President Donald Trump will spend at least 40 days on the campaign trail between August 1st and Election Day, the White House said, amounting to more time on the campaign stump than any of his recent predecessors in midterm election years.
The president is on pace to hold at least eight rallies and 16 fundraisers across 15 states through the end of September alone, administration officials said, with stops already tentatively planned for North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Kentucky, and Tennessee during that period.
“He has committed to aggressively campaigning, and has charged us with giving him as many days as possible on the road, outside of Washington, D.C., heading into November,” a senior administration official said. “We expect for him to be probably the most aggressive campaigner in recent presidential history.”
President George W. Bush campaigned for 33 days in 2002, while President Barack Obama campaigned for 36 days in 2010 and 22 days in 2014.
The president's political advisers have placed a premium on Trump's unconventional rallies which they say have been uniquely helpful in energizing the conservative base, particularly non-Republicans and voters who typically don't vote in non-presidential years.
While Trump faces an uphill fight to maintain a GOP majority in Congress, administration officials have been publicly optimistic – with the president himself touting potential for a "red wave."
"A successful year would be defining history and coming back to Washington in 2019 retaining a majority in the House; picking up seats in the Senate; and doing our best to fight a challenging gubernatorial map," one official said.
The president continued to make that case on the campaign trail Tuesday and told supporters that the election is a choice between border security and open borders.
“At the beating heart of this election is border security. We have to have it, right. We have to have it,” Trump told a rally in West Virginia. “A blue wave in November means open borders, which means massive crime. A red wave means safety and strength. That's what it is.” President Trump has held 16 political events in 8 states so far in August alone, the officials said on a call with reporters ahead of Tuesday night’s rally.