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Committee of Seventy's Al Schmidt discusses why Biden, Trump are campaigning so hard in Pennsylvania

CEO of Committee of Seventy discusses why Biden, Trump are campaigning so hard in Pennsylvania
CEO of Committee of Seventy discusses why Biden, Trump are campaigning so hard in Pennsylvania 02:43

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- As we wrap up Labor Day weekend, we head right into midterm election season. While neither President Joe Biden nor former President Trump are on the ballot in November, they're rallying their parties before the midterms.

We are now less than 64 days away from Nov. 8 – that's the date of this year's pivotal midterm elections in Pennsylvania.

A new governor will be elected-that could decide women's reproductive rights, and a new senator will be sent to Washington that could determine the balance of power in the Senate.

And that's why the two men who ran for president in 2020 visited the Keystone State.

President Biden made a pit stop in Pittsburgh in Monday to celebrate union workers on Labor Day, but also to warn of what he calls Republican extremism led by Trump.

"This is not your father's Republican party," President Biden said. "This is a totally different party."

President Biden's predecessor, Trump, called Democrats extreme on Saturday night while campaigning for Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano and Senatorial candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz.

"Two months from now the people of Pennsylvania are going to fire the radical left Democrats," Trump said last weekend.

To help understand just how much of an impact national political figures have on statewide races, CBS3 spoke to Al Schmidt, the president and CEO of the nonproft and non-partisan organization Committee of Seventy.

"It may not necessarily in that of itself drive more people to vote," Schmidt said. "But of people that will vote, it makes sure they know what's important."

Both parties hope emphasizing the election's importance will drive turnout. And more often than not, if you win turnout, your chances of winning dramatically improve.

"Midterm elections are frequently are referendum on the sitting president," Schmidt said. "The party opposite the president benefits."

But this year isn't normal because the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade may change the calculus altogether, another reason that Biden, who also has several legislative wins, which his supporters may be happy about, is on the campaign trail and focusing on Pennsylvania.

"It's about time we stand up and remember who in God's name we are," President Biden said. "We're the United States of America. There's nothing beyond our capacity."

Lieutenant governor and Democratic senatorial candidate John Fetterman also spoke briefly at the event in Pittsburgh, hitting Dr. Oz as being out of touch.

CBS3 reached out to Dr. Oz's campaign for comment, but have not heard back.

Eyewitness News will be with you every step of the way leading up to the midterms.

Click here to check out our voters guide. 

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