The 2016 election is far from over. Due to recent campaign strategy adjustments, Republican nominee Donald Trump may be able to earn significant voter support in blue states, which would help him in the long run.
On July 17, Trump’s former campaign strategist Paul Manafort told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that Michigan, New Jersey, Connecticut and Wisconsin were not out of reach for Republicans this year.
This statement received a great deal of public pushback.
Trump never had a lead in polls in Michigan or Wisconsin, according to Hot Air. Connecticut is more than likely out of reach, considering the 41 percent Democratic to 26 percent Republican split that the state showed for the 2016 election.
As for New Jersey, the blue state has voted for the Democratic candidate in the last six elections, according to 270 to Win.
Criticisms of Manafort’s claims seem justified, especially as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s leads in the polls have spiked since the party's convention in July.
Realizing just how “blue” these states are, and are becoming, could lead to Trump’s success.
Trump knows that he is losing in the polls. An NBC poll for the week of Aug. 15-21 showed Clinton leading Trump by 8 percentage points.
Interestingly, Trump made a major campaign shift after that week.
On Aug. 23, Trump told Hannity he would “soften” his intense stance on immigration.
“I had a great meeting with great people, great Hispanic leaders, and there could certainly be a softening because we're not looking to hurt people," Trump said, according to CNN. "We want people -- we have some great people in this country.”
Though his statement was vague, a difference in his militaristic, no-questions-asked deportation policy is apparent, and the American people are reacting.
The most recent NBC poll, capturing the week of Aug. 22-30, shows Clinton with 48 percent of the vote and Trump with 42 percent. Trailing Clinton by 6 points, Trump gained 2 points on his opponent in the week following his decision to soften his stance on immigration.
The week was a success for Trump, and proves that adding more liberal policies into his campaign could help him earn needed support in blue states.
By taking softer stances on polarizing issues, Trump could put the blue states in play which Manafort targeted in July.