Trump’s New State Targets Could Get Even Bigger Than Virginia, Minnesota: Lara Trump

At the California GOP’s Spring Training, Republican National Committee Co-Chair Lara Trump suggested that her father-in-law’s presidential campaign was still in an expansionist mood.

She hinted that the 2024 Republican presidential “map”—the states in which former President Donald J. Trump’s campaign may invest serious resources—could be poised to grow.

“Did you guys hear we’re expanding the map to Minnesota and Virginia? We have a couple other states we’re keeping our eye on. I won’t say them just yet,” Ms. Trump said during a banquet on May 18.

At a May 17 fundraising dinner in St. Paul, Minnesota, President Trump said he has plans to flip a state long considered a stronghold of the Democrats.

“This is an official expansion … of the electoral map,” he said.

In Florida on May 4, where the former president was holding a private donor retreat, Chris LaCivita, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, said that Virginia was also in play.

Ms. Trump’s optimistic comments come amidst an upbeat conversation with Howard Hakes, an active Republican in the state.

Ms. Trump said there was “no daylight” between the RNC, now run by her and by former North Carolina GOP Chair Michael Whatley, and President Trump’s reelection campaign.

The daughter-in-law of President Trump took over as co-chair from Drew McKissick, the chair of the South Carolina Republican Party, in March 2024. Mr. Whatley took over from Ronna Romney McDaniel, a niece of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) first elected to RNC chair in 2017 after receiving the backing of a recently elected President Trump.

The change capped off months of battle over the RNC’s leadership, which even spilled over into the Trump-free presidential debates in late 2023. Then-candidate Vivek Ramaswamy repeatedly called on Ms. McDaniel to resign.

It capped off the most active part of a training weekend at a Hyatt Regency in Burlingame, Calif., not far from San Francisco. The meeting will end on May 19.

Earlier on May 17, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who has been floated as a vice presidential prospect for President Trump, addressed the crowd.

Election integrity, a concern for Republicans everywhere, was a theme throughout the long weekend. On Friday, Harmeet Dhillon, the RNC’s national committeewoman for the Golden State, ran through a long list of legal battles Republicans are waging over election laws and practices they see as overly permissive or vulnerable to fraud.

Lara Trump
Eric Trump (L) and his wife, Lara Trump, arrive for an election-night watch party for Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on March 5, 2024. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Ms. Trump also hit upon the topic.

She said that “the bulk of the staff” at the RNC headquarters is at work on election integrity issues.

The GOP’s aim, Ms. Trump said, was a 100,000-person-strong team of election integrity volunteers by Nov. 5.

“We can never repeat 2020 ever again. We’re never gonna do that,” she said to applause from the crowd.

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.