Why did Donald Trump choose Dayton, Ohio as his final rally stop?

Why did Donald Trump choose Dayton, Ohio as his final rally stop?

Former President Donald Trump ended his blitz of rallies ahead of the Nov. 8 midterm elections in Dayton, Ohio, to rally support for his JD Vance-backed Senate candidate.

Several of Trump’s endorsements from across the state attended Monday’s rally, which included a special appearance by Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who also attended the former president’s rally last week in Sioux City, Iowa. The message was the same across all Monday night speakers: Tuesday’s election will see a “giant red wave” thanks to Trump supporters.

Dayton, which was the last of the former president’s four stops before the midterm elections, offered an interesting setting for Trump’s “MAGA-style message,” according to Chris Devine, a political science professor at the University of Dayton ( YOU). . devine said news week that it was important for the former president to look like a “winner” heading into such a close midterm race, which made Vance’s home state a good final stop.

“By coming to Ohio on the eve of the midterm elections, Donald Trump is trying to send the message that he is a winner,” Devine said. “Why? Because JD Vance will probably win on Tuesday, and everyone knows he needed Trump’s help to get there.

“Trump wants to focus the public’s attention on races that make him and his message look popular,” Devine added. “He wouldn’t want to fight for someone tonight that he might lose tomorrow.”

Fellow UD professor Daniel Birdsong echoed that choosing Ohio as his last stop was “no accident” on Trump’s part, agreeing that supporting Vance on the eve of the midterm elections was the “easy choice.”

“The other Senate races with Trump-endorsed candidates are too close and Trump, like all politicians, is risk averse,” Birdsong said. news week. “Why go to Georgia where your candidate could lose? Coming to Ohio is the easy choice.”

Vance, who was born in Middletown, Ohio, about 25 miles south of Monday night’s rally, currently leads Democratic opponent Tim Ryan by 6.1 points, according to data from FiveThirtyEight. Ohio’s election has been one of the most closely watched in the country as Democrats hope to gain control of the Senate, but Vance began to break away from a close race after his last debate against Ryan in mid-October.

Ohio has also been a friendly place for Trump in recent elections, with the former president winning by 8 points in both 2016 and 2020. The county surrounding the city of Dayton has been much more competitive, Devine noted, which could have played a big role. role in the former president’s decision to hold his last rally in the region.

“Montgomery County, which includes the city of Dayton and the airport where the Trump rally is taking place, is a changing county,” Devine said. “So if you’re looking for a media market where there are a lot of votes potentially up for grabs in Ohio, Dayton is the place to go.”

According to the Montgomery County Board of Elections, Trump was virtually tied with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016, winning 47.97 percent to 47.24 percent, respectively. The former president lost the Dayton metro area to President Joe Biden by only about 3 points in 2020.

“Trump and other Republicans think Dayton is fertile ground for a MAGA-style populist message aimed at white, working-class voters who may have supported Democrats in past elections,” Devine added.

Trump’s speech on Monday largely supported Devine’s theory, as the former president repeatedly attacked the Biden administration on issues including inflation, energy security and crime. According to a Marist poll released Oct. 24, 46 percent of Ohio adults say inflation is their top concern heading into Tuesday, followed by preserving democracy, abortion, health care, crime and poverty. immigration.

“Every freedom-loving American must understand that the time to stand up to this growing tyranny of the left is now,” Trump said during his speech on Monday. “If you want to save your rights and freedoms, you have to start by giving a humiliating rebuke to the radical left.”

Birdsong added that, unlike recent polls, Trump’s latest push for Vance could have been crucial to him winning the state on Tuesday and giving the GOP a chance to shift control of the Senate.

“Maybe the campaign is closer than we think and the Vance campaign needs a turnout boost in Montgomery County to offset votes elsewhere,” Birdsong said.

Ben Oakley
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