Donald Trump plans breakneck midterm campaign schedule, determined to keep GOP in power

August 21, 2018

President Trump is embarking on the most aggressive midterm campaigning schedule in recent presidential history, spending more than 40 days on the road before the November elections.

The president ordered his team to draw up the grueling schedule because he is determined to buck historical trends and rack up wins to keep GOP control of the House, expand the GOP majority in the Senate and put more GOP governors in state houses, according to a person familiar with his thinking.

“The president is focused on growing a majority in the Senate, protecting the House and supporting gubernatorial candidates across the country,” said the person who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity.

The president’s party has lost seats in all but two midterm elections since the Civil War. To buck the trend, Mr. Trump has organized a flexible schedule for campaign rallies and fundraisers that will be adjusted to react to developments in individual races.

In midterm elections, the opposing party averages a pickup of 32 House seats and two Senate seats.

The toughest battle will be for the House, where Democrats need to flip 23 seats to take control.

Although the GOP holds a two-seat majority in the Senate, most of the battleground races are for Democrat-held seats and in states that Mr. Trump won in 2016. He has an opportunity to expand the Republican majority in the upper chamber.

Over the next six weeks, the president plans to hold at least eight rallies and at least 16 fundraisers throughout the country in as many as 15 states in support of Senate, House and gubernatorial candidates.

The September schedule includes likely stops in North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Kentucky and Tennessee. And other stops can be added to the list.

Mr. Trump’s plans for 40 days on the road between Aug. 1 and Election Day compare to President Barack Obama’s 36 days in 2012 and roughly 22 days in 2014.

President George W. Bush campaigned outside Washington about 33 days for both his midterm elections.

Update hourly