Pennsylvania's Democratic gubernatorial primary is just over a month away, and with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden set to visit the state Wednesday, all eyes will be on whether the candidates appear alongside the nation's two most prominent politicians.
"I don't think anyone is going to duck it if they were invited," Democratic strategist Michael Bronstein said.
Obama and Biden are set to visit a community college outside Pittsburgh to discuss job training initiatives, but it remains to be seen how they will be received. The latest Franklin & Marshall College poll shows the president with low approval ratings and shows Pennsylvania native Biden losing badly to Hillary Clinton in a potential 2016 Democratic presidential race.
"I would think that each would use it to keep throwing red meat at the base," Bronstein added.
"Given the nature of the event, he will be largely well received," Franklin & Marshall political science professor Terry Madonna said. "More interesting will be whether he comes into the state in the fall. If so, likely in Philadelphia to gin up the base there."
Obama also traveled to Pennsylvania at the end of January in an attempt to expand on his State of the Union address and push lawmakers on his economic agenda. He made four stops during a two-day tour, but wasn't joined by any of the Democrats running for office.
"To win a Democratic primary, it's certainly acceptable to show up with the president," Madonna said.
However, many in Pennsylvania believe an appearance alongside the president won't swing an election for either party or specific candidate. While there seems to be a Republican swing across the country, this election will focus on state-level issues.
"In a governor’s race, the issues are very much state oriented. It's a referendum on [Gov. Tom] Corbett," Madonna added. "There does not appear to be a wave for either party, but who knows moving forward?"
Democrats are lining up to take on Republican incumbent Gov. Tom Corbett in the November general election.