Why (oh why) is Trump Going to Battle Creek, Michigan?

Later tonight, Trump will descend on Battle Creek, Michigan –the Cereal City– for a Merry Christmas rally at Kellogg Arena (yes, the cereal company).

Battle Creek is a small Michigan city, the 30th most populous in the state, 710th in the nation, with a population of 52,347 according to the most recent census.

The importance of Michigan as a swing state is a major reason for Trump’s appearance in Battle Creek, according to Matt Grossmann, director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan State University.

Trump won a narrow victory in Michigan, with 47.3% of the vote, while Hillary Clinton won 47.0%. In 2012, Obama won the state with 54.3%.

While Battle Creek’s Calhoun County in south-central Michigan is an important swing area, it is not the most important area.

For example, NBC News named Kent County one of the five most important counties for the 2020 election.

“There are a lot of swing voters in the area,” he said.

Calhoun County

This is not likely the last visit to Michigan Trump will make in the next excruciating 11 months, expecting to hit more swing areas including Grand Rapids, approximately 65 miles northwest of Battle Creek.

Grand Rapids is Michigan’s second largest city with approximately 188,000 as of the 2010 census, but rapidly growing. The city has historically been blue, but surrounded by republican territory. The suburban areas have seen a rise in democratic activism and success since Trump’s election. Kent County voted for the Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, turned a red state senate seat blue, and made advances on the county board.

Sources here and here.