WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump is set to hold an outdoor rally Saturday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, according to the president’s campaign.
The campaign rally at Portsmouth International Airport will come three weeks after an indoor rally in Tulsa, the president’s first of the COVID-19 era, drew a smaller-than-capacity crowd.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said last week that Trump may more frequently opt to turn to outdoor venues to host his campaign speeches. Public health officials are cautioning against holding large gatherings as the virus continues to spread throughout much of the country, but they believe outdoor congregations are relatively less risky than indoor gatherings.
“We need to understand it’s a new world in terms of there are many people who support the president … who are not going to another rally,” Conway said. “It’s high risk, low reward for them, because they already support him.”
The president was narrowly defeated in 2016 in New Hampshire by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Before the pandemic, campaign officials had pointed to the state, in addition to Minnesota and New Mexico, as a place where they saw a chance to expand the electoral map.
“Trump’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has been chaotic and woefully inadequate, resulting in thousands of Granite Staters contracting the virus and hundreds of lives lost, while causing significant damage to our state’s economy,” New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley said after the rally was announced. “Instead of helping our state safely recover, Trump is flying in for a political rally that will only further highlight the chaos he has caused.”
Trump also plans to continue making frequent official visits to battleground states, where he is expected to continue to highlight his administration’s response to the pandemic and efforts to reboot the nation’s economy.
Trump held two in-person fundraisers in early June. Subsequent events have yet to be scheduled, but aides insisted there was “pent-up demand” for high-dollar events featuring the president that have been postponed due to the outbreak.