GOODYEAR, Ariz. - President Donald Trump campaigned in Arizona once again, marking his nearly 10 visits to the state during the 2020 election as the state became a battleground for both Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
On Oct. 28, the president first landed in Bullhead City and held a rally at the Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport at noon. He then travelled to Phoenix Goodyear Airport for another rally at the airport.
Oct. 28 is six days before Election Day, and in the days prior, members of Trump's family have also visited Arizona.
"All attendees will be given a temperature check, masks which they are instructed to wear, and access to hand sanitizer," the campaign said in an email, detailing health and safety measures taken as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. According to data posted by officials with the Arizona Department of Health Services, there were 241,165 cases of COVID-19 in Arizona as of Oct. 28, with 5,905 deaths.
With less than a week until Election Day, Trump is trailing Democratic rival Joe Biden in most national polls. Biden also has an advantage, though narrower, in the key swing states that could decide the election.
Trump views Nevada, a state that hasn’t backed a Republican for president since 2004, as one option for success. Hillary Clinton won it by less than 2.5 percentage points in 2016, giving the president hope that he could close the margin.
While Trump has his sights on Nevada, he’s also aiming to keep Arizona in his column. The state hasn’t backed a Democratic presidential candidate since 1996, but it is competitive this year for both the presidency and the Senate. Democrat Mark Kelly is in a close race against GOP Sen. Martha McSally.
Democrats aren’t ceding Nevada and Arizona to Trump in the final days of the campaign. Biden’s running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, was in Nevada on Tuesday night in an effort to prevent the state from flipping to Trump.
“A path to the White House runs right through this field,” Harris said in a Las Vegas park Tuesday evening.
She will also travel to Arizona on Oct. 28 for campaign stops in Phoenix and Tucson.
Both campaigns are arguing they have the momentum with Election Day looming.
“We’re definitely on offense, but we are also visiting the states where the president did win last time,” Trump reelection campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said on a conference call with reporters.
Democrats point to a larger number of their partisans returning absentee ballots in pivotal states like Pennsylvania — results that could decisive since more people are likely to vote by mail during the pandemic.
Trump’s campaign is facing a cash crunch, meanwhile, which has crimped his advertising budget at a time when Biden is using his massive funding advantage to flood the airwaves in battleground states with ads. That’s forced Trump to do more of his signature rallies as a substitute, despite a worsening pandemic.
In Arizona, Biden is outspending by nearly double Trump and the Republican National Committee, which has more cash on hand than the president and has been tapped to help pay for ads in the closing weeks.
Associated Press writers Kathleen Ronayne in Las Vegas and Brian Slodysko in Washington contributed to this report