Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are making competing Labor Day pitches in Ohio, setting the stage for a critical month in their testy presidential campaign.
The Republican real estate mogul is joining running mate Mike Pence at a morning round-table discussion with union members in Cleveland. The Democratic nominee plans to arrive in the city for a Labor Day festival with union leaders and workers.
Trump is also expected to campaign at a fair in Youngstown, Ohio, in a nod to the state’s role as a make-or-break proving ground for Republican presidential candidates. No Republican has won the White House without winning Ohio and Trump is trying to overcome some splintering in the state party, which was supportive of Ohio Gov. John Kasich during the presidential primary.
While Labor Day has traditionally been the kickoff to the fall campaign, both Clinton and Trump have been locked in an intense back-and-forth throughout the summer.
Clinton has questioned Trump’s temperament and preparation to serve as commander in chief while seeking to connect the reality television star to the extreme “alt-right” movement within the Republican Party.
Trump visited a predominantly black church in Detroit on Saturday in a rare appearance with minority voters, aiming to counter Clinton’s argument to moderate and suburban voters that he has allowed a racist fringe to influence his candidacy.
The start of full-fledged campaigning opens a pivotal month, culminating in the first presidential debate on Sept. 26 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Polls show Trump trailing Clinton in a series of must-win battleground states, meaning the debates could be his best chance at reorienting the race.