On Thursday, former President Donald Trump held a rally in the South Bronx, the heart of traditionally blue New York City and a region where President Joe Biden overwhelmingly beat him in 2020.

Holding the rally at Crotona Park, Trump drew an estimated 25,000-30,000 supporters from New York City and neighboring areas where he is more popular.

With Trump’s ongoing hush money trial keeping him in Manhattan for the next few weeks, holding a rally in New York City may have been a matter of convenience.

Other analysts suggest that Trump’s move was a ploy to gain media attention and put the Biden campaign on the defensive, especially given the campaign limitations imposed by his hush money trial.

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“If he generates a lot of enthusiasm at this rally and you get good press coverage, the Biden campaign cannot be happy about that,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “It’s to show the Biden campaign is on the defensive.”

Republican strategists applauded Trump’s creativity in holding his first New York City rally in eight years, in a state where Biden won by two million votes in 2020 and a county where he secured 84 percent of the vote.

“The Empire State, a place near to the President’s heart, has been decimated by Biden,” Trump campaign spokesperson Karoline Leavitt said. “President Trump will ease the financial pressures placed on households and re-establish law and order in New York.”

While pro-Trump New Yorkers took to X to document the impressive turnout at the Bronx rally, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) mocked Trump on social media, referencing the stormy weather ahead of the event, writing, “God is good.”

“He’s hosting a rally to try to con people and try to fleece them out of every dollar that they have to fund his legal fees,” Ocasio-Cortez told reporters, “He’s doing it in the South Bronx not to make a point but because he’s got court. And the man practically has the legal version of an ankle bracelet around him.”

Trump’s efforts in New York coincided with larger attempts to compete in traditionally blue states, particularly in Minnesota and Virginia.

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