President Donald Trump speaks at the National Association of Realtors Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo, May 17, 2019, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. Olivier Douliery Abaca Press/TNSThe theme-park capital of Florida will soon play host to a different type of spectacle.
Like the Disney World visitors checking out the new Star Wars: Galaxy Edge rides later this summer, supporters of Donald Trump will surely scream in support of the president next month as he formally announces his run for re-election at a campaign rally in Orlando.
Trump’s 2020 campaign kick-off rally will take place June 18, the part-time Florida resident announced via Twitter on Friday.
The rally will take place at the Amway Center, where the Orlando Magic NBA team plays. The arena seats 20,000 people. Tickets are free and may be reserved online, though they are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Trump said First Lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence will attend the rally.
The rally’s location, along the I-4 corridor in battleground Central Florida, will provide Trump an opportunity to make inroads with voters in Florida.
I will be announcing my Second Term Presidential Run with First Lady Melania, Vice President Mike Pence, and Second Lady Karen Pence on June 18th in Orlando, Florida, at the 20,000 seat Amway Center. Join us for this Historic Rally! Tickets: https://t.co/1krDP2oQvG
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2019
Trump’s campaign has dedicated vast resources to winning Florida, going as far as to label the “must-win” state one of the nine regions the campaign is targeting in 2020.
Just this month, Trump has made a series of overtures to segments of Florida’s electorate. That includes his change of course in supporting the funding of a $200 million budget request for Everglades restoration projects and the increasing of financial pressure against authoritarian regimes in Venezuela and Cuba.
One segment of that diverse electorate is Puerto Ricans, who make up 31 percent of adult Hispanics in Florida, according to the Pew Research Center. Trump received criticism from his own party last year when he repeatedly questioned the death toll in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria in 2017, even suggesting that the numbers were fabricated by Democrats in order to smear him.
But his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, told reporters Thursday in Miami that internal polling from 2019 shows Trump making inroads with Hispanic voters in Florida.
Last year, Sen. Rick Scott — then a candidate for Senate — announced his campaign in Orlando and also attempted to appeal to the state’s growing population of Puerto Ricans. About a million Puerto Ricans live in Florida, mostly in the Orlando and Tampa areas. About 208,000 are registered voters.
“The path to victory is through Florida,” Joe Gruters, 2016 Trump Florida campaign co-chairman and now the head of the Republican Party of Florida, told the Miami Herald last week. “There’s so much at stake.”
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