Trump to visit Atlanta this week to tout his transportation agenda

President Donald Trump is planning to visit metro Atlanta on Wednesday to tout his administration’s transportation agenda and announce a policy change designed to speed infrastructure projects, according to senior White House officials.

He’s set to make the announcement Wednesday afternoon at the UPS airport hub in Hapeville where he’ll highlight a process that the White House said will accelerate  environmental reviews for roads, bridges and highway projects, such as an I-75 expansion.

Unlike recent trips to Tulsa and Mt. Rushmore, Trump’s trek to Atlanta is an official visit rather than a campaign-style event, which means it will likely involve a handful of party officials rather than a large-scale showcase.

The visit, Trump’s ninth trip to Georgia since taking office, is the latest sign that Republicans are increasingly concerned about keeping Georgia in the GOP column in November.

spate of polls show Trump deadlocked or trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden in Georgia, which has voted for a Republican in every presidential election cycle since 1996.

Democrats far outvoted Republicans in the June primaries, smashing a state turnout record, and Trump's campaign began reserving TV spots in Georgia and other swing states within the last two weeks.

So have national GOP groups, which recently announced plans to shell out more than $21 million to defend Republican-held Senate seats in Georgia.

Trump has shaped Georgia’s two U.S. Senate races and competitive U.S. House races. U.S. Sen. David Perdue has aggressively tied himself to the president, while Democratic nominee Jon Ossoff has cast the Trump and Perdue as corrupt Washington hacks.

In Georgia’s other Senate contest, a 21-candidate special election held in November, U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler and U.S. Rep. Doug Collins have both jockeyed over which is more loyal to Trump. The Rev. Raphael Warnock, the leading Democrat, is framing himself as a “moral voice” to counter Trump.

The visit could make for an awkward reunion between Trump and Gov. Brian Kemp, a top ally who found himself the target of the president’s disdain in April as Georgia began rolling back coronavirus restrictions.

Back then, the president said repeatedly that he "strongly" opposed Kemp's plan and urged the governor not to defy White House pandemic guidelines. He later reversed himself, and Vice President Mike Pence made two visits in a week in May to praise Georgia's response to the disease.

Trump's last visit to Atlanta came on March 6, when he visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the pandemic worsened.