It has been a tumultuous week for the GOP presidential nominee, but reports of the Trump campaign surrendering in Virginia are erroneous, national and local campaign leaders said today.
Following last week’s release of a 2005 recording in which Republican nominee Donald J. Trump made crude sexual remarks about women, Northern Virginia Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA-10) was among the party members who called for him to drop out of the race. On Tuesday, the campaign’s Virginia co-chairman, Cory Stewart, was fired from the post after leading a protest criticizing party leaders at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, DC.
On Thursday, reports surfaced that the campaign was shifting resources from Virginia to North Carolina. That state went narrowly for Democrat Barack Obama in 2008 and narrowly for Republican Mitt Romney four years ago. Except for 2008, North Carolina’s electoral votes have gone to Republicans in every election since 1980.
Polls show Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton deadlocked in the race with less than a month to go. In Virginia, polls show Trump losing ground to Clinton in recent weeks.
The Trump campaign issued a statement today emphasizing that it remains committed to winning Virginia.
“While we’re reallocating some of our staff strategically to accommodate early voting in nearby priority states such as North Carolina, our campaign leadership and staffing remains strong in Virginia,” stated John Ullyot, the campaign’s deputy political director for communications.
“Together with the RNC and the state Party, we will have all the resources we need to re-take the Commonwealth at the Presidential level in November, as historically early voting in Virginia is much less of a focus for both parties than in some other states such as North Carolina.”
Loudoun County Republican Committee Chairman Will Estrada confirmed that the campaign was pushing ahead. “While I was reading the reports yesterday of the Trump campaign leaving Virginia, we had teams of door knockers led by paid Trump staffers on the ground here in Loudoun,” he said.