Trump hits campaign trail in swing states Michigan and Wisconsin

Grand Rapids, Michigan - 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.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is due to rally in Michigan and Wisconsin on Tuesday as he looks to drum up support in key swing states.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is due to rally in Michigan and Wisconsin on Tuesday as he looks to drum up support in key swing states.  © KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI / AFP

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.

Trump may be sued by E. Jean Carroll for a third time after Memorial Day rant
Donald Trump Trump may be sued by E. Jean Carroll for a third time after Memorial Day rant

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

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.

Biden losing support among key voting blocs

President Joe Biden is losing support among key voting blocs as he heads toward a rematch with Donald Trump.
President Joe Biden is losing support among key voting blocs as he heads toward a rematch with Donald Trump.  © REUTERS

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.

Biden speaks on chances of sending US soldiers to Ukraine in West Point address
Joe Biden Biden speaks on chances of sending US soldiers to Ukraine in West Point address

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

Nationwide, Biden is also losing Black support over his failure to deliver on key racial justice priorities, including the establishment of a federal reparations commission.

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.

Trump and Biden's campaign war chests

Donald Trump's first criminal trial in the hush money case begins on April 15.
Donald Trump's first criminal trial in the hush money case begins on April 15.  © CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP

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 Pennsylvania.

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.

Trump is due to hold a fundraising event from his luxury Florida home on Saturday.

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.

Cover photo: KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI / AFP

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