Trump campaign 'frantically defending states' he won in '16 with massive ad buys as Biden surges past him: report
President Donald Trump's dispute with Democrats over border wall funding has led to the longest-ever US government shutdown. (AFP / Jim WATSON)

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Donald Trump's re-election campaign is being forced to spend massive amounts of dollars advertising in states he won in 2016 as the president falls farther and farther behind his presumptive Democratic presidential opponent Joe Biden.

With a new ABC/Ipsos poll showing the president trailing in the polls on a host of topics, the Journal reports that Trump's campaign is trying to shore up the president's numbers in states he shouldn't have to worry about including one where he has fallen behind Biden despite the former vice president and liberal PACs affiliated with him yet to run a general election ad.

According to the Journal, "Trump and the top super political-action committee backing him spent an estimated $31.5 million on broadcast TV ads nationally in June, while Mr. Biden’s campaign and the top super PAC backing him spent a combined $8.8 million," with the conservative side spending a large portion of the money in normally GOP-friendly Arizona.

"The Phoenix TV market received the most advertising from the Trump campaign during that month, seeing roughly 1 in 15 spots aired nationwide," the Journal reports. "Mr. Trump won Arizona by 3.5 percentage points in 2016, but Democrats are aggressively competing there in hopes of winning a state that hasn’t backed a Democrat for president since 1996."

In the six hotbed states that could decide the election (Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) Biden leads in all of them and the president also has a problem in Ohio where he won by 8.1 points in 2016 and now a late-June Quinnipiac University survey shows Biden up by one point.

As the Journal notes, "So far, neither Mr. Biden’s campaign nor the top super PAC backing him, Priorities USA, has run general-election broadcast TV ads in Iowa, Georgia or Ohio."

According to Biden spokesman T.J. Ducklo, the Democrat's campaign has Trump's operation back on its heels and playing defense instead of chasing after states he lost in 2016 in an effort to pad his Electoral College totals.

"Frantically defending states he comfortably won four years ago isn’t a sign of strength for Donald Trump, it’s the result of a campaign that is only speaking to its base, isn’t expanding their support and continues to hemorrhage votes,” Ducklo explained with Guy Cecil, chairman of Priorities USA adding, "They [the Republicans] are being forced to defend a lot more territory than Joe Biden will.”

You can read more here.