Trump eyes 2 battleground states as he looks to tear down Dem 'blue wall' again

Donald Trump is making the most of his day off from court this week.

With the judge in the former president’s first criminal trial using Wednesdays to handle other business from other cases he’s handling, Trump is heading to two crucial states that may decide the winner of his 2024 rematch with President Biden.

Trump is making campaign stops in Wisconsin and Michigan, two crucial battlegrounds he narrowly captured in his 2016 presidential election victory but where he fell short four years later as he lost his re-election bid.

It’s the former president’s second swing through the two Great Lakes swing states in a month.

“Those two states are absolutely essential to both campaigns, followed pretty closely by Pennsylvania,” longtime Republican strategist and presidential campaign veteran David Kochel said. “Those are two states where the Trump campaign should live.”


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Former President Trump speaks at a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on April 2, 2024. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

Trump’s unexpected victories in Michigan and Wisconsin, along with Pennsylvania, over 2016 Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton shattered the so-called “blue wall” of states that Democrats had counted on for nearly a quarter-century.

And Trump’s victories in all three states symbolized his ability to flip blue-collar voters, giving the GOP hopes of a long-lasting electoral realignment in the so-called Rust Belt.

But four years later, Biden narrowly captured all three states as his party partially reconstructed the “blue wall.” And Democrats won gubernatorial elections that same year in Michigan and Wisconsin – flipping Republican-held governors’ offices – and in 2022 flipped a crucial Senate seat in Pennsylvania that was vital to keeping their majority in the chamber.


While they’re enjoying a winning streak, Democrats are taking nothing for granted. Many recent polls suggest Trump holds a slight edge over Biden in all three states.

“It’s no surprise to anyone that Michigan and Wisconsin are important Midwest battleground states for November. President Trump is leading in both because Biden’s failure and weakness is felt in every town and city,” Trump campaign senior adviser Brian Hughes told Fox News.

Trump’s first stop on Wednesday is Waukesha, Wisconsin, which is about 20 miles west of downtown Milwaukee, where his campaign said the former president will “contrast the peace, prosperity and security of his first term” with what they argue is “Joe Biden’s failed presidency.”

The former president is expected to shine a spotlight on rising prices, which have been a persistent problem for the Biden administration for three years, and on the surge of migrants at the nation’s southern border that has sent shock waves across the country.

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Former President Trump gives a speech about crime and border security during a stop in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on April 2, 2024. (Fox News/Paul Steinhauser)

Trump will then hold a rally in the evening in Freeland, Michigan, about 120 miles north of Detroit. During his stop in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a month ago, Trump spoke out against what he called “Biden’s border bloodbath.”

Hughes said that during his stops in Wisconsin and Michigan, Trump will “demonstrate to the people of these states and the nation that he is ready to win and make America great again.”


Biden has made multiple trips to Michigan and Wisconsin this year, and his campaign enjoys a formidable advantage in both states when it comes to organization and ground-game efforts.

“Trump heads to the states with no campaign infrastructure to speak of in either battleground – while President Biden and Democrats have 44 offices in Wisconsin and 30 in Michigan,” Biden’s campaign said in a statement. “Trump’s former minority outreach center in Milwaukee is becoming an ice cream shop.”


President Biden speaks at an event at the Madison Area Technical College’s Truax campus in Wisconsin on April 8, 2024. (AP)

But Biden’s support for Israel in its war with Hamas has strained support among Michigan’s large pool of Arab-American voters. And while the president enjoys plenty of union endorsements, Trump has made inroads with some of the state’s autoworkers as he’s repeatedly targeted Biden’s push for electric vehicles in the battle against climate change.

“There’s a ton of opportunity in Michigan for Trump,” Kochel said. “I think Trump has made a pretty compelling argument on Biden overplaying his hand on EVs and trying to wedge some of those autoworkers away.”

While Trump also spotlights in both states what he characterizes as a surge in crime during the Biden administration, he’s coming under attack from Democrats over the issue of abortion and over his repeated unproven claims that his 2020 election loss was due to voter fraud.

Republican allies of Trump attempted to overturn the 2020 election results in both states by pushing slates of fake electors.

Biden campaign communications director in Wisconsin Brianna Johnson said last week that Trump was coming to the Badger State “in a desperate bid to do damage control on his record of ripping away women’s freedoms and encouraging thousands of rioters to try to violently overturn an election.”

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

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