Diehl says Massachusetts ‘in play’ for Trump in November
By State House News Service | July 18, 2016, 6:46 EDT
As delegates began to arrive in Cleveland on Sunday morning for the Republican National Convention, presumptive nominee Donald Trump’s chief Massachusetts supporter went on Fox News where he argued that the reliably Democratic state could turn red in November.
Rep. Geoff Diehl, a Whitman Republican and the co-chair of the Trump campaign in Massachusetts, was joined on the set outside the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland with Trump surrogates from Ohio and New Jersey.
“Look, I think Massachusetts is in play. We had 20,000 Democrats actually unenroll before the primary to vote for Donald Trump,” Diehl said.
According to Secretary of State William Galvin, many of those former Democrats became independent voters, while over 3,400 joined the Republican Party.
“I think Massachusetts can go strongly towards Donald Trump because I think this is a year where we’re going to see him win nationwide in possibly a landslide. I think he’s really tapping into the middle class, the union workers, and in Massachusetts that’s a big vote and those folks are actually out there working for Donald Trump right now,” Diehl said.
Primary election results would suggest Trump has an uphill climb to defeat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Massachusetts in November. While Trump did win 49 percent of the state vote in a crowded GOP field, the 637,000 total Republican ballots cast barely eclipsed Clinton’s haul of 606,882 voters. More than 1.22 million voters pulled a Democratic ballot in the March primary.
History is also on Clinton’s side. Massachusetts has not voted for a Republican president since voters backed Ronald Reagan twice in 1980 and again in 1984.
Diehl, noting a recent vote in the Massachusetts Legislature to make sure illegal immigrant don’t gain access to driver’s licenses, also said that border security would be a winning issue for Trump this election.
— Written by Matt Murphy
Courtesy of State House News Service