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Joe Biden at the Democratic National Committee Winter Meeting in Philadelphia
Joe Biden at the Democratic National Committee Winter Meeting in Philadelphia, on Feb. 3, 2023. Patrick Semansky / AP

Eyes on 2024: Biden hits the road

After his State of the Union address Tuesday, Biden is heading to the battleground states of Wisconsin and Florida.

By and

If Tuesday night’s State of the Union address was a preview of Biden’s re-election pitch, the rest of the week may be a preview of Biden’s travels on the campaign trail. Biden is ramping up his travel to battleground states, expanding his trips beyond his recent travels in the northeast. 

Biden heads Wednesday to Wisconsin (albeit to the liberal enclave of Madison) to tout his economic message, with a focus on boosting union jobs, the White House announced earlier this week. Biden’s narrow victory there in 2020 helped him win the White House — but he won by just 21,000 votes. 

And on Thursday, Biden goes to Tampa, Fla., a battleground state where Democrats have struggled in recent election cycles. There Biden is expected to focus on Social Security, Medicare and health care costs. 

In other campaign news…

DeSantis talks defamation: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis held a roundtable Tuesday with people at the center of high-profile defamation claims (many of which have been championed by conservatives), where they spoke about possible policy changes surrounding allegations of defamation by media outlets. 

A “no!” from Joni: Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, responded with an emphatic, “No!” when asked Tuesday on “Meet the Press” NOW whether she might jump into the 2024 presidential race. Ernst also said she and GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley will once again stay neutral in the state’s presidential caucus.

Joe doesn’t say if it’s so: Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., dodged a question during a Semafor forum on Tuesday whether he is considering a run for president. CBS’ Robert Costa, who questioned Manchin during the forum, reported that some “business leaders” are encouraging Manchin to run. 

Not the last of Lee: Fresh off a closer-than-expected run against Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, former GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin isn’t ruling out a run against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand next year, per North Country Public Radio. 

Barnes’ next act: Former Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who lost a close race against GOP Sen. Ron Johnson last year, announced Tuesday he is launching a new group dubbed “The Long Run PAC.” The PAC “will support diverse and ground-breaking candidates around the country,” per a press release. 

Lake’s next act?: Arizona Republican Kari Lake, who lost last year’s gubernatorial race in the state but continues to cast doubt on the legitimacy of that election, honed attacks against Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego and independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema as she continues to mull a Senate bid.