President Donald Trump's campaign has spent $650 million campaign dollars already, and more money is going out the door as the team is being forced to fight to win the red-state of Iowa.
The Des Moines Register reported Thursday that Trump's campaign will be launching an ad buy in Iowa as poll numbers there show Biden just two-points away from winning the state. In 2016, Trump carried the state by 9 points and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-I) was reelected with a 24-point margin. Now, Trump's leadership failures have turned the state into a competitive battleground.
After huge losses in 2016, Democrats in the state have been slowly walking their way back. Two GOP congressional districts went Democratic in 2018 and now June polls show Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) losing to her Democratic challenger by 3 points. The recent Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll also shows Iowa voters prefer Democratic leaders over Republicans in three congressional districts.
“I don't think anybody could look at these data and say Iowa is not in play,” said polling expert J. Ann Selzer.
Grassley agrees, saying that even without the polls, "I would still consider Iowa a battleground state."
Trump's approval in the state has been falling since March as the coronavirus has led to an economic and jobs crisis.
The national Republican Party said that they never left the state after 2016, though it appears their work has alienated at least some Trump voters. Nine percent of Iowa voters who cast ballots for Trump in 2016 said they wouldn't vote for him again.
"When Donald Trump was elected, he inherited a strong farm economy that he's decimated, health care protections for families he's diminished, and existing trade relationships he's annihilated — and Iowans have had enough,” Biden for President Deputy States Director Molly Ritner told the Register in a statement. “Our campaign is going to continue to hold President Trump accountable for failing Iowa families and make sure that every Iowan knows the stakes in this election. We are campaigning to win."
Now, Trump's campaign has started running ads in the state and top White House officials have been tasked with coming to the state to run defense.