Trump keeps hinting at how desperate his campaign is for votes, telling rally crowds he 'wouldn't be out here' if he didn't need them

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© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images A video of President Donald Trump at a campaign rally at Capital Region International Airport in Lansing, Michigan, on October 27, 2020. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

  • President Donald Trump told a Michigan rally on Tuesday that he would not be there if it weren’t for the pandemic, hinting yet again that his campaign is in need of more votes.
  • “I probably wouldn’t be standing out here in the freezing rain with you. I’d be home in the White House, doing whatever the hell I was doing,” Trump said in Lansing on Tuesday.
  • Earlier that day, in West Salem, Wisconsin, Trump told a crowd: “What the hell do you think I’m doing here on a freezing night with 45-degree winds? Do you think I’m doing this for my health?”
  • On October 20, Trump had told a crowd in Erie, Pennsylvania, that “before the plague came in, I had it made. I wasn’t coming to Erie. I mean, I have to be honest, there’s no way I was coming.”
  • With five days to Election Day, Biden is maintaining a steady lead over Trump, with polls in Wisconsin — a longtime Democratic state that Trump picked up in 2016 — suggesting Biden has a substantial lead.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump told supporters in Michigan and Wisconsin on Tuesday that he wouldn’t be there if the COVID-19 pandemic had not dealt such a blow to his campaign — and it’s not the first time he’s hinted at how desperate he is for votes.

In the run-up to the November 3 election both Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden have traversed the US, holding rallies and racking up media appearances.  

But Trump, on several occasions, has told his supporters that had the pandemic not happened, he would not have needed to visit them.

“It wasn’t even going to be like we had an election,” Trump told a crowd in Lansing on Tuesday. “I probably wouldn’t be standing out here in the freezing rain with you. I’d be home in the White House, doing whatever the hell I was doing. I wouldn’t be out here.”

Trump narrowly won Michigan in 2016, ending six consecutive elections where it was won by the Democratic Party. 

© Steve Pope/Getty Images Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Omaha, Nebraska, on October 27, 2020. Steve Pope/Getty Images

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump also suggested to assembled followers in West Salem, Wisconsin, that he was only there as a last resort.

“What the hell do you think I’m doing here on a freezing night with 45-degree winds?” he said. “Do you think I’m doing this for my health? I’m not doing this for my health.”

And later that day, at a rally in Omaha, Nebraska, Trump said: “I am standing here, freezing. I ask you one little favor: Get the heck out and vote.”

Trump won both Wisconsin — a longtime Democratic state — and Nebraska in 2016. According to recent polling, Biden’s lead in Wisconsin is growing.

Read more: New report: 2020 campaigns are on track to cost $14 billion, obliterating past election races

On October 20, Trump explicitly told a crowd in Erie, a town in the swing state of Pennsylvania, that he had only come because he needed their votes.

“Four or five months ago when we started this whole thing — because, you know, before the plague came in, I had it made. I wasn’t coming to Erie,” Trump said. “I mean, I have to be honest, there’s no way I was coming.”

© Ted Warren/AP A worker processes mailed-in ballots at the King County Elections headquarters in Renton, Washington, on August 5, 2020. Ted Warren/AP

“I didn’t have to,” he continued. “I would’ve called you and said: ‘Hey, Erie. You know, if you have a chance, get out and vote.’ We had this thing won. We were so far up.”

“We had the greatest economy ever, greatest jobs, greatest everything. And then we got hit with the plague, and I had to go back to work. ‘Hello, Erie, may I please have your vote?’ Right?”

And on Tuesday, first lady Melania Trump made her first appearance on the campaign trial in Pennsylvania. As Business Insider’s John L. Dorman reported, the appearance was likely aimed at connecting with those suburban female voters.

As of Wednesday evening, Biden has maintained comfortable national lead over Trump, according to a multi-poll tracker run by FiveThirtyEight.

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