Earlier this month, Donald Trump told an audience at the Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine, about a video he had seen of cash being unloaded from an airplane in Tehran, in completion of an alleged deal for the release of hostages. The surprising thing about this is not that he was describing a purely imaginary video—we’ve grown all too accustomed to Trump’s flights from the truth—but that he was holding a campaign rally in Maine.

New England has been getting quite a bit of attention from Trump this month. After the Portland stop, he held a rally at the high school in Windham, New Hampshire. And this past Saturday, he did one in Fairfield, Connecticut.

It’s a bit unusual, to say the least, for a major party nominee to hold so many campaign events in the area.

After all, of the six New England states, only New Hampshire has seemed competitive in recent Presidential elections. None of the other five has gone with the Republican nominee since 1988; most of the contests since then have seen double-digit margins for the Democrat in each state.

And even the purple state of New Hampshire seems increasingly out of reach. Obama won the state by nine and seven percentage points in his two victories, and Hillary Clinton is leading by around the same margin now, according to the Real Clear Politics polling average.

Plus, these are small prizes on which to expend campaign effort. Winning New Hampshire would get Trump a mere four electoral college votes. Connecticut, in the wild off-chance that Trump could win it with enough campaigning, would get him seven. Some have even suggested that Trump is chasing one electoral vote in Maine, which awards two for the state-wide vote and one each for the vote-topper in each of its two Congressional districts.

Far better to spend the time and resources on the bigger prizes of Colorado (9), Virginia (13), North Carolina (15), Ohio (18), Pennsylvania (20), and Florida (29).

That’s why, in recent Presidential election years, nominees have rarely held campaign events in New England. They come up for fundraisers, of course. And they typically send their running-mate to New Hampshire once or twice.

Clinton is running that exact playbook this year. Tim Kaine just made his first New Hampshire visit as her Vice Presidential selection, with a rally in Manchester Saturday—preceded by a fundraiser, a diner meet-and-greet, and plenty of local press interviews.

The only currently scheduled New England appearances for Clinton herself, however, are a Provincetown fundraiser next weekend, and a Brookline fundraiser next month.

Trump’s communications director, Jason Miller, defended the New England swing to the media, claiming that internal polling showed Trump leading in Maine and competitive in Connecticut. Few give those claims any greater credibility than Trump’s whopper about the plane video.

However, many in the political chattering class are theorizing that Trump believes he can win in New England states. They suspect that he has mistaken his excellent results in the region’s primary elections for broad support in those states.

Trump’s impressive win in New Hampshire, by a wide margin over the rest of the crowded Republican primary field, was his first and perhaps most important of the entire race. He took more than 50 percent of the primary vote in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and, notably, Connecticut, and won Vermont as well. He finished second in Maine’s caucus, to Ted Cruz.

There have been other signs, in how he has run his campaign, that Trump is having trouble grasping how different the general-election electorate is from Republican primary voters—especially in the northeast. Perhaps his New England trip was a further sign of that.

I had another theory: that perhaps his campaign has been trying to keep him confined to places where he can do relatively little damage, until he’s got general-election campaign stumping figured out. Or, if you prefer an analogy, they’re trying to work out a play’s kinks in Peoria before taking the show to Broadway.

But, Trump has also been appearing in high-stakes states this month. That seems to counter my hide-away theory.

Maybe his campaign should consider it, however. After all, it became clear at the end of July—shortly after the Democratic National Convention wrapped up on the 29th—that Trump had not quite figured out how to avoid damaging his own election prospects.

Recent reports suggest that a variety of veteran Republicans, including RNC chairman Reince Priebus and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have been trying to hand-hold Trump since then, to get him focused and steady. He’s been using notes and charts more at his rallies.

But, as with the non-existent airplane video, Trump can’t seem to stop himself.

In that same Portland speech, for example, Trump also took gratuitous aim at the state’s sizable Somali refugee population, suggesting that they are creating a grave danger.

“We have just seen many, many crimes, getting worse all the time, and as Maine knows, a major destination for Somali refugees,” Trump said. “Hundreds of thousands of refugees, and they’re coming from among the most dangerous territories and countries anywhere in the world. This is a practice that has to stop.”

Crime sprees by Somali refugees were news to most of the state’s population, and local media, politicians, and law enforcement officials quickly condemned Trump’s claims.

His stops have also caused other problems for his own campaign, as they put pressure on nervous Republican officials to take a stand for or against their party’s candidate.

It is probably not a coincidence that Maine Senator Susan Collins announced her decision to not vote for Trump just three days after his rally in the state. And when Trump came to New Hampshire, Senator Kelly Ayotte—who has said she will vote for him—stayed far away from his rally, while her campaign and those of other Republican candidates fielded questions about him from the press.

It’s a considerable amount of damage—but, for the reasons noted above, there’s a limit to what that can cost him in New England.

Perhaps he should spend more time there, until he’s certain that he can campaign in more critical states without doing more harm than good.