.elementor-panel-state-loading{ display: none; }



Pennsylvania businesses Biden visited are mum on prez as his support slips in his birth state

EMMAUS, Pa. — With the latest Marist College poll showing Joe Biden trailing in his home state, businesses that hosted him in January for a visit to the Lehigh Valley and touted the region’s “economic revival” were reluctant to talk about the president.

“There’s nothing I can talk about,” the owner of South Mountain Bicycles, a bike shop in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, where Biden visited, told The Washington Post.

“We have no comment,” said the manager of the neighboring Emmaus Run Inn, which Biden also visited over the winter.

Recent polls have shown President Biden lagging behind former President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

A third shop, Nowhere Coffee, which the president visited during his January visit, has since closed.

The atmosphere on the ground in Emmaus, a suburban borough of about 11,000 people, reflected the harsh political reality that Biden must face.

Though within the margin of statistical error (former President Donald Trump has a 47% approval rating, while former Vice President Biden has a 45% approval rating), the Marist College poll found that Pennsylvania voters are disappointed with “Joe from Scranton”‘s performance with less than five months to go until the November election.

Of particular concern to the president are the ratings voters gave Trump on two big questions: 54% of those surveyed said their families were “better off” under Trump, compared with just 43% under Biden. Similarly, more voters (54%) thought the country was better off than it was under Trump (45%).

Chris Bragg, an RV salesman from neighboring Northampton County, said his family was better off before gas and grocery prices “skyrocketed” in Pennsylvania and across the nation.

Biden visited Nowhere Coffee in Emmaus, Pennsylvania on January 12, 2024. AP

Florida is oil-rich, but the average gasoline price reported by AAA as of Wednesday was $3.66 a gallon, more than 20 cents higher than the national average.

“The cost of living was much lower under President Trump,” Bragg said.

Bragg also noted that Biden’s tough poll numbers are due to the ongoing crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border, where encounters with migrants have broken multiple records in recent months.

In February, the Biden administration recorded more than 9 million people crossing the border nationwide.

“The border wasn’t completely under control, but it was never chaotic,” Bragg said. “Right now it’s literally chaotic.”

Biden visited several stores in the Pennsylvania town in January. AP

Another Northampton County voter, history and economics teacher Charles Lewis, said Biden has touted improving inflation but made no mention of persistently high food and energy costs that are well above average inflation this year.

“Biden cites low inflation but doesn’t take into account the costs of food and energy,” Lewis said. “He knows his economic plan isn’t working.”

The Marist poll also found that Trump led Biden among self-identified independents (42% to 40%), voters under 35 (46% to 45%) and Gen Xers (50% to 43%).

Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian Party candidate Chase Oliver were among the third-party candidates in the poll, receiving 3%, 1% and 1% support, respectively.