Wednesday night Donald Trump spoke about the military, and Thursday he mentioned Baltimore in saying the nation's education system needs improvement.
National polls show a tightening race, but in Maryland, Trump is far behind Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Political experts say that may be forcing him to try to reach demographics he desperately needs if he hopes to win.
Polling taken as recently as last month shows Clinton winning the state by more than 30 points.
“I actually think that Maryland has the potential to hand Donald Trump his largest electoral loss in terms of states,” said Dr. Mileah Kromer, Goucher College assistant professor of political science and director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center.
Trump will have an uphill battle to win areas with historically strong Democratic and African American support like Baltimore, which may have prompted Trump to mention Charm City by name while speaking about education in inner cities.
“When Republican strategists looked at the 2012 election, they recognized that appealing to communities of color needs to be a central message in any Republican presidential campaign,” Kromer said.
Another reason Trump may have trouble in Maryland, at a “Commander-in-Chief” forum broadcast on cable news Wednesday, Trump said the nation’s generals under Obama and Secretary Clinton had been “reduced to rubble.”
Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, whose district stretches across five jurisdictions, said by phone that negative comments about the nation’s military will not fly.
“I’ve been pretty quiet so far this race but I cannot stand still with him making a comment like that,” Ruppersberger said. “I can say with confidence that our military leaders are extremely qualified and capable. I find it offensive when a candidate suggest that our country needs to be made great ‘again.’”