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.
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.
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.