7 states where Trump could expand the map in November

7 states where Trump could expand the map in November

Former President Trump is talking about flipping blue-leaning states in his already tight race with President Biden for the White House.

Trump and Biden are fighting for a handful of key battlegrounds — including Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin and Michigan — but the former president’s campaign contends that traditionally bluer states are also in play.

In recent weeks, he’s set his sights on Minnesota and Virginia, states that voted against him in both 2016 and 2020 — but where some polls now suggest the two are just a few points apart. Polling would likely still need to shift more in Trump’s favor to make these states more realistic, but there are some signs that they could eventually be on the table.

Here are seven blue states that Trump is hoping could flip red in November:


Although it last voted for a Republican in a presidential election more than half a century ago, Trump has often named Minnesota as a state where he can expand his map on the way to winning the presidency.

And it may be one of the most likely places for him to flip if the election were to seriously tilt in his direction.

The state polling average from Decision Desk HQ/The Hill is based on relatively few polls, but Biden only leads by just more than half a point there. An internal poll taken from the end of last month to the start of this month from the Trump campaign had the former president leading by 3 points, while another independent poll showed Biden leading by 2.

Trump nearly won it in 2016, losing to Hillary Clinton by less than 2 points, the closest margin of victory for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1984. But Biden comfortably carried it in 2020, winning by 7 points.

Trump had vowed to win the North Star State in 2020 and said he’s “never coming back” if he loses it. But Trump returned to the state earlier this month for the state GOP’s Lincoln Reagan Dinner, falsely claiming he won Minnesota in 2016 and 2020.

Democrats in the state have meanwhile brushed aside a potential upset, with Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) telling CBS that Trump is “grasping at straws.”

New Hampshire

The Granite State has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since George W. Bush in 2000, but it has regularly had one of the closest margins in the past few decades.

The state was Hillary Clinton’s closest margin of victory in 2016 at less than half a point. Biden greatly improved the margin in 2020 with a 7-point win, but polling so far indicates a closer race could be in store.

The handful of polls taken have mostly shown Biden up, but only by a few points. He leads in the DDHQ/The Hill polling average 48.5 percent to 44.5 percent and led by the same margin in one poll from this month.

But another poll this month from NH Journal/Praecones Analytica of a three-way race that includes independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. showed Trump just ahead with 36.6 percent to Biden’s 36.5 percent, though well within the margin of error.

Biden has made a couple visits to New Hampshire on the campaign trail, most recently Tuesday for an event to tout the PACT Act aimed at veteran health care.

Trump may have to turn more attention to the state to break the Democratic trend in presidential elections, but the state has regularly been in conversations as a battleground this century.


Biden beat Trump in Virginia by nearly half a million votes four years ago — and four years before that, the Old Dominion was the only Southern state to side with Clinton.

But this year, the former president has set his sights on flipping the state back to red.

Trump campaign senior adviser Chris LaCivita told NBC News that the Biden campaign is “deliberately playing a faux game” in its ambitions of flipping states such as Florida and North Carolina, but argued the former president has “a real, real opportunity in expanding the map in Virginia and Minnesota.”

The campaign pointed to internal surveys that reportedly showed Biden with a small edge in Virginia. Polling averages from DDHQ/The Hill put Biden up less than 2 points, with around 46 percent to Trump’s 44 percent.

A poll conducted for Kennedy’s campaign to lay out how the independent could reach 270 electoral votes found Trump up 1 point over Biden in a Virginia head-to-head, according to DDHQ, while Kennedy’s presence on the ballot shifted the state into Biden’s column.


Maine is even more on the further reaches of the map for Republican presidential candidates, having not voted for one since 1988, but it’s not completely inconceivable if the election moves toward landslide territory.

A Pan Atlantic Research Omnibus Poll found Trump ahead of Biden by 6 points among Maine voters, with 38 percent to Biden’s 32 percent — while “another candidate” scored 21 percent, and 9 percent said they were undecided, as reported by Spectrum News.

Another poll from last month’s Kennedy-associated poll placed Trump ahead of Biden by less than 2 points. With Kennedy in the mix in a three-way race, the polling showed Biden would win Maine, according to the Kennedy campaign.

Trump has not appeared to talk about winning Maine this cycle, at least yet, but he did say in August 2020 that he should carry the state that year. Biden won it by 9 points.

New York

Trump is on trial in New York in a historic case centered on a hush money payment made amid his 2016 campaign, but he’s nevertheless projecting confidence that he can win over the deep-blue Empire State in 2024.

“I think we have a chance to win New York. It hasn’t been done in, you know, many, many decades. As a Republican, I think we have a very good chance. When you see the crowd, nobody’s ever seen,” Trump told “Fox and Friends” in an interview aired Friday after he held a rare rally in the Bronx.

“And we’re going to win New York. And if we win New York, the election’s over. We take over the country. We take over the country.”

Polling has shown Biden predictably ahead in New York, which has voted blue in presidential elections for more than three decades running — but one new Siena College poll puts Biden’s lead in the single-digits, with 47 percent to Trump’s 38 percent.

The 45th president’s New York City event Thursday underscored how he is working to drum up support in the Democratic stronghold. The rally came on the heels of stops in the blue states of Minnesota and New Jersey.

New Jersey

The Garden State appears to be another long shot Trump is trying to make in November.

“We’re going to try and win the state of New Jersey. I want the people to know that. It’s not just going to be like, ‘Gee, maybe we can get close.’ We’re going to win it,” Trump said during a radio interview on NJ101.5.

That’s an ambitious goal in a state that Biden won by 16 points last cycle, and which has gone to Democrats in every presidential race since it backed Bill Clinton in 1992.

Little polling has been done on how a Trump-Biden rematch would fare in New Jersey this time around, but the former president has nevertheless been optimistic about the possibility of a flip.

“As you can see, today, we’re expanding the electoral maps because we are going to officially play in the state of New Jersey,” Trump told the crowd at a Jersey Shore rally earlier this month, as reported by the New Jersey Monitor. “We’re going to win the state of New Jersey.”

New Mexico

New Mexico was among a handful of states that Trump told Breitbart back in January he may be “foolish” to make a play for, but planned to do so all the same.

“One of the other things I’m going to do — and I may be foolish in doing it — is I’m going to make a heavy play for New York, heavy play for New Jersey, heavy play for Virginia, heavy play for New Mexico, and a heavy play for a state that hasn’t been won in years: Minnesota,” Trump said.

The Land of Enchantment last voted for a Republican president in 2004, and though Trump tried his hand at turning New Mexico red last cycle, Biden won in 2020 by roughly 10 points.

Polling in the state has been sparse this cycle, but another recent Kennedy-sponsored survey shows a 7-point Biden edge in the state.

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