PHOENIX — Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump may see Saturday’s rally in the Phoenix area as the final touch on his Arizona campaign.
“I was actually talking to the Trump campaign about this Arizona visit and their mindset is they are hoping that the visit helps them lock the state down so they don’t have to come back,” Chuck Todd, who moderates MSNBC’s “Meet the Press,” told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Friday.
Todd said there has been a debate on whether Arizona will be a swing state in November’s general election. That seems unlikely given the state’s history of voting Republican and the support shown for the New York billionaire.
Trump has enjoyed strong support in Arizona and has essentially been the front-runner in the state from the word go. He took 47 percent of the vote in the state’s presidential preferential election in March, more than 20 percentage points higher than former candidate Ted Cruz.
“Arizona has been very good to Trump,” Todd said.
Todd said it was interesting that Trump was campaigning in Arizona so early, but when you consider he’s hosting a fundraiser on the same day he’s hosting a rally, it all comes together.
“Trump’s real motivation for being there is a fundraiser that he’s having so he’s having a rally in conjunction with visiting Phoenix to raise some money that he desperately needs,” he said.
Todd expanded on his opinion that Trump — a billionaire who has promised to fund his own campaign — is in desperate need of cash.
“He spent a year saying, ‘I don’t need donors. I don’t need those. I’m going to be able to do this myself,’” Todd said. “Now, he’s decided he doesn’t have a billion dollars to self-fund. He doesn’t have half of a billion dollars in cash to put into this thing.”
While Trump has enjoyed support in Arizona, Todd said he’ll face an uphill battle in Arizona — as well as elsewhere — to get donations.
“I’ve seen it with other wealthy people,” he said. “When wealthy people try to ask other people for money, there’s sometimes a hesitance because it’s like, ‘Wait a minute. I thought you could self-fund this?’ I think that’s hurt him a little bit.”