U.S. President Donald Trump walks towards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg)

Trump to Skip House Races to Focus on Senate in Final Election Push

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s final campaign push ahead of congressional elections all but gives up on maintaining Republican control of the U.S. House and instead concentrates on promoting turnout in conservative areas for competitive Senate and governor’s races.

Trump plans to skip competitive House districts in an itinerary of 11 rallies in eight states, according to a schedule described by a person familiar with his plans who briefed reporters on Monday. In several states in which there are both competitive Senate and House districts, Trump is shunning swing districts for areas where his support is strongest -- a strategy that could help maximize his potential impact on statewide races.

The White House has grown particularly nervous in recent days about the Senate races in Florida, Missouri and Arizona -- states that a month ago they were confident Republicans would win, said an outside adviser.

In those states, Trump won’t go to areas such as the suburbs of St. Louis or Miami where there are competitive House races. He won’t make any stops in Michigan or Pennsylvania, two states that helped propel him to victory in 2016.

A White House official, however, took issue with the idea that the administration had written off the House entirely. The official, who requested anonymity to discuss the matter, said that the president has already campaigned in the districts of many representatives facing strong challenges and that his final appearances of the midterm season will help two congressional candidates, in Montana and West Virginia.

Trump will hold two rallies each in Florida -- in Fort Myers and Pensacola -- and Indiana --visiting Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. He will also travel twice to Missouri, for events in Columbia and Cape Girardeau, Rush Limbaugh’s hometown.

He will also hold rallies in Huntington, West Virginia; Bozeman, Montana; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Macon, Georgia; and Cleveland. Ohio and Georgia have competitive gubernatorial races while the other states on his itinerary all have contested races for the Senate.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.