MANCHESTER, N.H. — President Donald Trump has returned to the state that gave him his first presidential primary victory, looking to once again demonstrate his popularity with New Hampshire's Republican voters.
Trump is holding a campaign rally Thursday night at Southern New Hampshire University while spending the week at his New Jersey golf club.
Trump's polling numbers in New Hampshire would indicate that the president will have an uphill climb winning the state in 2020. He lost to Democrat Hillary Clinton by about 2,700 votes in 2016, and the state has shown over the years that it's no pushover for either party.
New Hampshire's four Electoral College votes are far below those of key swing states like Florida, Wisconsin and Michigan, but its influence can prove powerful in close election years.
Thousands of Trump supporters were there, including Brad Littlefield.
“I really believe in his policies and what he's done,” he said.
When asked if he believes Trump’s racist tone has fueled hate and violence in the U.S., Littlefield said ‘no.’
"I don't think his words are racist,” he said. "If people want to act on those words, it's up to them -- but I don't act upon words, I act upon my thoughts."
There were plenty of Mainers among the crowd. Some were there in support of the President, while others came to show their disapproval. One group from Auburn said they were very impressed with how well the crowd was getting along with one another.
"Overall, I’ve been very impressed. I thought it was going to be a lot worse," Auburn resident Joshua Pietrowicz said. "No one has gotten out of hand... no one has gotten violent."
Instead, they say many people there were more than happy to extend their hand across the aisle and listen to a different opinion. Pietrowicz says he had a number of productive conversations with individuals who didn't support President Trump and believes that how it should be.
"We have Libertarians here, we've got Republicans, the Green party, and Democrats," Pietrowicz said. "We’re all trying to blend, we all have our sort of missions of why we are here... but all in all, we’re still Americans."