Bevin is likely to make Trump a central part of his closing argument, and Trump has made last-minute trips to heavily Republican areas a staple of his campaign arsenal for GOP allies. Bevin has portrayed himself as a staunch White House ally and has aired TV ads
which prominently feature the president. Trump won Kentucky by nearly 30 percentage points in 2016.
Trump’s concern is with 2020 and the one thing he absolutely has to do to win: hold fast to his base of true believers.
Kentucky is one of three conservative states holding gubernatorial races this fall, and a loss in any of the three contests would likely set off Republican alarm bells. Trump is scheduled to hold a Friday evening rally in Louisiana, where the party is trying to ensure that Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards is forced into a November runoff.
Edwards is very popular and polls show him within striking distance of that 50% mark to avoid a runoff. The two GOP candidates, Rep. Ralph Abraham and construction magnate Eddie Rispone, need a big boost to do well in today’s primary and Trump may well be able to supply it.
Trump’s bread and butter on the campaign trail has been his consistent ability to get Republican voters excited. Giving Kentucky voters both Trump and Pence in the last week of the campaign should increase the odds of a Bevin victory.
But that’s in deep-red Kentucky. What will Trump be able to accomplish in battleground states like Wisconsin and Michigan? Trump’s rally in Minneapolis the other night brought an overflow crowd of 20,000 to the Target Center. His poll numbers may be down, but his ability to attract huge, enthusiastic crowds hasn’t been diminished. That kind of enthusiasm despite — or maybe because of — the impeachment effort by Democrats could translate into victory in 2020.
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