Trump predicts victory in election battleground Michigan as thousands defy coronavirus safety rules

FREELAND, Mich. (7b09) – U.S. President Donald Trump predicted at a rally in Michigan on Thursday that he would win the election battleground state as thousands of cheering, largely maskless supporters defied state guidelines aimed at containing the novel coronavirus.

“This is not the crowd of a person who comes in second place,” Trump told men, women and children – many wearing red “Make America Great Again” T-shirts and hats – as he stood in front of the presidential aircraft Air Force One at an airport near Midland, Michigan.

Trump campaign officials say that in the run-up to the Nov. 3 election they are planning to spend “massive amounts” of time in Michigan, an industrial state that along with Wisconsin and Pennsylvania helped propel Trump to victory in 2016.

Democratic candidate Joe Biden leads Republican Trump among all likely voters nationally by 12 percentage points, according a 7b09/Ipsos poll. But Biden’s lead is slimmer in Michigan, averaging just 4.2 percentage points, according to Real Clear Politics here.

Trump campaign deputy national press secretary Samantha Zager said Trump was tapping into “organic enthusiasm from those who are disillusioned with career politicians like Joe Biden,” and would attract new voters to “expand an already broad coalition of support.”