Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFighter jet escorts aircraft that entered restricted airspace during UN gathering Julian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy FBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp MORE and vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisTwo 'View' hosts test positive for coronavirus ahead of Harris interview Rep. Karen Bass to run for mayor of Los Angeles: report Biden taps big bank skeptic to for top regulatory post MORE (D-Calif.) will make their first joint campaign stop of the year in Arizona on Thursday as the race heats up in the battleground state.
The campaign announced on Wednesday that the Democratic ticket is set to meet with Native American tribal leaders in Phoenix before embarking on a "Soul of the Nation" bus tour. Biden and Harris are slated to make stops on the tour to meet with voters and small-business owners in Phoenix and Tempe.
The tour will fall on the second day of early voting in Arizona, and as Vice President Pence makes his fourth trip to the critical battleground state. The dueling visits demonstrate the importance of the state less than a month out from Election Day.
Arizona is one of a handful of must-win states in the presidential race four years after Trump defeated then-Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats worry negative images are defining White House Heller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll MORE there by roughly 4 points.
However, recent polling shows Biden holding the lead. A New York Times/Sienna College poll released on Monday had Biden leading Trump by 8 points, 49 percent to 41 percent.
Additionally, a new OH Predictive Insights poll of the state's 6th District, which Trump won by 11 points in 2016, shows Trump and Biden within 1 point of each other. The district makes up Scottsdale and the more affluent Phoenix suburbs.
Biden leads Trump by 3.4 points in the RealClearPolitics average of Arizona polls taken so far in the campaign.
The state is also important to both parties in the battle for the Senate. The New York Times/Sienna College poll showed Democratic candidate Mark Kelly leading incumbent Republican Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyFive takeaways from Arizona's audit results The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Senate passes infrastructure bill, budget resolution; Cuomo resigns Schumer, Tim Scott lead as Senate fundraising pace heats up MORE by 11 points.
When asked during Monday night's Arizona Senate debate whether she was proud of her support of Trump, McSally notably dodged the question.