With his support sputtering in the Rust Belt, President Trump and his re-election staff are looking at three unlikely states to bolster his numbers in next year’s election, reports Politico.
“Trump officials are zeroing in on New Mexico, Nevada and New Hampshire, where they insist there’s an opening despite heavy losses Republicans suffered there in the midterms,” the political website says, adding that the president “is trying to capitalize on his vast financial and organizational advantage” in the 2020 campaign.
Trump’s own polling shows him losing ground in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, states that were pivotal to his 2016 victory. Those states 46 electoral votes among them; New Hampshire, Nevada and New Mexico — all with small populations — have a combined total of only 15.
“Every candidate for president needs multiple paths to 270 electoral votes. Last time, they had one path and it worked. But since no one can run the table every time, better to have multiple paths to 270,” Republican strategist Karl Rove told Politico. Rove orchestrated George W. Bush’s re-election in 2004, including a successful drive to win states Republicans lost in 2000.
“Even in a re-election, you cannot count on repeating what you did before,” Rove said. “Sometimes, the nature of the opposing candidate changes the playing field, opening possibilities and closing others.”
But Trump faces long political odds.
“Republicans have not won a presidential race in Nevada or New Mexico since 2004, and the last time they carried New Hampshire was in 2000,” Politico says. “Democrats won every statewide race in New Mexico last year; in Nevada, they seized a Senate seat as well as the governorship.” Democrats also took control of both chambers of New Hampshire’s state legislature.
“Last cycle, Democrats crushed Republicans in these states by highlighting President Trump’s toxic health care agenda and broken promises — that’s why he’ll lose them again in 2020,” said David Bergstein, a Democratic National Committee spokesman.
“Trump aides say they’re monitoring other states he lost in 2016, including Minnesota and Colorado,” says Politico. “Vice President Mike Pence, meanwhile, has launched an aggressive effort to make inroads in Virginia, where statewide Democratic officeholders have suffered an array of scandals.”