GOP hunts for new voters in Trump territory

GOP hunts for new voters in Trump territory

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s campaign has a bold theory for how he will win reelection: It can tap a universe of millions of supporters who did not vote for him in 2016 but will do so this time. Supposedly, these voters are overlooked by polls that show Trump consistently trailing Democrat Joe Biden. They are mostly the white working class from factory towns, farms and mining communities that Trump has elevated to near-mythic status as the “forgotten Americans.” They are disaffected and disconnected from conventional politics. Yet they flock to the Republican president’s rallies, plaster their yards with signs and have been filling up voter registration rolls, the campaign insists. This strategy will be tested in Pennsylvania, a critical state that Trump carried by only 44,292 votes out of 6.1 million cast in 2016. A Democratic surge of votes in cities and suburbs could quickly erase that narrow lead. To hold onto Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, the president needs to prove that a hidden groundswell of supporters exists — and will vote. But the math behind the theory is tight. Trump’s plan requires blowout victories and historic turnout in conservative strongholds across the state, places where he outperformed traditional Republicans four years ago and he knows must do even better. His mission is made clear by his campaign stops in Pennsylvania this week — a tour through GOP areas like Latrobe, Lititz and Martinsburg, “Trump has to drive turnout,” said Terry Madonna, a professor at […]

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