President Donald Trump’s busy schedule of campaign rallies for the midterms has so far heavily concentrated in areas that he handily won in 2016 and has largely avoided venturing into swing districts, according to an analysis by NBC News released on Monday.
Only two of the dozen rallies he has held since the beginning of September have been in counties he lost in the presidential race.
His strategy appears to shore up his base and make sure they go out and vote rather than try and sway those who are undecided.
In fact, Trump's average margin of victory in the counties he's campaigned in, including the two he lost in 2016, is a whopping 57 percent to 36 percent, according to Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Elections.
Trump’s “strength is in areas of low-density population," former GOP Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia told NBC. "These are low turnout areas traditionally, but elected Trump. They need to keep him out of wealthy urban and suburban areas."
David Wasserman, the House editor for the non-partisan Cook Political Report, stressed it is significant that his appeal provides value to the GOP in certain races.
He emphasized that, “unlike 2006, when there were virtually no districts George W. Bush was helpful to Republicans, there still are plenty of places where Trump can help gin up Republican enthusiasm and try to limit Republicans' House losses."
A notable exception to Trump largely avoiding competitive races was a rally he held last week in Erie County, Pennsylvania, which he narrowly won after Republicans has not been victorious there in more than three decades.
At the event the president campaigned for Republican Senate candidate Lou Barletta, gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner and Rep. Mike Kelly, whose district is considered competitive.
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