issues, are what ultimately will drive many of them to the polls, said Michael Goldberg of Case Western University’s Weatherhead School of Management.
“The economy and how we're going to get out of this mess is really front and center to many Americans, and as we head into the mid-term elections in November, this is something that is probably going to motivate folks in how they decide to vote,” Goldberg said.
St. George said the president is also looking at the U.S Senate race here between Tim Ryan and J.D. Vance and sees his best way to help Ryan is to win voters over now, not later.
"He just can't come into Ohio the last week of October and try to convince people to vote Democrat,” said St. George. “He has to engage voters right now and I think that's why he's heading to Ohio this week."