Campaign manager Bill Stepien said Friday that Trump raised $26 million in the hours around the final presidential debate against Joe Biden, pulling in 30 percent more money than during any 24-hour period in the 2016 or 2020 presidential cycles.
Stepien revealed that some of the new resources will be spent on a major ad purchase in Minnesota.
“The new buy is going to be a heavy buy. I emphasize heavy. You won’t be able to turn on the TV without seeing a Trump ad.”
Minnesota has not supported a Republican for commander-in-chief since 1972. Four years ago, even though he barely campaigned in the state, Trump lost to then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by only 44,000 votes.
This time, Trump’s team has dispatched 60 staffers to Minnesota. Next week, they will be joined by Vice President Mike Pence.
Some Republicans reportedly believe that Democrats have lost support in the rural parts of Minnesota and see this as an opening for Trump to pull a major upset.
Even though public polling suggests Biden is comfortably in the lead, some close to Trump reportedly think that the backlash against police brutality protests — which began in Minneapolis, following George Floyd’s death — could drive GOP turnout in suburban and rural areas.
Stepien touted Trump’s ground game in Minnesota, suggesting that the ad blitz is meant to provide additional support for organizers and volunteers.
“We now have heavy air cover for the troops that have been blanketing the state for the past two years. Joe Biden has been running a lot of TV ads. He’s got nothing on the ground,” he said.
“We’re now giving added air cover to the people who have been making sure that those ballots that have been sent, those voted early are returned and putting the president in position for a victory on Election Day.”
A KSTP/SurveyUSA poll released earlier this week put Biden 6 percentage points ahead in Minnesota. It established that the Democrat is much stronger in urban areas, but Trump had a 53 to 36 percent lead in the rural parts of the state.
As Carleton College political analyst Steven Schier explained, polls gave Clinton a 10 point advantage four years ago, but she ended up winning by only 1.5 percent.
Most nationwide and battleground polls suggest that Biden is the absolute favorite, but his team has warned that the race is far closer than it seems.
In a memo last week, Biden’s campaign manager, Jen O’Malley Dillon, warned Democrats against complacency, arguing that Trump should not be underestimated.