The Trump campaign’s newest plan: A swing-state blimp

By Alex Isenstadt

It’s a bird… It’s a plane…

It’s the Trump blimp.

In its latest effort to reach voters, the president’s reelection campaign is planning to fly a blimp above swing states. The blimp — which, according to a mock-up, will have prominent “Trump-Pence” branding — is set to fly between May and July. According to two campaign aides familiar with the plans, it is expected to appear above sporting events and other large gatherings.

The campaign is exploring the possibility of holding contests that would allow winners to fly in the blimp.

The idea is partly aimed at generating voter data. The blimp invites onlookers to text the word “Fly” to a Trump 2020 mobile number and join the campaign’s list of supporters. With their contact information on file, the campaign will then be able to reach out to supporters to ask for their votes and donations. The reelection effort has spent months encouraging backers to text into the number, including through a digital advertising push.

Flush with cash, the president’s aides are seeking out creative ways to advertise before the start of the general election campaign. They have flown aerial banners above cities where Democrats are holding debates, and last month aired a pair of commercials during the Super Bowl. They also recently aired TV ads in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and New Hampshire that draw on footage of his just-held rallies in each of the states.

Set to upbeat music, the ads strike patriotic themes while the president lists his administration’s accomplishments and trumpets his new motto, “The best is yet to come.”

And this past week, the reelection campaign unveiled its newest innovation: storefronts in urban areas devoted to courting African American voters. The shops will distribute literature promoting the president’s record on issues of importance to the black community and will sell merchandise embroidered with the word “woke.”

Buoyed by a substantial small-dollar machine, the campaign is sitting on a massive pile of cash. With Democrats still locked in a fight for the party’s nomination, the Trump political operation reported having over $200 million on hand through the end of January.