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Breaking down Biden's battleground travel as president

First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
Image: Joe Biden
Joe Biden greets people after delivering a speech on infrastructure while visiting the bridge along NH 175 spanning the Pemigewasset River on Nov. 16, 2021 in Woodstock, N.H.John Tully / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Among the favorite family expressions Joe Biden is fond of quoting is this one from his father: “Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value,” NBC’s Mike Memoli writes.

Biden’s White House carefully budgets how the president spends his time and where he spends it. And a year before the midterm elections, a close study of his travel itinerary since taking office offers some potential clues as to what political real estate the Biden White House sees as most valuable to his and his party’s political future.

Today, to sell the bipartisan infrastructure bill he signed into law, President Biden will return to Michigan for the fifth time since taking office. He’s visited only Pennsylvania (seven trips) and Virginia (six) more in that time, according to our review of the president’s daily schedule.

Overall, Biden has been to 21 states this year on official travel. And what stands out most perhaps is where he hasn’t gone much, or at all — just one trip so far to Florida, for instance, and none yet to Nevada or Arizona. Biden has visited Ohio three times, and Wisconsin and Georgia just twice.

He’s made just one trip west of the Rocky Mountains as president, a multi-day jaunt that included a mix of disaster assessment stops in Idaho and California, followed by a campaign stop for Gavin Newsom and a message event for his economic agenda in Colorado.

The ongoing pandemic and Biden’s age — he turns 79 this weekend — are undeniable factors keeping the president from a more rigorous travel schedule this year. He’s also been grounded in Washington for extended stretches around legislative deadlines and the crisis in Afghanistan.

Biden, of course, has left Washington frequently for other reasons, making 26 primarily personal trips to Delaware and 12 to Camp David, mostly on weekends.

White House officials have been saying they expect the president to be a major player in the midterm election campaign, particularly when most of the legislative heavy lifting is fully behind him.

Here are the number of times Biden has visited an individual state as president, which excludes trips to Delaware and Camp David where he has no official events:

  • Pennsylvania – 7
  • Virginia – 6 (tally does not include visits to Arlington National Cemetery and agency visits)
  • Michigan – 5
  • Delaware – 4
  • Maryland – 3
  • New York – 3
  • Ohio – 3
  • Connecticut – 2
  • Georgia – 2
  • Illinois – 2
  • Louisiana – 2
  • New Jersey – 2
  • Wisconsin – 2
  • California – 1
  • Colorado – 1
  • Florida – 1
  • Idaho – 1
  • New Hampshire - 1
  • North Carolina – 1
  • Oklahoma – 1
  • Texas – 1

Data Download: The numbers you need to know today

40 percent: The portion in a new Politico/Morning Consult poll who say President Biden “is in good health,” with 50 percent disagreeing.

$63,000: How much Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tells The Hill she’s been fined for not wearing a mask on the House floor, adding she has not been vaccinated against Covid-19.

29: The number of days until Dec. 15, the date Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen says is the deadline to raise the debt ceiling.

5: The margin that Democrat Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick won the Florida 20th District’s Democratic primary by, making her the likely next congresswoman from the safely Democratic district.

47,328,486: The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 92,422 more since yesterday morning.)

768,728: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far, per the most recent data from NBC News. (That’s 1,439 more since yesterday morning.)

443,374,199: The number of total vaccine doses administered in the U.S., per the CDC. (That’s 1,368,939 more since yesterday morning.)

30,708,979: The number of booster vaccine doses administered in the U.S., per the CDC. (That’s 641,535 since yesterday morning.)

58.9 percent: The share of all Americans who are fully vaccinated, per the CDC.

70.6 percent: The share of all Americans 18-years and older who are fully vaccinated, per the CDC

Today’s censure vote against Gosar

The House is expected to vote today on a resolution that both censures Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., and removes him from the both House Oversight and Reform Committee and the Natural Resources Committee, NBC’s Capitol Hill team reports.

The Oversight Committee’s members also include Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. Gosar last week posted an altered animated video that depicted him killing Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Biden.

As we wrote last week, the violent images and rhetoric coming from Republicans and GOP voters — just months after Jan. 6 — is a dangerous situation.

If Republicans take control of the House in 2023, expect them to seek retribution on these censure efforts — even if the offenses aren’t as serious.

Tweet of the day

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world

The FDA is expected to authorize Pfizer booster shots for all adults this week.

Democrats are rebranding their social spending push by arguing it will fight inflation as Republicans warn increased spending will only make it worse.

A Trump adviser, who participated in the former president’s call where he asked the Georgia Secretary of State to “find” him enough ballots to declare him the winner, has been named to a federal election advisory board.