Some Republican strategists in New Hampshire believe the state is the perfect battleground for President Trump to drive his “law and order” message against Democratic nominee Joe Biden, saying many communities there are similar to Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The Trump campaign selected New Hampshire for the president’s first post-convention rally. He appeared at an event in Manchester Friday.
The decision to go back was made before a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shot Jacob Blake, a black man, and protests set the city’s downtown businesses ablaze. But New Hampshire Republicans say Kenosha is a facsimile of the sort of modest towns and employers that proliferate throughout their swing state, opening the possibility that voters will respond favorably to Trump’s claim that mayhem would engulf the country unchecked if Biden wins the presidency.
“Kenosha is Nashua, Manchester, and every other small city in New Hampshire,” said David Carney, a Republican strategist based there. “Those photos of small businesses have been burned into the mind’s eye of every small business owner and employee in New Hampshire.”
“The chaos and rioting in Wisconsin and D.C. seem far away from us here, but people are paying attention,” a Republican operative in the state added. “It plays into Trump’s hands.”
Trump trails Biden by nearly 10 percentage points in New Hampshire in the RealClearPolitics average and enters the fall campaign there an underdog. Even Republicans who believe the issue of public safety could help Trump in New Hampshire concede the president faces an uphill climb in his bid for the state’s four votes in the Electoral College.
Democrats are expressing confidence that Trump’s “law and order” pitch is not the silver bullet he is looking for to turn things around in New Hampshire.