President Trump is pushing to expand the electoral map to include states he narrowly lost to Hillary Clinton in 2016, despite being threatened in the ones where he was victorious.
Trump campaigned Sunday in Nevada, with a large indoor rally in Henderson. He will appear in Minnesota this week. And he held a rally in New Hampshire late last month, the day after delivering his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention from the White House.
“We’re going to win. We’re going to win,” Trump vowed in Manchester. “Does anybody have any doubt?”
The move comes as polls show Trump in a tight race in Florida and North Carolina while trailing in polling averages for Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. These are all states Trump carried four years ago, though mostly by small margins.
“They are playing defense in so many states, they need an offense state,” said Amy Koch, a former Minnesota senate majority leader.
The attempt to pick off states that went for Clinton can be second-guessed based on public polls showing him trailing in them and the need to shore up the Rust Belt. Clinton tried to flip normally Republican states such as Arizona, where Trump seemed vulnerable, when she needed to focus on Wisconsin. Trump has cut back on ad spending in Nevada and New Hampshire. But operatives in all three states believe Trump has a real chance to win.