On the trail: Visits part of Trump push in key battleground state – Concord Monitor

President Donald Trumps re-election campaign announced on Thursday that Vice President Mike Pence is headed to New Hampshire next week.

The visit by the vice president who will headline a campaign event Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the AutoServe Hangar at the airport in Gilford comes aboutthree weeks after Trump energized supporters in this crucial general election battleground state.

It keeps our base energized and gets the presidents message out, Trump campaign New Hampshire co-chair Fred Doucette told the Monitor.

But the mission of Pences trip and those of the president and other well-known surrogates is much more than just keeping the base energized in astate thatin 2016 gave Trump his first primary win in his quest for the presidency.

But Trump ended up narrowly losing New Hampshire to 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the general election. Now with the president facing the challenging prospect of holding onto key battleground states he flipped from blue to red fouryears ago such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin he and his campaign are eyeing New Hampshire, as well as Minnesota and Nevada, two other states Clinton narrowly carried in 2016.

New Hampshires been on the Trump campaigns electoral radar for over a year. Trump campaign officials told the Monitor in the spring of 2019 when Lara Trump headlined a major NHGOP fundraiser in Nashua that they were eyeing the Granite State.

We were the first ones in the country to have paid staff on the ground through the Trump Victory campaign, so the presidents taking New Hampshire very seriously, Doucette touted.

But as the 2020 presidential campaign hit the final stretch coming out of the Democratic and Republican national political conventions, the Trump campaigns plan kicked into high gear.

The president chose New Hampshire as his first stop on the campaign trail following the Republican National Convention.

At an Aug. 28 rally in a hangar at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, Trump told his supporters that you are going to lead a nation to the most important victory and the most important election that weve ever had.

The vice presidents nephew John Pence a senior campaign adviser this week spent two days in New Hampshire revving up staff and volunteers.

On Thursday the presidents sonEric made a stop at a campaign field office in Portsmouth. At the same time, First Lady Melania Trump made a surprise stop atConcord Hospital on an official trip to mark her Be Best public awareness campaign.

The latest visits come as most recent polls in New Hampshire from the New York Times and Siena College indicated Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden holding a slight 3-point edge over the president.

Neither Biden nor Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris of California have stopped in New Hampshire since the start of the general election campaign.

New Hampshire GOP chair Steve Stepanek didnt miss an opportunity to point out the lack of a visit so far by either member of the Democrats national ticket.

We are 48 days out from the election and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have still not stepped foot in the Granite State since their disastrous First-in-the-Nation primary campaigns, Stepanek said on Wednesday.

But longtime New Hampshire Democratic Party chair Ray Buckley told the Monitor that there is no evidence that having either Donald Trump or Mike Pence show up anywhere has had any impact on any election at any time since their inauguration.

Buckley acknowledged that wed love to have them, but he emphasized that the reality is were going to win New Hampshire because of the issues, not because of whos visited New Hampshire.

And taking aim at the president and his campaign, Buckley charged that Ive never seen a campaign so devoid of issues, of proposals, of a plan of what they would do in the coming years and thats what youre hearing on the Democratic side.

While high profile visits dont hurt, they may not help as much as a powerful ground game.

Doucette highlighted that the Trump campaign should have by the end of next week nineregional offices through the state and more than 40 staffers on the ground.

And he showcased that the campaigns contacted 1 million people in the state through phone calls or traditional door knocks.

Earlier this summer, the Trump campaign in New Hampshire and across the country resumed in-person canvassing and grassroots outreach after suspending such traditional organizing steps earlier in the year as the coronavirus pandemic swept the nation.

The Biden campaign amid a pandemic thats claimed nearly 200,000 lives in this country is relying on telephone and virtual outreach.

People in New Hampshire are used to being face to face with their candidates and having that contact. Whether that contact is social distanced, I think its important to voters in the Granite State, because thats what were used to. Were used to personal interaction, Doucette told Fox News. Right now we have to do that at a level that keeps us safe because of the COVID virus.

I think lacking that, youre missing the mark, he stressed.

But Buckley stressed that we understand that we are in a worldwide pandemic and that we are not going to follow their lead of being COVID spreaders.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party and Bidens campaign in New Hampshire highlight that theyve held over 12,000 grassroots events and made and sent over a million calls and texts the past four months.

And the Biden campaign points out that on the same day that the president held his rally last month in the Granite State, their campaign experienced its highest single day of volunteer sign-ups to date - a 1,440% increase in sign-ups from the previous day.

Weve already surpassed them in actual direct voter contact, with our volunteers talking to actual voters on their phones, Buckley said. Of the over 1 million calls that have occurred, not one person said Gee, I wish he had come by my house.

And he charged that its really regretful how much Trump and his behavior has infected the entire Republican Party from top to bottom.

Well find out in November which partys outreach was more successful.

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On the trail: Visits part of Trump push in key battleground state - Concord Monitor

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