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Former President Donald Trump will be holding a beachfront rally on the Jersey Shore in Wildwood, New Jersey, marking his third campaign rally since the start of his hush money trial in New York. Although New Jersey is not considered a battleground state, Wildwood is located in a district that is much friendlier to Republicans, with Trump receiving a majority of the vote in Cape May County in both 2016 and 2020. The decision to hold the rally in New Jersey has sparked some questions among Republicans, as the state has consistently voted Democratic in the last seven presidential elections. However, the campaign sees an opportunity to tap into the nearby critical battleground state of Pennsylvania and attract attendees from Philadelphia for media coverage.

Trump has held rallies in Wildwood previously, including one in January 2020 to support Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who switched parties from Democrat to Republican during Trump’s first impeachment trial. Van Drew, who is leading the Trump campaign’s efforts in New Jersey, is scheduled to speak at Saturday’s rally. The campaign is looking to recapture the energy and enthusiasm seen during Trump’s 2020 rally in Wildwood. Despite the trial proceedings, Trump has not fully taken advantage of his off days to campaign, instead focusing on fundraising activities and playing golf at his clubs. Some close to Trump have expressed surprise at the lack of traditional campaigning considering the upcoming general election in less than six months.

The decision to hold the rally in New Jersey has raised eyebrows among some observers, questioning why Trump chose to spend a weekend away from court in a state that is not considered a crucial battleground for the 2024 election. However, sources familiar with Trump’s comments indicate that he has a fondness for New Jersey and Atlantic City. Republican strategist Matt Gorman suggested that the proximity of Wildwood to Trump’s trial in Manhattan, as well as his golf club in Bedminster, may have factored into the decision to hold the rally in New Jersey. The location provides Trump with the opportunity to be in a favorable political environment and may be a more cost-effective option compared to organizing events in swing states.

Despite the questions surrounding the choice of location for the rally, Trump’s campaign remains focused on leveraging the event to generate media coverage in neighboring battleground states and attract supporters from the Philadelphia area. The campaign is also aiming to build on the success of previous rallies in Wildwood and maintain momentum heading into the upcoming election cycle. With Van Drew’s involvement in the event and the support from local Republicans in Cape May County, the rally in Wildwood presents an opportunity for Trump to engage with his base and rally support for his future political endeavors. As Trump continues to navigate the challenges of his legal proceedings, his campaign remains active in maintaining visibility and support among his base of supporters.

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