Eric Esshaki wins Michigan GOP primary to challenge Haley Stevens
Trump campaign to hold rallies in Mississippi, Kentucky
President Trump's campaign announced Friday it will hold a rallies in Mississippi and Kentucky next month.
The "Keep America Great" rallies take place before crucial gubernatorial races in both states. While both Mississippi and Kentucky are solidly Republican, having backed President Trump by about 19 and 30 points, respectively, in 2016, the races to win the governor's mansion are likely closer than the GOP would prefer.
The campaign touted Trump's economic accomplishments in its announcements of the Nov. 1 rally in Tupelo, Miss., and the Nov. 4 rally in Lexington, Ky.
"President Trump has delivered for Mississippi, creating 20,800 jobs in the state since he was elected President," campaign chief operating officer Michael Glassner said in a statement. "President Trump continues to deliver for all Americans, and he looks forward to celebrating his achievements with the great men and women of Mississippi."
"Thanks to President Trump, Kentucky's economy is soaring, with 48,000 news jobs created since his election, including 7,400 manufacturing jobs," he added.
However, the rallies are likely to focus on the two gubernatorial races, which the GOP anxious to keep both states in its column. Trump has endorsed both Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves for election in Mississippi's open gubernatorial race and Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin for reelection.
"I need you to Get Out and Vote for our Great Republican nominee, @TateReeves. Tate is strong on Crime, tough on Illegal Immigration, and will protect your Second Amendment," Trump tweeted this week. "He loves our Military and supports our Vets! Get out and Vote for Tate Reeves on November 5th. He has my Complete and Total Endorsement!"
"Governor @MattBevin has done a wonderful job for the people of Kentucky! He continues to protect your very important Second Amendment. Matt is Strong on Crime and the Border, he Loves our Great Vets and Military. Matt has my Complete and Total Endorsement, and always has!" the president added of Bevin.
Reeves is facing off against state Attorney General Jim Hood (D) to replace term-limited Gov. Phil Bryant (R). Public polling has shown Reeves with single-digit leads in a race the Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rated as "Lean" Republican.
Reeves's campaign confirmed to The Hill that the lieutenant governor will appear at the Tupelo rally.
"I am proud to welcome @realDonaldTrump back to MS-a state that is proud to stand behind our President. He knows how important it is to defeat Jim Hood, who supported Hillary Clinton and still works to undermine Trump like the rest of his Democrat party," Reeves tweeted.
The rally in Mississippi is intended to gin up support for Reeves ahead of a tight election, but one he is favored to eke out.
In Kentucky though Trump will be looking to give Bevin, one of the country's least popular governors, a much-needed jolt. Bevin only narrowly won the Republican nomination to get the chance to face off against Attorney General Andy Beshear (D).
Bevin remains unpopular in the Bluegrass State, with a recent survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy showing just 45 percent of voters approve of the job he's doing as governor, while 48 percent disapprove. The same survey finds Bevin and state Attorney General Andy Beshear (D) tied at 46 percent each, while the Cook Political Report rates the race as a "Toss Up."
Bevin has sought to cast himself as a staunch Trump ally in a state where the president remains popular. The Kentucky Republican's campaign also confirmed to The Hill that Bevin will appear with Trump at November's rally.
Trump has relished the role of campaigner-in-chief during his time in the White House, seeking to buoy Republican candidates across the country. The president took credit for forcing Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) into a runoff after he failed to top 50 percent in last week's election following a rally the president held in the state.