Supporters in New Hampshire waited hours in line for President Trump to take the stage for a 6 p.m. rally Friday night.
The campaign event came not even 24 hours after the Republican National Convention ended with a speech from the president – breaking with years of political norms – to more than 1,500 supporters on the White House’s South Lawn
New Hampshire was supposed to host President Trump at a rally in July, after his Tulsa appearance, but the event was abruptly canceled one day before the planned July 11 date.
At the time, the Trump campaign and White House blamed the cancellation on a tropical storm that, in the end, never impacted the Portsmouth airport, where the rally was supposed to be. The president later acknowledged it was scrapped due to health concerns over large gatherings of people amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Attendees are required to wear masks at the New Hampshire rally Friday, and had their temperatures checked upon entering. That was a big switch from the previous night, where masks were few and far between on the South Lawn. Masks were “encouraged but not required” at the Tulsa rally, and sparsely seen there also.
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Besides holding the first-in-the-nation presidential primary, New Hampshire for a generation has been a battleground state in the general election. Trump narrowly lost the state’s four electoral votes four years ago by fewer than 3,000 votes to then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. New Hampshire is one of a handful of states Clinton narrowly captured that the Trump campaign now hopes to flip from blue to red.
Trump campaign New Hampshire co-chair Fred Doucette told Fox News having the president in the state is a big boost.
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“I think it’s a very big statement for him to show up here first after his acceptance speech,” the state representative from Salem emphasized. “It’s a loud statement that New Hampshire is that important.”
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.