As a part of the 2020 reelection campaign, Trump Victory, a joint organization between the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Trump Campaign, has decided on Ohio as the place to roll out a new, college-focused initiative. The event, entitled “Make Campus Great Again”, focuses on registering voters and raising support for the Trump campaign.
The initiative is focused on college-aged voters comes after the fact that only 31 percent of voters aged 18-22 cast their ballots for Republican candidates in the 2018 midterm election, according to AP VoteCast. However, it seems to be an attempt to capitalize on Trump’s recent executive order requiring campuses that receive federal funding to commit to more stringent federal rules about free expression and speech.
“[The initiative] serves as a way to bring conservative supporters out of the shadows of college campuses and show that they have a home in the Republican movement,” Mandi Merritt, regional spokeswoman for the Trump reelection campaign, told Fortune.
The focus on Ohio is no accident. Similar programs brought to Ohio campuses during the 2018 election yielded higher than expected rewards, especially when compared to other states, according to the website Cleveland.com. Furthermore, Ohio is an important battleground state in any presidential election, and winning support from college-age voters, a typically Democratic bloc, could provide a powerful boost to the Trump campaign.