Donald Trump and Marco Rubio are facing a tough race for their party’s nomination, and Trump is banking on his ability to make up ground after his first big defeat to Democrat Joe Biden in the state of Delaware last month.
Trump, who has held his first presidential debate with Vice President Mike Pence at a nearby arena in Indianapolis on Saturday, is counting on his outsider status to boost his chances.
The Florida senator is also seeking to capitalize on the party’s renewed enthusiasm for his candidacy.
Trump is hoping to make inroads with suburban and rural voters, who are wary of the billionaire’s foreign policy and trade policies.
His campaign is also focusing on Latinos, who have long struggled to be heard by Democrats.
Rubio is focusing on voters who say they are angry about what they see as a lack of progress in the nation’s economy, with Rubio focusing on the issue of trade and the rising cost of prescription drugs.
“You can’t have a country where people are going out and saying they want to kill me and their children and their grandchildren, and we’re not doing anything about it,” Trump said in a brief exchange with reporters Saturday afternoon.
“The problem is, I can say to you right now, we are the most popular man in America.
We are the man that has the best chance to win the nomination.”
Trump has struggled to find a way to broaden his appeal beyond white working-class voters, especially among white men.
The campaign also is hoping for a repeat of his victory in New Hampshire, which was a key battleground state last November, when he beat Democrat Maggie Hassan by 19 points, according to exit polls.
Trump’s victory in Delaware, where the two men were battling for the nomination, was notable for its narrow margin of victory, because Biden had pulled off an upset.
He carried Delaware in 2008 and again in 2016.
Trump is also hoping to extend his lead in the race for the Republican nomination, which is still open in South Carolina, where he trails former Florida Gov.
Jeb Bush by 2 percentage points.