Trump to Hit the Campaign Trail

Mid-terms are coming.

Via the NYT:  Trump Says He’ll Stump for Vulnerable Republicans ‘Six or Seven Days a Week’.

President Trump said Friday that he plans to spends almost all of his time this fall campaigning for the most vulnerable Republican congressional candidates in the midterm elections, a strategy that would have him in many districts where endangered lawmakers in his own party regard him as a liability.

In a friendly radio interview with Sean Hannity, the conservative Fox News host with whom he shares a close relationship, Mr. Trump said he was confident the strength of the economy and the demise of the Islamic State would boost the fortunes of Republicans in this fall’s contests, and that he would personally work to pull lawmakers facing tough re-election challenges to victory.

“I am going to work very hard,” Mr. Trump said during the interview. “I’ll go six or seven days a week when we’re 60 days out, and I will be campaigning for all of these great people that do have a difficult race, and we think we’re going to bring them over the line.”

My reactions to this are as follows:

First, since campaigning is a lot easier than governing, I can certainly see this happening.  The part of the job Trump loves the most is appearing before crowds of supporters.

Second, this will provide a very interesting experiment.  Since most of the vulnerable Republicans are vulnerable at least in part because of Trump, it raises the question of whether such campaigning will be a help or a hindrance.

Mr. Trump said he had instructed John F. Kelly, his chief of staff, and others on his team to compile a list of about two dozen of the most hotly contested races in the country so he could use the bully pulpit to promote the Republicans running in them.

“Give me the top 25 congresspeople that are, you know, could go either way, and I want to go out and campaign for those people,” Mr. Trump said.

But many if not most of the most competitive races are in districts where Mr. Trump is unpopular and more centrist Republican incumbents are toiling to distance themselves from him, as well as where Democrats are most motivated to turn out to vote against the president’s party.

FILED UNDER: 2018 Election, US Politics, , , , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Michael Reynolds says:

    This is must be tough for Trump’s staff. They have to be thrilled to have the rage-o-holic old man out of the White House, but against that they face dealing with whatever idiocy he blurts out to get another round of applause.

  2. gVOR08 says:

    Could be interesting. If Trump isn’t successful in boosting his chosen candidates it pulls his stinger a bit and has large implications re impeachment.

  3. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Note to Brett Kavanaugh:

    Campaigning for vulnerable republicans 6-7 days a week clearly means that the president is WAY too busy with important matters of State to be bothered with judicial process.

  4. Yank says:

    I am sure those R’s in districts Hillary won in 2016 are thrilled to have Trump stump for them.

  5. Scott F. says:

    It will be an interesting experiment indeed.

    The midterms will be a clear test of whether it is still possible for the popular will can overcome the structural biases for minority control. The toxic Trump attaching himself to vulnerable GOP candidates should make them easier to beat. If these candidates prevail anyway, then it will be evident that the country’s path back to something resembling representative governance will be more difficult than hoped.

  6. merl says:

    How much will that cost the taxpayers?

  7. Tyrell says:

    I had hoped and thought that the Democrats might just be moving to the center (and I am talking about old time party here, the way they used to be). Just when I was feeling better, full blown socialists start coming out of the woodwork. Guaranteed income, higher taxes, “no borders”, “no ICE”: that’s really going to go over good out here with the common working folks.
    A repeat of 1972, looks like.

  8. MarkedMan says:

    I propose an OTM drinking game: we tally up all the times he goes through a whole rally without mentioning the name of the candidate, or he actually says the wrong name. Then, as we watch the results on election night we have to take a drink for each one.

  9. Gustopher says:

    This is really going to put a crimp in his golfing. Will he be able to cut back enough on Presidenting that he doesn’t get out of practice on the greens? I hope so.

  10. rachel says:

    @Tyrell: They get slapped around for being “socialists” no matter what they say, so what incentive do they have to be centrists?

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Lava Land: from the Trump Golf Count:

    Days Trump has spent at Mar a Lago: 68
    Cost of flights to Mar a Lago (17 so far):* ~$34,181,000
    Days Trump has spent at Bedminster: 41
    Cost of flights to Bedminster (14 so far):* ~$11,051,000
    Trump has visited his clubs once every this many days since his inauguration: 4.5
    Projected visits to golf clubs in four years: 321
    Projected visits in eight years: 642

    Total times Obama played golf during his eight year Presidency: 306

    My mother raised me to not make fun of the intellectually handicapped, so I’ll leave it at that.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:


    I had hoped and thought that the Democrats might just be moving to the center (and I am talking about old time party here, the way they used to be).

    You mean like back when they were the racist party? And as far as the “center” goes, that is a fiction. The GOP has moved so far to the right they have fallen off the table. Where does that leave the “center”?

  13. Tyrell says:

    Trump should park AF 1 and take to the road in a bus or RV. Get out on the highways and by ways,the dusty roads, and the route 66 towns. He could team up with Willie Nelson – now who could argue with that?
    Put Pence and Kelly in charge for month and have a barnstorming tour.
    “On the road again”

  14. wr says:

    @Tyrell: “He could team up with Willie Nelson – now who could argue with that?”

    At the risk of stating the obvious, Willie Nelson, for one.