Following reports that the Trump campaign is struggling to gain a foothold in the Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, Fox News contributor Karl Rove said he believes the Trump campaign is treading carefully in the crucial voting states for the 2020 presidential election.
The Rust Belt states, where President Trump won by a very slim margin in 2016, will be paramount for his reelection efforts next year. Rove, the former White House deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, said that Trump will be making significant efforts over the next year to appeal to voters in those states.
"We've seen some evidence in the public polling, but my sense is that trump campaign feels very, very cautious about their chances in those three states," Rove told the "America's Newsroom" hosts on Tuesday.
"If he loses these three states, he is no longer president unless he makes it up elsewhere," he continued.
Rove went on to discuss the fact that of the 14 million people that voted in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, Trump won by a margin of half of one percent. Should former Vice President Joe Biden secure the Democratic nomination, it's possible that he could find popularity in the Rust Belt states, especially considering he was born in Pennsylvania.
"[Biden] has his headquarters in Philadelphia and recognizes how central it can be to the general election," Rove said. "Biden is missing no tricks. [Pennsylvania] will be a tough state for the president to hold and it's critical that he hold it."
According to a recent report by Politico, the general consensus among the Trump 2020 campaign is that Biden will fall in popularity once the "honeymoon" stage of his campaign is over. However, there are persisting concerns that Trump may be losing support from farmers, populous in the Rust Belt regions, given the impact of the president's ongoing trade war with China.
Democratic presidential candidates are likely to funnel "gobs of money" into those states ahead of the 2020 election, Rove said, adding that "if you have children in those states, don't let them watch television starting sometime next year."
Should the president lose support in those states, he's likely to center his focus on other crucial voter bases in New Hampshire, Nevada, Minnesota, Colorado and potentially New Mexico, according to Rove.