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Trump is Returning to Iowa to Campaign 10/01 09:02


   DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Former President Donald Trump heads to southeast 
Iowa Sunday in the middle of a fall campaign push aimed at locking in 
supporters with large organizing events.

   As he has with his other recent travels to the leadoff caucus state, Trump 
will campaign in an area that formerly supported Democrats but has embraced him.

   Trump was planning to headline an afternoon event in Ottumwa, where his 
campaign was expecting more than 1,000 potential supporters. The small city is 
a hub in eastern Iowa and the seat of Wapello County, one of 31 counties Trump 
carried in 2016 that Democrat Barack Obama had won four years earlier.

   Trump, the first Republican to capture the county since the Eisenhower 
administration, campaigned the week before in northeast Iowa. There, he drew 
about 1,400 to rural Jackson County along the Mississippi River and almost 
2,000 to Dubuque County to the north. Like Wapello, Dubuque County had been a 
Democratic stronghold for decades before 2016.

   Though aides said they were not specifically targeting counties that Trump 
flipped in 2016, they noted that he has had success in the eastern part of Iowa 
where manufacturing has declined sharply in the past two decades. His 
administration's renegotiation of the U.S. trade pact with Canada and Mexico 
remains popular.

   As Trump maintains a strong lead in Iowa, his Republican rivals are 
scrambling for backing, hoping a strong showing can help them consolidate the 
non-Trump support.

   Trump arrives in Iowa after a two-day trip to California, where he picked up 
6 million of his 74 million votes in 2020 while losing the state by 30 
percentage points to Democrat Joe Biden.

   In a fiery speech that delighted Republicans dejected after decades of 
Democratic control, Trump escalated his long-standing tough-on-crime message 
with calls for violent retribution for against criminals. People caught robbing 
stores should be shot, Trump said to applause. He raised money during his trip 
to Orange County, once a bastion of conservatism in Southern California that 
has become increasingly competitive.

   While Trump's would-be Republican challengers sparred in the second primary 
debate earlier in the week, Trump was in another key blue-collar county in the 
general election battleground of Michigan. Trump spoke during Wednesday night's 
debate in Macomb County, Michigan, north of Detroit at a nonunion manufacturing 
plant, where he blasted Biden's push for electric cars amid an autoworkers' 
strike. Trump carried Macomb County twice, after Obama did in 2008 and 2012.

   Trump is ramping up his travel in Iowa, which kicks off the Republican 
nomination calendar with the Jan. 15 caucuses. He has scheduled several visits 
to the state this month.

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