BATTLE FOR THE SENATE | FL-sen | MI-sen | OH-sen | MT-sen | WV-sen | IN-sen | MO-sen | ND-sen

Trump to Stump Against 5 Red-State Democrats This Summer

Republicans hope he can define vulnerable Democrats that hope to show their allegiance to him.

May 30, 2018, 11:12 a.m.

President Trump in the coming weeks will campaign in “North Dakota, Montana, Missouri, Indiana and West Virginia—all deeply red states he won handily in 2016 with endangered Democratic senators. … [H]is schedule is likely to fill out with well over a dozen stops each month. … Mr. Trump’s schedule could ultimately include stops in Ohio and Michigan, two states that the White House political director, Bill Stepien, keeps on one of the white boards in his office. … And it is possible that in Florida … the president might get more engaged in the fall, when the season at his club in Palm Beach, Mar-a-Lago, reopens, and he has a place he knows to spend the night.”

“The strategy is intended to take advantage of his star power among core Republican supporters while minimizing his exposure in states with competitive congressional races where his polarizing presence could help motivate Democrats as well as independents and moderate Republicans. Mr. Trump’s appearance Tuesday in Nashville was an example of how he plans, for now, to campaign where he can have an immediate effect because of his ability to either fund-raise or draw local news media attention. … White House officials, who have pushed to keep Mr. Trump from getting involved in primary races, said that the focus on the six red states before primaries have taken place will give him a chance to bloody the Democrats there while Republicans are still settling on their nominees. … The hope now is that his savage attacks, penchant for mimicry and resourcefulness in nickname creation … can be turned to devastating effect on the very Senate Democrats who have gone to lengths to avoid publicly breaking with him.”

“Aides to Mr. Trump said that officials have focused heavily on the right-track, wrong-track numbers in polling to guide them on the climate nationally, which they believe has improved.” (New York Times)

“With just over five months to go before voters head to the polls, GOP Senate leaders say they’re buoyed by continued economic growth, an uptick in President Donald Trump’s lackluster approval ratings, and strong Republican primary winners.” (Bloomberg)

ALL BUSINESS. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “did not seem to envision a summer full of votes on ‘gotcha’ amendments targeting vulnerable senators” and instead “would prioritize the fiscal 2019 defense authorization, a new farm bill and updated water resources development legislation.”

McConnell: “I’m not particularly interested in just having point-scoring amendments, although some of the bills that I call up are open for amendment and people may, on both sides, may do some of that. … I’m mainly interested in scoring points, putting points on the board, passing bills that will be signed into law.” (Roll Call)

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