President Donald Trump will campaign in Northampton County on Oct. 26. Trump visited the Lehigh Valley this past May when he toured a medical equipment manufacturer in Lehigh County. (Katie McNulty/B&W Staff)

President Trump to campaign in Lehigh Valley on Monday, marking second visit to region this year

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President Donald Trump’s campaign announced he would hold a campaign rally at a Lehigh Valley medical equipment manufacturer on Monday.

Trump is scheduled to give remarks at 11 a.m. at HoverTech International in Hanover Township in Northampton County.

With Election Day just eight days away on Nov. 3, Trump’s Monday rally highlights the critical importance of Pennsylvania in determining the next president. Trump narrowly won Pennsylvania in 2016 — becoming the first Republican presidential candidate to win the battleground state since 1988.

Northampton County was in particular one of the handful of counties key to delivering the state’s 20 electoral votes to Trump four years ago. Northampton County swung to President Barack Obama in 2012, who won about 6,000 more votes than Republican nominee Mitt Romney, before the county flipped to Trump in 2016 by about 5,500 votes.

Trump carried the state by less than a percentage point in 2016. This time around, though, it’s Democratic nominee Joe Biden with a 7-point lead in the Keystone State in the latest Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll. The poll also found that a majority of Pennsylvania respondents disapprove of the job Trump has done as president.

However, in head-to-head polling between Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania in 2016, surveys showed Clinton was up 6 percentage points the week before the election. In 2016, the 7th Congressional District — which includes all of the Lehigh Valley — favored Clinton over Trump by just a point.

The region’s electoral significance has drawn Trump to the Lehigh Valley twice this year. In May, Trump toured a medical equipment facility in Upper Macungie in Lehigh County.

Both Trump and Biden are paying close attention to Pennsylvania as the campaign churns forward into its last week. After stopping in Northampton County, Trump is scheduled to speak in both Lancaster and Bucks counties.  Trump lost Bucks County by just under 2,000 votes in 2016 but won Lancaster County by 20 percentage points.

Both Trump and Biden made stops in Erie recently. Biden visited Bucks and Luzerne counties on Saturday. Luzerne County is another one of those battleground counties that voted for Obama in 2012 before backing Trump in 2016.

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