Former President Trump, in a new interview, signaled he plans to focus at least some of his time and energy in 2024 trying to flip traditional Democratic strongholds like New York, New Jersey and Minnesota in the general election.
“One of the other things I’m going to do — and I may be foolish in doing it — is I’m going to make a heavy play for New York, heavy play for New Jersey, heavy play for Virginia, heavy play for New Mexico, and a heavy play for a state that hasn’t been won in years, Minnesota,” Trump said in an interview with the right-wing outlet Breitbart published Tuesday.
“I’m going to do rallies, I’m going to do speeches, I’m going to work them,” Trump added. “That doesn’t mean I’m going to work them as hard as I work Pennsylvania, where I’m doing very well.”
Trump also suggested to Breitbart that he may rent out New York City’s Madison Square Garden for an event. While Trump is originally from New York City, he has faced large protests and criminal cases there in the years since he first won the White House.
Trump, the front-runner in the Republican primary, would need to flip at least a few states he lost in 2020 in order to win back the White House in 2024. He and his campaign are likely to focus most of their resources on swing states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin and Arizona, where multiple recent polls have shown Trump leading Biden.
The former president’s comments that he will seek to expand the map is reminiscent of his 2020 campaign, when he held rallies in Minnesota and New Mexico in a bid to flip the traditional blue states into his column. Those efforts were unsuccessful, as President Biden handily won both states.
Any attempt to flip New York and New Jersey would be even more difficult.
New York has voted for the Democratic presidential candidate each cycle since 1984, while New Jersey has voted for the Democrat each cycle since 1988.
Virginia had been a solidly red state in presidential contests until 2008, and it has gone for the Democratic candidate each election since then, amid rapid growth in the northern part of the state.
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