Multiple sources told NBC that the campaign is “pulling out” of the state, a surprise decision announced Wednesday in a conference call.
Instead, Trump will focus on the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, a source explained to NBC.
“Now they’re looking to move personnel to a state that some people think is more important,” an insider explained, noting that “money was allocated” but not specifying the amount.
Of the move, Trump’s former Virginia state chairman, Corey Stewart — who was fired by the campaign earlier this week — told NBC News, “I think it’s totally premature for the campaign to be pulling out of Virginia after so much work and all the hundreds … of hours of volunteer time and thousands and thousands of volunteers.”
Stewart was let go Monday after he participated in a protest in front of the Republican National Committee headquarters, reported The Washington Post.
“Corey made this decision when he staged a stunt in front of the RNC without the knowledge or the approval of the Trump campaign,” David Bossie, Trump’s deputy campaign manager, said in a statement to the Post.
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Ahead of his firing, Stewart also said of the RNC’s support of Virginia to the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, “They’ve been starving the Virginia Trump campaign even though it’s necessary to win the country. If we lose this state, it’s because of the RNC reneging on their promises to adequately fund the state’s ad program and ground operation.”
According to ABC News, polling conducted by Roanoke College in October put Trump nine points behind Clinton at only 36 percent of support. Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, was once Virginia’s governor and now serves as the state’s junior senator.