President Donald Trump's reelection campaign is starting off the new year in the Buckeye State as the Republican holds his first rally of 2020 in Toledo tonight.
The choice highlights Ohio's continued relevance in America's political landscape, though recent elections have seen the state shift from a straight-up swing state toward the right. Trump won Ohio by eight points over Democratic Party presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton in 2016.
It's been an eventful few weeks, with the U.S. House of Representatives voting to impeach the president and escalating tensions with Iran following the Trump administration's killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike outside an Iraqi airport.
The rally will likely attract international attention as many listen in for any comments Trump makes about Iran. The president will likely focus most on the American economy, however, including its often-touted low unemployment numbers and high stock market performance.
But those numbers come with caveats here: Ohio lags the nation in job creation — ranking 39th out of 50 — and federal jobs data to be released later this month is expected to show the state lost jobs for the first time since 2010.
That reality is a contrast to promises Trump made in Ohio and other states with declining industrial sector jobs. As he campaigned for his first term, Trump pledged to bring jobs back to states like Ohio. That track record, however, has been mixed. Earlier this week, China-based glassmaker Fuyao announced it would add 100 new jobs to a former General Motors plant near Dayton. Fuyao invested $500 million in that plant under President Barack Obama.
Trump will also likely highlight other manufacturing jobs created recently, including a move by a startup electric vehicle manufacturer called Lordstown Motors, which has purchased a shuttered GM plant in Lordstown. The company will bring hundreds of jobs to replace the thousands eliminated when GM closed up shop last year.
Doors open at 3 p.m. this afternoon for Trump's rally at downtown Toledo's Huntington Center.