President TrumpDonald John TrumpLabor secretary’s wife tests positive for COVID-19 Russia shuts down Trump admin’s last-minute push to strike nuclear arms deal before election Trump makes appeal to suburban women at rally: ‘Will you please like me?’ MORE is returning full steam to the campaign trail this week — but his schedule reveals the weakness of his position.
Trump will travel to Iowa for a rally Wednesday and to Georgia, as well as Florida, on Friday.
Trump carried Iowa by more than 9 percentage points against Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump makes appeal to suburban women at rally: ‘Will you please like me?’ Only William Barr stands between Trump and the end of democracy in America Texas county says more than 95 percent of eligible voters are registered for this election MORE in 2016, while no Democrat has won Georgia in a presidential election since former President Clinton in 1992.
The fact that those states are competitive is a warning sign about the president’s chances.
The travel decisions come at the same time as speculation mounts about the financial health of the president’s campaign. According to recent reports, the Trump campaign has pulled $17 million of planned ad spending from Iowa, New Hampshire and Ohio.
Campaign aides pushed back against the suggestion of a cash crunch during a conference call with reporters Monday. The move pertaining to advertising was characterized by them as a straightforward call to not take up the option of airtime that had been reserved months ago.
During that same call, aides including campaign manager Bill StepienBill StepienThe Memo: Biden landslide creeps into view Trump relishes return to large rallies following COVID-19 diagnosis Trump tests negative for COVID-19 on consecutive days, doctor says MORE portrayed Trump as the campaign’s biggest asset, especially when it comes to rallies.
The president seems to have had his spirits lifted following his release from hospital, at least to judge from footage of him dancing briefly to The Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.” at a rally in Sanford, Fla., on Monday.
At the same event, Trump said to cheers that he felt “so powerful” after his struggle with COVID-19 that “I will walk in there, I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys, and the beautiful women and everybody.”
Those comments again stirred up safety concerns as cases of coronavirus rise in many parts of the country. Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump makes appeal to suburban women at rally: ‘Will you please like me?’ Pro-Trump campaign ad uses stock footage from Russia, Belarus Harris raises alarm on abortion rights while grilling Barrett MORE has mostly avoided big rallies, a decision that his supporters hail as prudent from a public health perspective. Team Trump alleges the dearth of Biden rallies shows a lack of enthusiasm for the former vice president’s candidacy.
Trump is a big believer in the power of rallies to move the needle. He and his aides hearken back to the 2016 campaign as proof.