Politics & Government

Trump plans visits to Everett, Seattle next week but will skip the South Sound

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a May 7 rally in Lynden. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a May 7 rally in Lynden. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) AP

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump plans to head to Everett and the Seattle area next week for a rally and a fundraiser, according to party officials.

The GOP candidate’s itinerary won’t include the South Sound, said state Sen. Doug Ericksen, Trump’s deputy campaign manager in Washington.

State GOP Chairwoman Susan Hutchison on Thursday said Trump was expected to speak Tuesday at Xfinity Arena in Everett. The Everett Herald reported the campaign planned an event at the arena but hadn’t signed a contract or entered a deposit with the venue yet.

A Seattle-area fundraiser is expected to be held the same night, Ericksen said.

He wouldn’t confirm the Everett location as the site of Trump’s event but said “we’re trying to do a big rally” in the North Puget Sound area on Tuesday evening.

Trump visited Washington in early May and held events in Spokane and Lynden, Whatcom County. Thousands showed up to the Lynden rally, including dozens of protesters.

The businessman’s second campaign visit to Washington comes as he struggles in national polls.

The website Real Clear Politics has Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton up by 4.5 points over Trump in their national polling averages when including the Green Party’s Jill Stein and Libertarian Gary Johnson.

Trump appears to be doing even worse in Washington. Clinton tallied support from 43 percent of 500 registered voters in a mid-August survey by independent pollster Stuart Elway while Trump notched 24 percent.

Johnson received 7 percent, Stein got 4 percent and 16 percent of those surveyed reported they were undecided.

Some prominent Republicans in Washington have said they won’t vote for Trump. Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant recently disavowed Trump, and GOP Senate candidate Chris Vance did the same earlier this year.

Hutchison said the state party’s support for Trump hasn’t wavered. Some state lawmakers — including Ericksen and the state’s campaign chairman, Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver — have endorsed the GOP nominee.

Trump’s visit is “unbelievably exciting,” Hutchison said, because while Republican presidential candidates have stopped in Washington to raise money in the past, “it’s been a long time since the candidates actually met the voters.”

Snohomish County is considered politically key for Washington Republicans because “it’s very much a swing county” in the governor’s race, and Trump’s appeareance there might fire up Republican voters in the area, Hutchison said.

“It’s fabulous that (Trump) is coming here,” she said. “It shows he’s a president for the entire country and not just for the battleground states.”

Walker Orenstein: 360-786-1826, @walkerorenstein