Trump makes final push in battleground states as midterm election nears
ABCNews.com(CLEVELAND) — In the first of a three-state sprint to the midterm finish line, President Donald Trump continued his push for Republicans and demonizing of Democrats in Cleveland in an effort to mobilize his base on the eve of election day.
“Tomorrow, with your votes, you can stop the radical resistance in its tracks,” Trump announced, adding that “Tuesday is your chance to send a message to the Democrat mob and to everyone who has made it their mission to denigrate our movement and to divide our great nation.”
Trump supporters in the Buckeye state turned out in droves to hear the president’s closing refrain before election day, as early voting figures across the country have already eclipsed 2014 totals in many states. But that didn’t keep Trump, who has two more campaign stops in Indiana and Missouri tonight, from encouraging his supporters to get out to the polls.
“I remember with [my election], this is very much a Tuesday state. The people are sort of holding for Tuesday,” Trump said after asking the audience whether they’d already voted. “The midterm elections used to be, like, boring, didn’t they? Who ever even heard of a midterm? Now they’re, like, the hottest thing.”
Ohioans overwhelmingly supported Trump in 2016, so with Republicans facing a tough slate of gubernatorial, Senate, and House races this cycle, it’s no surprise the president chose to be in Cleveland on his last day of campaigning. And if there was any doubt that this election is all about Trump, he made that clear.
“In a sense, I am on the ticket,” Trump said.
Trump heaped praise on Mike DeWine, the state’s current attorney general and Republican candidate for governor, who is deadlocked in a neck-and-neck race with Democrat Rich Cordray, the former director of President Obama’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. DeWine has sought to garner support from Trump’s wing of the GOP while maintaining ties with a moderate block aligned with the state’s current governor, John Kasich – a frequent critic of Trump.
“He’s fighting, he’s great,” Trump said of DeWine, before turning his attention toward Cordray, who he called a “bad guy.”
“I know his opponent – he’s a bad guy, not a good person. He’s hurt a lot of people. Cordray, a bad person who will do a terrible job,” Trump told the crowd.
If Trump is trying to push DeWine over the goal line, his endorsement of Rep. Jim Renacci, a U.S. congressman challenging Democrat Sherrod Brown for a seat in the Senate, is nothing short of a Hail Mary. Polls suggest Renacci trailing Brown by a substantial figure, with 538 giving Renacci a 1 in 30 chance of winning.
Nevertheless, Trump hailed Renacci as “a wonderful human being” who has “run a really good campaign,” adding, “it’s not easy.”
In addition to his kind words for Republicans on Ohio’s ballot, Trump nailed his well-worn stump speech, highlighting the booming economy, bemoaning the migrant caravan and boasting of his successes in confirming two Supreme Court nominees.
Trump spared a moment for his daughter, too, inviting Ivanka Trump onstage by joking with the audience that he isn’t allowed to call her “beautiful” anymore.
“You’re not allowed to use the word beautiful anymore – it’s politically incorrect. So I’m not allowed to say it. But she’s really smart. It’s my daughter Ivanka, and she’s here!” Trump announced.
“That was some introduction!” Ivanka chided, before going on to highlight a laundry list of the administration’s accomplishments.
From Cleveland, the president takes Air Force One to Fort Wayne, Indiana, before closing out his 2018 campaign stretch in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Monday night.
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