Trump is stepping up efforts to appeal to Southern voters

The Trump campaign is putting its time and money into the South, starting with South Carolina, because of the Republican primary schedule and because of the appeal of Trump’s brash populist message in the region. Thus, Trump has hired more staff there than in any other part of the country. He’s also worked overtime to burnish his credentials with evangelicals and veterans, blocs that hold outsize sway there.

Since August, he has also tilted his travel heavily to states south of the Mason-Dixon line, a trend that continues this week with a Monday rally in Anderson, South Carolina and two rallies in Florida.

“The South is where he has a real opening to get the nomination,” said one Trump insider, pointing to South Carolina’s Feb. 20 primary, the third contest for delegates. ”First of all, it fits the schedule. If he’s able to close South Carolina, he’s all set up for March 1,” when seven more Southern states have their primaries.