Former President Donald Trump is planning a string of visits to early voting states starting this month as he seeks to jumpstart his low-energy 2024 presidential campaign.
More than two months after Trump launched the comeback White House bid, he will leave Florida for the first series of campaign appearances in some of the traditional early voting states.
Trump will hold what aides call an “intimate” campaign event at the South Carolina state house in Columbia on the last weekend of January, about a year before Palmetto state Republicans will vote in the traditional first-in-the-South primary.
Trump also plans similar events in other early voting states, a group that includes Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, although no other events have been confirmed yet.
The smaller events mark a change in strategy for Trump, who has previously held mostly large rallies to excite supporters and grab attention from the broader public.
Trump 2024 officials say the MAGA rallies will return later in the year when people are more focused on the upcoming presidential race.
“People [ask]: ‘Why aren’t you doing rallies?’” Chris LaCivita, a senior Trump adviser, told Politico. “Well, I think it would be kind of crazy to be spending huge amounts of money this far out.”
Trump is battling the widespread perception that his 2024 campaign has so far been a snooze.
He announced the race shortly after the midterms in early November with a speech that was widely panned as boring.
Since then, Trump has remained holed up at his Mar-a-Lago resort with the holidays limiting opportunities to make political hay.
Trump is also grappling with sagging poll numbers. Recent head-to-head polls show him losing to President Biden in a potential rematch of their 2020 race.
He’s also facing growing disapproval among Republicans, with significant chunks of the GOP electorate preferring Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis or other candidates.
Despite the slow start, Trump remains the most powerful GOP leader and the favorite to win the Republican nomination.
Pundits note that Trump has yet to unleash his trademark full-blown attacks on DeSantis or other rivals.
And with several other Republicans considering White House bids, he could repeat his 2016 winning strategy of scoring a win against opponents divided along ideological lines.
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