‘Minnesota is in play’: Trump insiders view nationwide protests as a political opportunity that could change the 2020 election map

washington dc protests may 31

President Trump and his supporters have seized on the violence surrounding protests over the death of George Floyd as a new message for the 2020 White House campaign.

They are touting Trump’s law-and-order message to appeal to suburbanites, independents and senior citizens. They also see the civil unrest as an opportunity to win over African American voters or at least discourage them from turning out for Joe Biden.
“I think it has the potential to change the map,” said a 2016 Trump campaign adviser. Another declared on Friday night, “Minnesota is in play.”
Trump advisers acknowledge the push to capitalize on the protests and violence could also turn off potential voters while energizing support for the Democrats.
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Donald Trump and his supporters are trying to turn this weekend’s nationwide protests and riots into a political opportunity that can boost the president’s reelection prospects.

They are banking on the chaos of the moment to drive Trump’s law-and-order message in an appeal to suburbanites, independents and senior citizens. They also see mushrooming civil unrest as a factor that could lead some African American voters into Trump’s camp while discouraging others to stay home in 2020 rather than back Joe Biden.

“I think it has the potential to change the map,” Barry Bennett, a former Trump 2016 campaign adviser, told Insider on Monday. “In times like these, Americans want to see a president that is strong and fair and if that’s where he goes he’ll do very well.”

Others in the president’s orbit are equally explicit about how Trump’s handling of the crisis that’s spilled out of George Floyd’s death last Monday while in police custody could help him secure four more years in the White House.

“Minnesota is in play,” Michael Caputo, a longtime Trump adviser and current senior aide at the Department of Health and Human Services, tweeted on Friday night as national TV networks carried graphic images of the Twin Cities and other cities around the country devolving into chaos amid the protests about Floyd’s death.

Jason Miller, a top Trump 2016 campaign aide who remains close to the White House, said the president and his supporters should be cautious that they’re not seen as taking advantage of “the senseless murder of George Floyd.”

But Miller said Trump has a chance to demonstrate he’s the best equipped leader to use the moment to lower the country’s temperature on race relations and other issues important to the African American community. That’s the kind of message that can resonate in a state like Minnesota, which the president lost in 2016 by less than 45,000 votes.

“It’s very clear from the events of the past week that this really will be ground zero as far as the future direction of our country for the rest of this year,” he said. “I think President Trump will smartly continue to make the state a big focus.”

‘If we don’t have law and order, we don’t have a country’

Trump so far has used social media to do most of …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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