Does Donald Trump’s campaign schedule and choice of rally sites make sense? Democrats are chuckling that they’ve faked out the Republican nominee, tricking him into holding events in usually deep red states, taking time and resources away from swing states.
In some of these cases, Trump had a fundraiser scheduled in a red state city, and if you’re going to have a high-dollar fundraiser, you might as well hold a rally for everyone else while you’re in the neighborhood. Trump stopped in Austin, Texas on August 23 and Jackson, Mississippi on August 24. (Like a wild West bank robber, a candidate goes where the money is.) Sometimes Trump has gone to a blue state for a fundraiser and not held a rally; Trump was in Woodside, California for a fundraiser Monday night.
And sometimes there’s symbolism to a visit; Trump’s visit to a Detroit African-American church was part of his outreach to that demographic and to spotlight the consequences of decades of Democratic misrule — and Michigan is, at least theoretically, a somewhat competitive state.
No, what makes less sense is Trump’s rallies in some deep-blue corners like Everett, Washington yesterday, Portland, Maine on August 4 or Fairfield, Connecticut on August 13. Trump announced Mike Pence as his running mate in New York City on July 16. A visit to Plattsburgh, New York was scheduled for early August, then canceled.
Trump adamantly believed he could put some heavily-Democratic states in play by sheer force of personality. One wonders whether he has accepted the fact that in order to win, his campaign will have to focus relentlessly on a handful of traditional swing states.