Check out some highlights from President Trump's rally at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho on September 16th, 2019. Farmington Daily Times


RIO RANCHO — President Donald Trump’s campaign is focused on not only winning the same states he won in 2016, but also winning states like New Mexico, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Nevada, Colorado and, possibly, Oregon.

“New Mexico is certainly on the list for a variety of reasons,” Communications Director Tim Murtaugh said leading up to Trump’s Keep America Great rally in Rio Rancho.

He said the president’s visit to Rio Rancho was strategic, as Trump works to win voters.

“The most valuable commodity that our campaign has is his time,” Murtaugh said.

Trump’s visit to New Mexico comes after the Democratic Party swept the 2018 elections, however Murtaugh said he doesn’t see the 2018 elections as a prediction of what 2020 will bring.

MORE: Live updates: Here's what's happening during President Donald Trump's visit to Rio Rancho

“It’s very, very important to remember that Donald Trump was not on the ballot in 2018,” he said.

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Murtaugh said Trump has the ability to turn out voters like no other candidate.

He said the campaign believes Trump is polling strongly with Latino voters.

“Latino voters care about a lot of issues,” he said, highlighting Trump’s policies about immigration and about China as two areas that Latino voters support.

Murtaugh said people who came to the United States legally often say they want immigrants to follow the same rules they had to follow.

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Another factor that Murtaugh said will help Trump win New Mexico in 2020 is the economy. He said Trump has created jobs and reduced unemployment in New Mexico.

One way Trump has done that is by supporting increased oil production in the United States – a key issue that Murtaugh said will resound with voters in 2020. He highlighted Democratic Party candidates’ stance on fossil fuels. Murtaugh said all the Democratic Party presidential candidates have supported moving away from fossil fuels.

“That would be devastating to state economies across the country,” Murtaugh said.

He said it would especially hurt states like New Mexico, where the oil industry contributes $12 billion to the economy.

Murtaugh said Trump has also helped the economy by reducing regulations, such as the Waters of the United States rule.

“That was preventing farmers from using different tracts of their own land,” he said.

Waters of the United States included restrictions on ephemeral waterways.

He said Trump has helped the economy by “putting in place policies that let economies flourish.”

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Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at

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