Trump is heading to Columbia for midterm rally
Trump is holding a rally in the historically liberal-leaning Missouri town. With the midterms approaching, his visit isn’t as surprising as many think.
Oct. 30, 2018
President Donald Trump is coming to the Columbia Regional Airport for a rally centered around endorsing Josh Hawley, the Republican candidate running against Claire McCaskill, the incumbent senator. Many people question the Nov. 1 event, mainly because of the location, Columbia, for its historical liberal slant and journalism — Trump often criticizes both topics in his tweets and speeches.
However, at further glance, there are a few reasons for Trump choosing to anchor in Columbia as part of his mid-term rally campaign, the most prominent reason being the midterm election.
Trump has held 15 rallies since Oct. 1, with 11 more planned leading up to Election Day, according to The Hill. Historically, after a president’s first midterm, if the congress is held by the president’s party, the majority often switches. Trump aims to avoid this trend as it has affected many recent presidents, including Obama, Bush, Clinton and Reagan. Starting in August, he has planned out the most ambitious midterm campaign strategy for his party when compared to previous presidents and their midterm strategies, The Hill reported.
Ray Bozarth, the executive director of Missouri’s Republican Party, gave more insight into the party’s reasoning for rallying in Columbia.
“The city of Columbia and the University of Missouri have always been huge volunteer bases for Republicans,” Bozarth said in an interview with The Columbia Tribune. “It is not just the city of Columbia, it is the Columbia-Jefferson City market, which is very Republican as a market.”
Boone County was one of only four Missouri counties won by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, the three other counties being St. Louis County, St. Louis City and Jackson.
In order to mitigate the possible Democrat-controlled congress, Trump is targeting Democratic Senate seats susceptible to change. In Trump’s remaining 11 rallies, he is going to four of the five states where a Democratic seat is considered a toss-up, as rated by The New York Times, with McCaskill’s seat being included.
To maintain control of the Senate, republicans must keep their losses to only one seat, so by targeting these unsteady seats, Trump theoretically increases the republicans’ chances of maintaining a Senate majority.
McCaskill also hails from Columbia, she attended Hickman High School and MU, giving another possible reason why Trump organized a rally in Columbia.
With Trump campaigning in the town that McCaskill considers home, his political strategy is further shown, even more so evidenced by him targeting democrat-owned Senate seats in republican states. Having Hawley win the race would be a big victory for the republicans’ efforts in maintaining their majority in the Senate.
“There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news. The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly,” Trump said in an Oct. 29 tweet.
Trump often criticizes the press for what he said is unfair coverage of his administration. Such statements have caused controversy in the political atmosphere, which has further caused a political divide between Democrats and Republicans, according to the Pew Research Center.
_Edited by Caitlyn Rosen | firstname.lastname@example.org