President Donald Trump is targeting a trio of states that he lost in 2016 — a move aimed at widening his path to reelection that comes as he’s struggling in the Rust Belt states that propelled him to the White House.
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. They’ve deployed around a half-dozen staffers to New Hampshire and several to Nevada, an unusually early investment in places that favor Democrats. And the campaign is doing polling to tease out Trump’s level of support in New Mexico, a focal point for campaign manager Brad Parscale, and they have discussed dispatching aides to the blue state.
The maneuvering underscores how Trump is trying to capitalize on his vast financial and organizational advantage over Democrats. Yet it also illustrates how the president, whose own polling shows him falling behind in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, is seeking out additional routes to a second term.
In conversations on Air Force One and in the White House, Parscale has told Trump it’s imperative that he compete aggressively in states he lost in 2016.