Trump campaign to fly banner ads over Detroit on Labor Day

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News

Washington — President Donald Trump’s campaign plans to fly banners over Detroit on Labor Day, hoping residents will add their phone numbers to their list of supporters.

Trump's reelection campaign says planes on Monday will fly over Detroit and other beach or riverfront cities that largely voted Democratic in 2016 — Milwaukee; Cleveland; Erie, Pennsylvania; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Fort Lauderdale and South Beach, Florida.

An artist's rendering of a Cessna 152 towing a sky banner from the Trump campaign thanking 'our great American workers.' The banners are scheduled to fly over Detroit on Labor Day.

Detroit backed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with 95% of the vote in the 2016 presidential election, while Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes or two-tenths of a percentage point. 

The ads are expected to be towed over the Detroit area after the scheduled conclusion of the annual Labor Day parade — roughly from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday. Trump made inroads with union households during the 2016 election. 

The campaign aims to collect about 30,000 phone numbers total from the flyovers in multiple cities to add to its list of contact information for more than 33 million voters, according to the campaign.

The campaign is spending about $20,000 on the flyover banner ads, which are all appearing in competitive swing states that Trump won in 2016. 

Michigan is expected to again be a battleground in 2020. Trump held a rally in the Grand Rapids area in March, and more than half of the more than 20 Democratic candidates have already campaigned in the state. 

Detroit hosted the second Democratic presidential debate last month, featuring 20 candidates over two back-to-back nights at the Fox Theatre. The next Democratic debate is set for Houston on Sept. 12 with 10 qualifying candidates.

DeVos to address Mackinac confab

Trump's Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will address the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference next month, the Michigan GOP announced Friday. 

DeVos, who is from the Grand Rapids area, has served in Trump's cabinet since the start of his administration and is one of its few remaining original members.

She told reporters in the spring she might not stay on for a second term if Trump is reelected.  

DeVos, a school-choice advocate, served as chair of her family's investment firm, The Windquest Group, and previously chaired the Michigan Republican for six years.

The GOP conference on Mackinac Island is planned for the Grand Hotel from Sept. 20 to Sept. 22.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos