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Trump Gets Ready To Hit The Campaign Trail, Planning A String Of Visits To Early Voting States

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Former President Donald Trump is planning a string of visits to early-voting states starting this month as he seeks to set sail on the 2024 presidential campaign trail.

More than two months after Trump announced his White House comeback tour, he will leave Florida for the first series of campaign appearances in some of the traditional early-voting states.

Trump will hold what aides call an “intimate” campaign event at the South Carolina state house in Columbia on the last weekend of January, about a year before Palmetto state Republicans will vote in the traditional first-in-the-South primary.

It will not be a rally, his advisers said but will be a more “intimate” event where he will roll out his leadership operation in a state which hosts a key early Republican primary contest. Trump’s advisers are casting the plans as part of a gradual build-out of the former president’s campaign, following a relatively private month-and-a-half since a November launch that coincided with the holiday season.

Trump also plans similar events in other early-voting states, including Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, although no other events have been confirmed yet.

The smaller events mark a change in strategy for Trump, who has previously held mostly large rallies to excite supporters and grab attention from the broader public.

Trump 2024 officials say the MAGA rallies will return later in the year when people begin to focus more on the upcoming presidential race.

“People [ask]: ‘Why aren’t you doing rallies?’” Chris LaCivita, a senior Trump adviser, told Politico. “Well, I think it would be kind of crazy to be spending huge amounts of money this far out.”

Trump’s advisers also said the former president was holding dinners with top donors and party leaders, among other moves behind the scenes. He has been monitoring the race for Republican National Committee chair, which pits the incumbent, Ronna McDaniel, against a challenger, California committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon. McDaniel has held the post since 2017 when Trump nominated her for the chairmanship.

Within the former president’s orbit, the current presidential campaign is being seen as very different from the 2020 election.

So far, the 2024 campaign is tightly staffed, and Wiles said its ranks of aides would be filled out “deliberately” – an implicit contrast with Trump’s reelection campaign four years ago, which was criticized as bloated. And unlike Trump’s 2020 campaign, based in a sleekly designed office in Arlington, Va., with panoramic views of the Beltway, the just-opened West Palm Beach headquarters is sparsely decorated, with used furniture, two TVs, and a cheap refrigerator.

“It is a true campaign headquarters,” Wiles said, adding that it was not “extravagant in any sense.”

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