Trump Turns To Blue States Instead Of Hitting FBI Letter Hard In Must-Wins

Evan Vucci

In the wake of FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that emails have surfaced that may be related to the agency's investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private server, Donald Trump’s campaign is voicing more confidence that they can expand their electoral map at this very late stage in the race.

“We’re on the offensive everywhere,” deputy campaign manager David Bossie told the Washington Post in a report out Sunday.

Though Bossie said that campaign rallies in Colorado, New Mexico, Maine, Michigan and Wisconsin were already planned before Comey’s letter went out, the team believes the letter will bolster Trump’s numbers in blue states.

Veteran political strategists were already baffled by Trump’s packed and scattershot schedule, telling TPM last week that his plan to hold several rallies a day in a combination of long-shot and battleground states defied conventional wisdom.

“At the end of the day though this is all about winning 270 electoral votes,” GOP operative Matt Mackowiak told TPM. “It’s not about feelings and instincts and what states you like.”

Yet Trump’s team does not appear to be using Comey’s announcement to try to shore up support in must-win states and secure what many strategists agree is a difficult path to 270. Campaign CEO Steve Bannon instead is pushing Trump to focus on Michigan, Wisconsin and New Mexico specifically, the Post reported. President Barack Obama won all three of those states in both 2008 and 2012, and Trump remains behind “by mid-to-high single digits” in these states.

For her part, Clinton has remained intent on promoting turnout in key battleground states like North Carolina, Florida and Ohio.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.
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