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But that isn’t just the president’s typical bravado. Even Democrats acknowledge that Trump’s 11th-hour rallies give the GOP a temporary boost — like a perfectly timed, electoral sugar high. House Democrats pointed to Trump’s last-minute rally as a factor in their close loss in North Carolina, and the chief strategist for Democrats’ most famed special election victor of the Trump era still wonders what might have happened if Trump had stopped in the state the day before the election.
“You look at polling data, and you see a single-digit bump for the Republican tends to happen” when Trump visits, said Joe Trippi, a strategist for Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), when asked about the strategy in Kentucky this year. “It dissipates really quickly, which is probably why they’re bringing them in the day before.”
“It makes me wonder — if he had come in the Monday before — whether it would have made a difference in our race,” Trippi recalled.
For Bevin, Monday’s Trump rally will go beyond motivating the people who show up in person. It could help him cut through the din of a TV advertising barrage blanketing many of the state’s 10 media markets not the governor’s race and other competitive campaigns. And, in some cases, that means wall-to-wall coverage: The CBS affiliate in Lexington is bumping some of the network’s primetime programming Monday evening to air the rally in its entirety.
As the campaign has lurched toward the finish line, Republicans are confident Bevin has pulled ahead in a rebuke of national Democrats’ impeachment push and a statewide Democratic ticket with legacy candidates like Beshear.
“We’re gonna win,” Bevin told reporters outside a campaign event th
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