Trump’s Campaign Pulls Out of Virginia
Donald Trump’s campaign announced its decision to pull its field operation out of Virginia to focus on battlegrounds critical to his chances in November.
The news, which broke from Trump’s New York headquarters Wednesday night, came as a surprise to Republican Party members in the state. Two staffers directly involved in the GOP’s efforts in Virginia confirmed the decision to NBC News.
Clinton currently leads Trump by 7.5 points, according to a RealClearPolitics average of state polls. The move effectively concedes the state, and its 13 electoral votes, to Clinton and her Vice-Presidential candidate, former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine.
Earlier in the week, Trump fired his Virginia state co-chairman, Corey Stewart, after Stewart participated in a protest in front of the Republican National Committee headquarters. The former state director still supports the campaign that fired him.
Stewart, a Prince William County Commissioner, posted a plea on his Facebook urging the campaign to not pull out of Virginia. Stewart wrote:
Thousands of dedicated volunteers have spent millions of hours knocking on doors, making phone calls and raising money for Mr. Trump over the past 15 months. Virginia is winnable. An aggressive ad campaign–in combination with the efforts of these volunteers–will produce results. Pulling out now would be a betrayal to these volunteers.
Over the past decade, Virginia has become increasingly favorable terrain for Democrats. President Barack Obama won the state twice after decades of Republican dominance–by six points in 2008 and four points in 2012.
“The move to pull out of Virginia shows Trump is ‘running essentially a four state campaign,’ with the focus now shifting to battlegrounds critical to his chances in November: Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio,” NBC reported after receiving a tip from a source with knowledge of the decision.
Trump has 25 days left in the election cycle to turn battleground states in his favor. The Republican nominee is currently falling behind Clinton in national polls.