Trump's swing state troubles

Trump's swing-state troubles and how he'll choose VP
Trump's swing-state troubles and how he'll choose VP

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Trump's swing-state troubles and how he'll choose VP 04:22

Story highlights

  • Donald Trump is having trouble getting traction in some key battleground states
  • Hillary Clinton is urging Democrats to plan get-out-the-vote efforts during RNC convention

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump's vice presidential search. His challenges in swing states like Colorado. And the Clinton campaign's alternative to GOP convention protests.

These stories are just some of the future headlines in CNN's "Inside Politics" forecast.

    1) Trump's swing-state troubles

    The GOP convention is just around the corner, but Donald Trump continues to annoy and befuddle some activists in battleground states.
    Trump's tough sell in swing states
    Trump's tough sell in swing states

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    Trump's tough sell in swing states 00:46
    In Colorado the other day, he publicly complained again about a state GOP delegate-selection process Trump claims was "rigged" against him. It's not the way to make friends in what has traditionally been a presidential swing state.
    And in New Hampshire, several activists who supported other Republicans in the first-in-the-nation primary say Trump and his team have done little or nothing to try to bring them on board.
    These activists suggest a lack of GOP unity could make winning New Hampshire a tough challenge for Trump. As evidence of the unity problem, one veteran GOP activist noted that a planned Trump fundraiser in the Granite State was canceled for the second time this past week because "nobody was going to come."
    Trump allies don't dispute there is a lot of work to be done on the New Hampshire unity front. But they blame the problem mostly on sour grapes from those who supported rival candidates.
    Matt Mayberry, the vice chair of the New Hampshire GOP, said the fundraiser was canceled because of a last-minute Trump scheduling conflict.
    He said new dates in August are being discussed, and he pushed back on the idea that the event was canceled because attendance would have been horrible. Mayberry said 42 people were slated to come to the $1,000 a person event.
    That's hardly a giant fund-raiser, but Mayberry insisted the goal was a small group so that Trump could spend time doing just the outreach his critics have complained is lacking -- focusing on activists who supported other GOP candidates.
    We will circle back to this one in August.

    2) Court case could impact GOP convention coup efforts

    A Virginia court hearing this week could impact the strength of efforts by some Republican delegates to stage a convention coup against Donald Trump.
    In Richmond, one of the state's delegates is asking to be released from the Virginia GOP's rules requiring a vote for Trump on the first ballot, arguing it violates his constitutional right to free speech.
    Pro-Trump delegates are also getting involved in the case, and Ed O'Keefe of The Washington Post reports that the ruling is being watched by those on both sides of the "Dump Trump" debate.
    "Eight Virginia delegates who support Donald Trump stepped in just last week to say, 'Hold on a second, this guy's trying to pull something at the 11th hour, all in his self-interest.' [They say] if you really wanted to do this, you should've done it before the primary," O'Keefe explained.
    "There are some Republicans though I've talked to who say it might actually be helpful to get a court ruling on all of this before they meet in Cleveland because so many of the machinations might have to do, of course, with whether or not a delegate has to vote the results of the caucus or primary."

    3) Follow the candidate for VP search clues

    The GOP convention is two weeks away, meaning Trump's window for naming a running mate is narrowing.
    Trump's VP pick: location, location, location
    Trump's VP pick: location, location, location

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    Trump's VP pick: location, location, location 00:47
    For weeks, Trump said he wanted to save the pick for the convention to generate drama, but his team has suggested of late it could come sooner as part of an effort to build excitement and perhaps help quiet GOP complaints.
    The GOP standard-bearer has a busy road schedule in the week ahead, and Jennifer Jacobs of Bloomberg Politics notes there could be opportunities for big meetings, maybe even a big pick. He'll also have a chance to go head to head with his rivals.
    "We've got North Carolina on Tuesday. He's going to be going head-to-head with President Obama and Hillary Clinton. They will be in the state doing an event about four hours before him, and you know, this is a place where President Obama is going to be a messenger, saying that this is a woman he respects and she can do the job, whereas Trump doesn't have anyone. He doesn't have a former president saying that."

    4) Does Trump's Rust Belt strategy boost Indiana's Pence?

    Indiana Gov. Mike Pence fits the criteria Donald Trump has stressed as he considers a running mate: Someone who knows how things work in Washington.
    Pence served in the House before going home to run for governor, and was widely respected by many of the conservative groups that are skeptical of Trump, or in outright disagreement with him.
    And CNN's Sara Murray also cites the geography factor: Trump's electoral college strategy is based on wins across the Rust Belt.
    "He could sort of bring to the ticket what you might have gotten with a Scott Walker or a John Kasich, two other guys who aren't quite interested," Murray said. "They feel like this Rust Belt state appeal could help Donald Trump as they grow increasingly convinced that his path to victory lies through states like Indiana through Ohio through Pennsylvania. But remember -- (Mitt) Romney also tried this in 2012, and Paul Ryan did not deliver Wisconsin."

    5) Voter registration as a form of protest

    The Clinton campaign hopes to turn anti-Trump energy among Democratic activists into a plus -- but not by staging big protests outside the GOP convention in Cleveland.
    Dems' to use GOP convention as get-out-the-vote tool
    Dems' to use GOP convention as get-out-the-vote tool

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    Dems' to use GOP convention as get-out-the-vote tool 00:44
    Instead, Julie Pace of the Associated Press reports that Clinton's organization is encouraging those who want to vent at Trump and the GOP to redirect their energy to voter registration efforts.
    "You're going to see a lot of Democratic activity around Cleveland, registering voters, and they're also planning a big social media campaign where Democrats can show voter registration efforts around the country. And this is just another sign that while Donald Trump is really a master at getting attention, and will be a master of getting attention for himself during that convention, Democrats are really skilled at these on-the-ground voter registration and field efforts that really prove to win elections."