Trump campaign expands into blue territory, opens new campaign offices

by Alex Caldwell

Photo: Alamy

The Trump campaign will invest resources into winning Virginia and Minnesota, two so-called blue states that were not originally considered to be in play for the 2024 Republican nominee.

A memo obtained by CBS News on Friday detailed how the campaign is currently obtaining leases for eight “Trump Force 47” offices across Minnesota and 11 campaign offices in Virginia.

According to CBS, their internal memo also revealed that the campaign has hired new staff to manage their ground game across both of these states.

The idea of Republicans putting either of these states into contention has been something of a pipe dream. Of course, President George W. Bush was the final Republican presidential hopeful to win Virginia in 2004, and President Richard Nixon the last to win Minnesota in 1972.

However, 2024 appears so far to be a year for which this dreaded losing cycle concludes, as Republican President Trump has polled ahead, tied, or within the margin of error in both states.

Trump tied his main rival, Joe Biden, in a head-to-head battle for Minnesota, according to The Hill/Emerson’s latest survey of 1,000 Registered Voters. Both men received 45 percent in the state, with a three percent margin for error.

In a five-way race, Trump led the incumbent by one point (42 to 41 percent), a rarity for a Republican to put Minnesota in contention, let alone lead. Meanwhile, Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. garnered just six percent, compared to one percent for both Independent Cornel West and the Green Party’s Jill Stein, the poll found.

While current third-party candidates have yet to be included on the state’s official ballot, Kennedy’s campaign claimed to have met the signature requirements to appear, while Stein and West are currently making efforts to be named.

With the inclusion of third-party presidential hopefuls, Biden’s chances of cruising to victory in this state may prove more challenging than anticipated, especially since these challenging candidates tend toward the left and may pick off disgruntled Democrats.

Therefore, Biden’s 7.2-point victory in Minnesota four years ago could transform itself into a close victory for Trump, who clearly now sees the state as being in play.

Virginia, which Biden carried by almost 10 points in 2020, showed the incumbent tied in a two-way race with Trump, each earning 48 percent in the latest Fox News poll from earlier this month.

Biden only came ahead in a five-way race with Trump, though winning by just one point (42 to 41 percent). Kennedy took third place with nine percent, while Stein and West received two percent, reported the poll of 1,107 Registered Voters.

Presently, none of the three third-party challengers are shown to be on Virginia’s ballot, though they are each petitioning currently to meet the state’s signature requirements.

Nonetheless, President Trump’s campaign also views Virginia as a state in play. They will now have help from their popular GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin with campaigning—a luxury that was unavailable four years ago under the previous governor.

Moreover, President Trump will hold his next major rally in Virginia on Friday. This will be his first event following his much-anticipated presidential debate against Biden and his second in Virginia this election cycle.

Regardless of the states’ voting trends, however, President Trump has made efforts to visit blue states over the course of the campaign, possibly to increase his chances of winning the popular vote, or making the Biden campaign invest monies to hold onto safe states while losing ground in swing-states.

Winning Minnesota’s 10 Electoral College votes and Virginia’s 13 would be most beneficial for the Trump campaign, who explained that their potential victories there could open up as many as “12 additional pathways” to winning the election.

Although it is expected that if Trump wins either (or both) of these states, he would likely sweep all the remaining swing states. Simply winning Minnesota or Virginia—combined with the other states he won in 2020—would put Trump between 245 and 248 electoral votes with only one of these two states, or 258 votes with each.

Trump winning either of these two states certainly opens more pathways to the required 270, but in order to reach the magic number, he needs to win two to three other swing states, including unique combinations encompassing Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

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