Trump hasn’t stumped in Michigan in 253 days, but VP promises he’ll be back ‘again and again’ for 2020

President Donald Trump, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence looking on, delivers the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol Building on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. | Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Donald Trump last campaigned in Michigan on March 28, when he triumphantly kicked off his 2020 campaign in Grand Rapids. That was 253 days ago, if you’re keeping track.

But during a West Michigan swing on Wednesday, his No. 2, Mike Pence, promised that both he and Trump would visit the state “again and again and again” during the 2020 campaign. He also defended the president against impeachment and, not surprisingly, declared that Trump would win Michigan next year.

The vice president appeared in Portage and did an event with former Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in the heavily GOP area of Holland, as the Advance first reported.

Pence, Huckabee Sanders to campaign in Holland Wednesday

Trump narrowly won Michigan in 2016 by 10,704 votes, helping put him over the top in the Electoral College, despite losing the popular vote by more than 2 million votes to Democrat Hillary Clinton. Although Trump has long regarded Michigan as the “crown jewel” of his victory, his consistently poor 2020 polling here could be a factor in why he has not campaigned here since the early spring.

Instead, Pence has been dispatched six times, including a speech at the Detroit Economic Club and at the biennial Michigan GOP conference on Mackinac Island, where he caused a stir by breaking island protocol with an eight-car entourage. He’s the former governor of neighboring state Indiana and a favorite among evangelicals and social conservatives for his anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ rights stances.

Susan J. Demas: From Steve Bannon to Diamond & Silk, Trump ‘celeb’ surrogates traipse around Michigan

The Trump campaign has gotten an assist from several well-known surrogates who have trekked to Michigan this year, including Diamond & Silk, former senior adviser Steve Bannon, Charlie Kirk, Candace Owens, Katrina Pierson, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and former former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.

Susan J. Demas is a 19-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.