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Biden will promote internet access in North Carolina, a state he hopes to win in the 2024 election

FILE - President Joe Biden smiles in the Oval Office of the White House, Sept. 16, 2022, in Washington. The White House is reaching out to local governments. It's hosting officials from North Carolina on Thursday to highlight funding opportunities and hear firsthand how coronavirus relief, infrastructure dollars and other policies are faring in communities.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
FILE - President Joe Biden smiles in the Oval Office of the White House, Sept. 16, 2022, in Washington.

President Joe Biden is going to North Carolina on Thursday to highlight $82 million in new investments that would connect 16,000 households and businesses to high-speed internet.

Biden’s reelection campaign has made winning North Carolina and its 16 electoral votes one of its top priorities in this year's presidential election. The Democrat narrowly lost the state in 2020 by 1.34 percentage points to then-President Donald Trump, the current Republican front-runner in what will likely be a political rematch in 2024.

The Democratic president plans to use his stop in the state capital of Raleigh to stress that his administration is connecting poorer communities and businesses to the digital economy.

Polling shows that the economy has been a weakness for Biden, a reflection of inflation hitting a four-decade high in June 2022. Easing inflation rates since then have yet to pull Biden's approval ratings back to their levels at the start of his presidency.

One way the administration says it has lowered costs for families is by providing discounted internet service to 880,000 households in North Carolina.

The administration is committing a total of $3 billion to build out and fund internet connections in North Carolina. Estimates from the administration are that an additional 300,000 of the state's residents will be able to access the internet by the end of 2026.