Local News Airs Video of Enormous Trump Crowd in Reliably Democrat New Mexico


It’s an interesting paradox: The same activists who complain mightily about swing states determining the Electoral College are also the ones who protest that Donald Trump won the 2016 election by going to states that were considered deep blue at the presidential level and campaigning in them.

Michigan, for instance, went mostly ignored by the Clinton campaign because it hadn’t gone for a Republican since 1988. Trump won it. Wisconsin hadn’t gone for a Republican since 1984. Trump, yet again, won it. Pennsylvania, Democratic in presidential elections since 1988, Trump in 2016. You get the pattern.

Observers consigned this to a phenomenon where blue-collar voters jumped over to the Trump side combined with an unmotivated Democratic electorate that assumed Hillary Clinton was going to win.

Regardless of whether this was true, it ignored the greater wisdom of going to states where Republicans traditionally didn’t win and turning them red instead of sticking to the fallback Republican safety strategy of focusing merely on taking Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida.

In 2020, the general prediction is that Trump’s strategy isn’t going to work as well as it did back in 2016, given that Democrats, both traumatized and energized by the current administration, know better than to just assume whoever their candidate is will take traditionally blue states.

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Of course, this is based on the assumption that Trump won’t find other blue states to pick off.

See New Mexico, with its five electoral votes. While it went Republican much more recently — back in 2004, in fact, when George W. Bush took it — Hillary Clinton won the state by 8 percentage points.

Then again, the Libertarian Party ticket, with former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson at the top of it, managed to capture 9 percent of the state’s vote. He likely won’t be having an Aleppo moment (or any other kind of moment) in next year’s election. That could mean potential for a 2020 flip — hence why Trump visited it on Monday night for a campaign-style rally.

According to KOB-TV, the rally at the 7,000-seat Santa Ana Star Center in the Albuquerque suburb of Rio Rancho was filled to capacity, with some Trump supporters being left out of the festivities.

“Oh boy, we’ve been in line for hours, and we just were told the building was full,” one Trump fan told the station.

The local news channel aired the footage of a line of Trump supporters snaking around the parking lot — all in what’s supposed to be a reliably Democratic state.

“Many of the people who were not allowed inside the arena watched the president’s speech on a big screen outside,” KOB noted, with a reporter saying “the people who didn’t get in ran toward a massive screen set up outside.”

“We really think we’re going to turn this state and make it a Republican state,” Trump said during the rally, according to Time.

Time’s reporter, however, found Trump supporters who weren’t so sure.

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“No, I don’t,” Trump fan Dwayne McFarland said when asked if he thought Trump could win the state.

“He’s going to turn the tide and it’s going to be closer, because I think a lot of people have seen what he has done,” McFarland said, while noting that “[i]t’s too liberal of a state.”

“He would have to change his complete policy on open borders in order to win this state,” McFarland said.

“If you look at the population of citizens here in New Mexico, most are Hispanic. They hold a lot of ties to Mexico and they want a lot of their family to be able to come over willy-nilly.”

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As NBC News reported, Trump pitched the rally at Hispanic voters in the state, noting that they were all too familiar with the negative externalities of loose border enforcement.

“And at the center of America’s drug crisis, this is where the Hispanics know it better than anybody, people said, ‘Oh, the Hispanics won’t like a wall.’ I said, ‘I think they are going to love it,'” Trump said.

“‘They won’t like border security.’ ‘I think they’re going to love.’ You know why? Because you understand it better than other people, but at the whole center of this crisis is the drugs that are pouring in, and you understand that when other people don’t understand it.”

Others, however, noted that Democrats could have an electoral stranglehold on the state.

“The challenges in this state are a Democratic governor, Democratic mayors, Democratic everybody,” attendee Ray Evans told Time. “This is a Democratic state.”

However, one of Evans’ friends had a rejoinder for him:

“Look around you!” she said, motioning to the crowd that had gathered outside the Santa Ana Star Center.

You don’t win a state by not visiting it.

Donald Trump understands this fact. Will the Democrat nominee? Don’t count on it.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture