Does a presidential visit sway your voting decision?

Local News

Voters have some major decisions coming up in just two weeks and the people with, arguably, the largest political influence in the country are out on the campaign trail. 

Experts say having President Donald Trump and Former President Barack Obama on the campaign trail will likely influence voters, but not everyone thinks it should.  

Erie knows first-hand what kind of impact a presidential visit can have on a community or voting district after Trump rallied behind GOP candidates at the Erie Insurance Arena earlier this month.  That visit, one of many across the country.  But, as Trump makes his rounds, so does Obama. 

Voter Sharon Harrington says, “Having two people that we know who they are and we know their policies because one’s a former president and one’s our current president is really gonna get people to take action this year.” 

But, not all voters think this active role in the campaign season is a good idea. Kevin Sullivan says, “I think they’re distractions. I think the real issues in any midterm election are always local because it’s always locally based candidates that are running.” 

A political expert says it is uncommon to see a current and former president both on the campaign trail, but there have been a few exceptions throughout history.

Dr. Joe Morris, Political Science Chair for Mercyhurst University says, “Bill Clinton was by far the most popular democrat for a number of years after he finished his presidency.” 

Dr. Morris says now Obama has taken over that role with a massive and passionate group of followers. 
He says Obama’s presence on the campaign trail will likely have a significant impact on the election and he says the same goes from President Trump. 

Morris says when President Trump campaigns, he probably draws larger crowds than any president in recent years.  He says anytime a sitting president visits an area, in this case the 16th District, it energizes voters. 

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