Trump gives Dave Brat his 'total endorsement'

Trump gives Dave Brat his 'total endorsement'
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report DOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Nadler accuses Barr of 'unprecedented steps' to 'spin' Mueller report MORE endorsed Rep. Dave Brat on Thursday, throwing his political weight behind the Virginia Republican as the two-term incumbent faces his toughest reelection bid.

"Congressman @DaveBratVA7th is one of the hardest working, and smartest, people in Washington. He is strong on the Border, Crime, the Military, our Vets and the 2nd Amendment," Trump tweeted.

"He is a powerful vote for MAGA and loves the Great State of Virginia. Dave has my Total Endorsement!"

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Brat is locked in a close race against Democrat Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA officer who has cast herself as a moderate. Public polling in the state's 7th Congressional District has been sparse, but a Monmouth University poll released late last month gave Spanberger a 5-point lead over Brat.

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, currently rates the race as a "toss-up."

Brat entered the House in 2014 after pulling off a stunning primary win over then-House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorGOP faces tough battle to become 'party of health care' 737 crisis tests Boeing's clout in Washington House Republicans find silver lining in minority MORE (R-Va.). He won reelection handily in 2016, defeating Democrat Eileen Bedell by a 15-point margin.

Democrats are eyeing suburban districts as part of their strategy to retake control of the House in November. Virginia's 7th district is comprised of both rural areas and suburbs of Richmond.