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Joe Biden will be back in Michigan on Friday

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will return to Michigan for stops in Southfield and Detroit on Friday afternoon, 18 days before the Nov. 3 election and a day before President Donald Trump visits the state.

The former vice president will deliver a speech in Southfield on protecting access to affordable health care and will attend an event in Detroit to urge Michigan residents to vote early, according to his campaign.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Plumbers Local Union No. 27 training center, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Erie, Pa.

Biden's scheduled stops appear to be designed to bolster his popularity with African-American voters, who have been one of the strengths of his campaign. Detroit's population is more than 80% Black, while Southfield's is 70%.

Biden's visit comes as the Trump campaign has rushed, this week, representatives to Michigan, a state he won by 10,704 votes in 2016.

The president's son Eric was in Oakland County on Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence was in Grand Rapids on Wednesday and his daughter-in-law Lara Trump was scheduled to make stops in Freeland and Hanover on Thursday.

Trump himself will deliver a speech in Muskegon on Saturday.

"The road to victory runs right through Michigan," Pence said during a speech outside Lacks Enterprises on Wednesday.

With Election Day less than three weeks away and early absentee ballot voting already started, the two campaigns are working make their cases to Michigan voters. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson tweeted that more than 1 million Michigan citizens have already voted and more than 2.8 million voters had requested ballots to vote early.

In the 2016 election, about 4.8 million Michiganians voted in the presidential race. The record is about 5.04 million voters in 2008.

Biden's visit on Friday will be his third to Michigan since the beginning of September. He appeared at events in Warren and Detroit on Sept. 9 and spoke in Grand Rapids on Oct. 2.

cmauger@detroitnews.com