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Trump campaign pulls ads in key states as poll numbers slump

President redirects finances to Sun Belt states as polls show Joe Biden closing-in on Ohio and Iowa 

Gino Spocchia
Tuesday 13 October 2020 13:44 BST
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Donald Trump’s campaign has pulled radio and television commercials across three Midwestern states that could decide next month’s election, amid unfavourable poll numbers.

The US president was also reported to have reduced campaign spending across four other states, as he reallocates spending to the nation’s Sun Belt.

According to Newsweek and Advertising Analytics, the president has pulled ad-time totalling $17 million across Ohio, Iowa and New Hampshire, where polls show him behind Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

In Ohio and Iowa in particular, recent polls have shown Mr Trump behind or almost tied with Mr Biden, despite having won those states in 2016.  

The Democrat has, in turn, pushed into Midwestern states that were once considered safe for Mr Trump, with increased ad spending and in-person campaign visits.

"He's in trouble, there's no question,” said Ari Fleischer, former press secretary for President George W Bush. “By every traditional measuring stick, this looks like a Biden landslide."

The president, who has been unable to match Mr Biden’s fundraising efforts, also cancelled $11 million worth of ads in Nevada, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, Newsweek reported.

Mr Biden, who leads his Republican opponent by around 10 percentage points, has at the same time outspent Mr Trump twice-over.

Whilst the president’s campaign has reallocated $18 million to essential states needed to secure his second term - Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Arizona - Mr Biden has spent $36 million in those states, it was reported.

The Trump campaign said in a statement that it was still "extremely confident" they would win Iowa and Ohio, despite the reallocation of finances and recent polling.

Samantha Zager, deputy national press secretary, told Newsweek that "We have been talking directly with voters for years in these states about the success of President Trump's America First agenda.

“Unlike Joe Biden, campaign ads aren't the only way we know how to campaign," she added.

Whilst it is normal for presidential candidates to redirect campaign funds in the final weeks of campaigning, Mr Trump’s strategy could still suggest concerns about the Midwest.

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