President Trump to hold campaign rally Wednesday at Des Moines International Airport
President Donald Trump will hold a campaign rally Wednesday at Des Moines International Airport as he resumes in-person campaigning after being hospitalized with COVID-19.
The 6 p.m. rally will follow scheduled appearances by Trump on Monday in Sanford, Florida, and on Tuesday evening in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Victories Nov. 3 in those states and Iowa are considered crucial to Trump's reelection.
A Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll released Sept. 22 showed Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden locked in a tie in Iowa. Other state polls since then have shown Biden with a slight lead.
Trump won Iowa in 2016 with a nearly 10-point margin over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Watch live:President Trump's campaign rally in Des Moines, plus find full coverage
Details:Tickets, parking and COVID-19 precautions for President Trump's rally in Des Moines
Republicans face other tight races in Iowa. U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst trailed Democrat Theresa Greenfield in the September Iowa Poll. The poll showed races in all four Iowa congressional districts also were close, with U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, the Democrat representing the Des Moines metro, six percentage points ahead of her Republican rival, former congressman David Young.
The Trump campaign’s announcement did not say whether other GOP candidates from Iowa would join Trump for Wednesday’s rally. A spokesperson for the Ernst campaign said Saturday he was unsure whether the senator would attend. The Trump visit coincides with the planned Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the president's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Several other campaigns failed to respond to messages from the Des Moines Register.
More:As Donald Trump heads to Iowa, what does the Iowa Poll say Iowans are thinking about him?
The announcement of Wednesday’s Make American Great Again rally by the Trump-Pence campaign said doors will open at 3 p.m. It did not specify where on the airport property the rally will be held.
The Trump campaign is asking those who wish to attend to register for tickets at donaldjtrump.com/events.
It said attendees will have their temperatures checked and will be given masks, with instructions to wear them. The city of Des Moines has a mask mandate, but it carries no penalty for violations. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, has declined to issue a statewide mask mandate, despite repeated recommendations from the White House coronavirus task force that she do so, and she has said local governments do not have the authority to impose their own requirements.
Trump announced in a tweet Oct. 2 that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19. Later that day he traveled by helicopter to Water Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where he was treated before returning to the White House Oct. 5.
More:White House experts advise against Des Moines gatherings of more than 25. Trump plans a rally in Des Moines for 10,000.
On Saturday, Trump held his first public event since his return from the hospital, appearing on a White House balcony to address a crowd on the South Lawn. Despite concerns about his condition and whether he remains infectious, the 74-year-old president repeatedly has said he feels well.
Trump’s last visit to Iowa came Aug. 18, when he flew to Cedar Rapids to survey damage from the previous week’s derecho and promise assistance to storm victims. His last Des Moines rally was on Jan. 30 at Drake University, just before the caucuses, when he said, “I guess I’m not going to lose in this state. I don’t think I’m going to lose in any other state.”
The day before Trump’s hospitalization with COVID-19, Vice President Mike Pence, a top campaign surrogate, made his fifth visit to Iowa this year, underscoring the state’s importance in the race.
Biden has not visited Iowa since the January Democratic caucuses, where he finished well behind top vote-getters Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders. He secured the nomination after a string of primary victories that began Feb. 29 in South Carolina.