Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is taking his campaign to Hillary Rodham Clinton's back yard Tuesday, stopping in Ashburn, Va., one of the nation's most affluent and a target of Gov. Terry McAuliffe's bid to deliver the purple state to the Democrat.
The Trump rally is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Briar Woods High School. Mitt Romney in 2012 visited Leesburg, also in Loudoun County, and attracted thousands.
"As Loudoun Republicans, we are working to make sure that Hillary Clinton, her corruption, and the double standard that has always surrounded the Clinton Machine never returns to the White House. Our job is to make sure that Donald Trump is the next president of the United States!" said Loudoun Republican Committee Chairman Will Estrada.
The visit is a bold move by Trump to return Virginia to the Republican column after two victories by President Obama. It is also a direct challenge to McAuliffe, who has a house just 21 miles from the high school. Clinton lives in the District, 31 miles away.
Trump was beaten in the March GOP primary by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who campaigned in Purcellville, in Western Loudoun. Rubio won 40 percent to Trump's 27 percent. Nobody else came close.
Northern Virginia is very diverse and has a solid Muslim and Indian community. It is also a Washington federal and tech suburb.
"You cannot win as a Republican in Virginia without winning Loudoun County — it's one of the top bellwether counties in the country," said Loudoun Supervisor Ron Meyer. "To be honest, Trump has an uphill climb in Loudoun and needs to do more to convince our diverse communities how his policies can improve their lives. Right now, they only hear the media soundbites without specifics," added Meyer, also the editor of RedAlertPolitics.com, a sister site to the Washington Examiner.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org