02 Apr 2024, 08:54

Trump hits campaign trail in swing states Michigan, Wisconsin

GREEN BAY, United States, April 2, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Donald Trump aims to
jumpstart his campaign Tuesday with back-to-back rallies in Michigan and
Wisconsin, two crucial states in his bid to defeat President Joe Biden in
November's election.

The former Republican president has held just one of the big, packed rallies
he loves since his rematch with Biden was all but confirmed nearly three
weeks ago, and he wants to end any speculation that he is slowing down.

Trump will start in the northern state of Michigan, in the Great Lakes
region, where his campaign team says he will focus on "Biden's border
bloodbath" on the frontier with Mexico.

The expression, which is jarring to say the least, is one Trump regularly
hurls at his rival's border policies, with immigration always high on the
list of US voter concerns.

It is also just one illustration of Trump's increasingly incendiary rhetoric,
which has prompted fears over the potential for violence among his inflamed

He has accused migrants of "poisoning the blood" of the country, and claimed
there would be a "bloodbath" -- ostensibly in the US auto industry -- if he
is not elected.

Last year he echoed Nazi Germany in vowing to "root out the communists,
Marxists, fascists and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within
the confines of our country."

On Friday he shared on his social network an image of Biden tied up, drawing
fresh shock and criticism.

But if the program announced for Tuesday is anything to go by, Trump is
doubling down on his aggressive language about migrants in particular -- even
in a state that is some 2,000 miles from the Mexico border.

- Swing states -

The rally will be held in Grand Rapids, a town where he also held his last
rally of the 2016 campaign.

That time, he won both the state and the keys to the White House against
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Biden put the state back in the blue column in 2020, buoyed by unionized
workers and a large Black community that helped deliver a victory margin of
less than three percentage points.

But this time the Democrat risks losing the support of a 200,000-strong Arab-
American community that has denounced his support for Israel as the civilian
death toll soars in the war with Hamas in Gaza.

Polls currently have Trump in the lead, although the election is still likely
to come down to the wire.

It is also predicted to do so in neighboring Wisconsin, where Trump is set to
begin his second rally just hours later.

Like Michigan, Trump won the Midwestern state in 2016, only to lose it to
Biden in 2020. Polls suggest Wisconsin, with its swathes of dairy farmers and
other rural voters, will be one of the closest 2024 races.

- Campaign war chests -

With many states already firmly leaning one way or the other, the election
may hinge on winning key swing states -- such as Wisconsin and Michigan.

Biden has been on a blitz through the swing states in recent weeks, visiting
Wisconsin and Michigan as well as Arizona, Nevada, North Carolina and

On Thursday, he also raised $25 million at a major fundraising event in New
York -- a huge boost in a country where presidential campaigns can cost
billions of dollars.

Biden holds a widening lead over his Republican rival in the fundraising
stakes, while Trump is burning through money as he pays legal bills to battle
multiple criminal and civil cases.

He is due to hold a fundraising event from his luxury Florida home on

But after that, any momentum he may have created could stall again -- his
first criminal trial begins on April 15, as he faces charges of falsifying
business records in making hush money payments to a porn star on the eve of
the 2016 election.

That is set to be followed by other potential trials, including two for
trying to overturn the 2020 election, in Florida, Georgia and Washington, DC.

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