WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday said he believed he’s made “a big difference” in at least seven Senate races and expects Republicans to do “very well” on Tuesday.
“The level of fervor — the level of fever — is very strong on the Republican side,” Trump said as he departed the White House for a rally taking place in Macon, Georgia, on Monday. “I can’t speak to the blues, but I can speak to the reds.”
In the final hours before the midterm elections on Tuesday, Trump aimed to energize voters in areas where he is popular, in states he won in 2016.
The president had been on the campaign trail for the past month with GOP candidates, a schedule that has intensified in the five days before Election Day. He will wrap up his final push for Republican candidates with three rallies on Monday.
“These rallies are the best thing we’ve done,” he told reporters at the White House on Sunday.
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll on Sunday showed Democrats leading by 7 percentage points — 50 percent to 43 percent — among likely voters. The new survey brings the Democrats’ lead down from a 9 percentage points last month.
Trump said Republican voters are “enthusiastic” about how well the economy is doing, they want increased border security and “don’t want to pay for other people’s health care.”
Trump said he can’t campaign for all Republican House members because there are so many, but believes that he’s made a “big difference” in as many as seven Senate campaigns. He predicted Republicans would do well in the House and “really well” in the Senate.
Political strategists have forecast more than a few surprises on Tuesday night. Some say Trump’s popularity in certain areas of the country — particularly among white, working-class voters — could contribute to turnout at the polls on Tuesday.
But Tom Perez, Democratic National Committee chairman, said Sunday he believes the 2018 midterm elections could be “The Year of the Woman.”
“Women are leading the charge to take back America,” Perez told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
He called Trump’s last-minute pitch — and the focus on the immigration debate and the migrant caravan — “dog whistle politics” appealing to “the worst of America.”
“The reason why he is doing that is they are hemorrhaging on health care,” Perez said, suggesting Trump’s strategy was to shift the conversation back to immigration, the topic that helped him win the 2016 election.
“Medicare, Medicaid — that’s what’s on the ballot,” Perez said.
Over the past week, Trump announced the deployment of 5,200 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border and days later said he was willing to increase that number to 15,000. He also announced that he plans changes to the way immigrants apply for asylum status to stay in the U.S. and proposed eliminating the “birthright” Constitutional provision that gives individuals who are born in the country citizenship.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, appearing on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos, said Democratic enthusiasm was high, particularly in key House races.
"It's tight, it's going to depend on voter turnout on Election Day,” McDaniel said.
McDaniel said she believed Election Day voting will be the final determining factor, and she was not resigning to a loss in the House.
“But if we keep the Senate, that will be defying history, as well,” she said.