The US President, Donald Trump convened his nationwide re-election campaign by opening the inauguration of the Dayton 500 race event at Florida on Sunday, February 16, 2020.
Trump, who was recently acquitted in the US Senate impeachment trial, attended as grand marshal at the annual National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing’s (NASCAR) most prestigious race event. Florida, which is considered to be one of the most electoral swing US states, represented key support for Trump’s winning in the 2016 Presidential Election.
Daytona 500 Race Events
In a dramatic event covered by the Fox Broadcasting, Trump landed on Air Force One near the Daytona International Speedway and was taken directly onto the racetrack on the presidential limousine known as “The Beast” along with the rest of his motorcade.
Trump said in his opening remarks to the crowd, “There is no greater thrill than to join you at the world center of racing for the 62nd Daytona 500 — so exciting. To all of the drivers, technicians and pit crews here today, good luck and May the best team win. God bless you, God bless our military, God bless our veterans and God bless America. Have a great race.”
Trump also thanked Gold Star families, who presented at the race, “whose loved ones made the supreme sacrifice to honor our freedom and our flag.”
Daytona International Speedway President, Chip Wile said in a statement last week, “We’re honored that the President of the United States has chosen to experience the pageantry and excitement of ‘The Great American Race’ by attending Sunday’s 62nd annual Daytona 500.”
After a short speech, Trump flagged off the race with a remark, “Gentlemen, start your engines!” pointing out to the drivers. Following the speech, the President got into the limo with his wife, Melania Trump, and took a loop around the Daytona racetrack followed by the racing cars. The race was called off until Monday, February 17, 2020, due to rainy weather shortly after the opening of the event.
Trumps’ Focus on Swing State, Florida
Trump, on Sunday, became one of the US Presidents who attended NASCAR events at the speedway besides Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush. During the event after Trump’s speech, some fans chanted, “Four more years” referring to his upcoming re-election campaign.
Among a handful of the US states, Florida is also known for its swing nature in the election between Democrats and Republicans. Trump won the state in the last presidential election of 2016 by defeating his rival Democrat candidate, Hillary Clinton.
Considering Florida as his primary residence, Trump is planning fundraising through his political rallies in Western states this week. According to sources, Trump spent the weekend at his resort in Palm Beach, Florida, before going to Daytona.
A source reported that “The trip is another demonstration of Trump’s willingness to campaign not just in conservative strongholds but in states that lean Democratic, particularly Colorado, where Republican Sen. Cory Gardner faces a tough reelection battle. Arizona is expected to be a key swing state in the presidential election with its growing population of Hispanic voters.”
According to the New York Times, “Recent polls in Florida show Mr. Trump hovering around 49 percent or 50 percent when matched against the leading Democratic presidential candidates, underscoring how close the state is likely to be again this year. A survey at the end of January showed Mr. Trump defeating all four of the top Democratic contenders.”
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