The coronavirus pandemic has led to an election-year spat between President Donald Trump and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, with him dubbing her “half” Whitmer and both trading barbs over the government response to Michigan’s outbreak.

The tensions deescalated this week after the pair spoke by phone Tuesday about getting badly needed medical suppliesand resources to health care workers in the hard-hit state, where confirmed cases topped 9,300 Wednesday and 337 have died.

But the fight has highlighted the role Michigan will play as a swing state in the November election — where the Republican president must tread carefully in handling the popular Democratic governor — and the spotlight on the state with the fourth most COVID-19 cases in the nation.

Republican officials across the state say they want to see Whitmer succeed in managing the coronavirus outbreak, while accusing her of trying to score political points and auditioning to be the running mate of former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential front-runner.