Trump can take Michigan, his state director says

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Commerce Township — The head of Donald Trump’s campaign in Michigan said Monday the presumptive Republican nominee is in a “statistical dead heat” with Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Great Lakes State.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at Saint Anselm College Monday, June 13, 2016, in Manchester, N.H.

Trump state director Scott Hagerstrom spoke Monday night to a group of Republican activists at a Michigan Conservative Coalition meeting at the Uptown Grille restaurant in Commerce Township.

Hagerstrom cited a statewide poll released last month to The Detroit News and WDIV-TV showing Clinton leading Trump by just over 4 percentage points — the survey’s margin of error — 43 percent to Trump’s 38.5 percent.

“We can win this state,” Hagerstrom said.

No Republican presidential has carried Michigan and won the state’s 16 electoral votes since then-Vice President George H.W. Bush’s 1988 victory over Democrat Michael Dukakis.

Trump’s campaign has targeted Michigan as a Democratic-leaning state they can get in their column in the November general election.

“We cannot sit by and let this chance go by,” Hagerstrom said.

On the same day Trump publicly revoked press credentials for all reporters from The Washington Post, Hagerstrom said his media-savvy boss has been maligned by the mainstream media after months of relentless news coverage of his campaign.

“We’re not only battling crooked Hillary, but we’re battling a lot of what the media is reporting and their narrative,” said Hagerstrom, adopting Trump’s “crooked Hillary” nickname for Clinton. “But that’s not the narrative of the American people, that’s not the narrative of our country, what we need to make happen with our country.”


Hagerstrom sidestepped a specific question about what policies Trump would get enshrined in the Republican Party’s platform at next month’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

“Something about Donald Trump, it’s very clear what his policies are and what he stands for,” Hagerstrom said.

When questioned about Trump’s strategy, Hagerstrom later added: “I don’t speak for Donald Trump. Donald Trump speaks for Donald Trump.”

Meshawn Maddock, a conservative activist from Milford and Trump national convention delegate, helped organize the event as part of a statewide “listening tour” she’s conducting to get input on the Republican Party’s policy platform.

Maddock is Michigan’s female representative on the Republican National Convention committee, which will write the party’s platform.

State Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg Township, will be Michigan’s male representative on the platform committee as an at-large Trump delegate.

Maddock said she would oppose any attempt by Republican leaders to carve exceptions for abortion or traditional marriage into the GOP platform.

“I would never vote for that,” she said. “I won’t vote for anything that further erodes our family values.”

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Twitter: @ChadLivengood