WASHINGTON (AP) President Donald Trump’s strategy of becoming aggressively involved in the midterm elections is prompting concern among some Republicans who worry he’s complicating the political calculus for GOP candidates trying to outrun his popularity.
Those Republicans worry their statewide candidates may rise or fall based on Trump’s standing, muddling their path to maintain control of Congress.
But Trump has no plans to step out of the spotlight. He will hold a rally Saturday in Ohio and plans to host two fundraisers at the Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey, next week for House and Senate candidates, according to a campaign official with knowledge of the president’s events. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss details about the fundraisers that haven’t yet been publicly released.
The president is casting himself as the star of the midterms, eagerly inserting himself into hotly contested primaries, headlining rallies in pivotal swing states and increasing his fundraising efforts for Republicans. Last week, Trump agreed to donate a portion of his reelection fund to 100 GOP candidates running in competitive House and Senate races.
He’s expected to be even more aggressive in the fall. White House officials say he’s reserving time on his schedule for midterm travel and fundraising likely to surpass that of former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
“This is now about Donald Trump,” said Al Cardenas, a former Florida Republican chairman. “It’s a high-risk, high-stakes proposition.”