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Trump Already Facing 2020 Foes on Campaign Trail

Democrats will be making their own Western campaign swings in the week ahead

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who visited Culinary Worker’s Union Local 226 in Las Vegas to launch early voting in 2016, will be back this Saturday in Vegas. Also pictured, Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who visited Culinary Worker’s Union Local 226 in Las Vegas to launch early voting in 2016, will be back this Saturday in Vegas. Also pictured, Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump is getting ready for a swing through the Mountain West for campaign rallies, but he won’t be alone. Many of his potential 2020 rivals are hitting the trail themselves, serving as surrogates for Democratic candidates in 2018.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will find himself in Nevada on the same day as one of the president’s “Make America Great Again” spectacles Saturday, though they might as well be on different planets.

Biden is going to help the powerful Culinary Union in Las Vegas kick off early voting, while Trump’s political operation has scheduled a morning event in Elko, about 400 miles to the north in heavily Republican territory.

And now that the Senate has finished work through Election Day, the many senators in the Democratic Conference who may make runs for the White House have more time to hit the campaign trail too.

Watch: Trump Heads West to Campaign — And a Lot of Senators Do, Too

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Sen. Bernie Sanders also has a visit to Nevada on his schedule ahead of Election Day. He is expected to participate in rallies next Thursday with the Nevada State Democratic Party featuring Rep. Jacky Rosen, the party nominee for Senate, in both Reno and Las Vegas.

Rosen is not the only Senate candidate who will be appearing with the Vermont independent — who caucuses with the Democrats — as the drive to get out votes picks up.

Sanders is scheduled to be joined in Wisconsin by Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin at an event in Milwaukee on Monday, and he will be stumping in Kenosha with Randy Bryce, the Democrat running for the open House seat currently held by Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

Sen. Cory Booker, meanwhile, spent some of his weekend in Ohio stumping for Democrats, including Richard Cordray, the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, who is running for governor. The Democrat from New Jersey recently made his Iowa debut as a prospective White House hopeful.

He was heading to South Carolina on Thursday for a Democratic Party event in Orangeburg County.

A spokeswoman for California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris said she is scheduled to be in the Palmetto State the day after, making appearances in Columbia and Greenville.

Harris is also scheduled to swing through Wisconsin on Sunday, with stops in Madison and Milwaukee, before moving on to Iowa.

Trump kicks off his latest trip with a Thursday evening rally in Missoula, Montana, where he’s sure to be boosting the candidacy of GOP Senate nominee Matt Rosendale over Democratic incumbent Jon Tester.

Trump will go on to Mesa, Arizona, on Friday evening, before finishing the trip with the rally in Elko, in far northeast Nevada, on Saturday morning.

Among the most anticipated Trump rallies of the 2018 cycle will take place on Monday evening in Houston, Texas, where the president is expected to promote the re-election bid of his former rival, Sen. Ted Cruz.

Trump had previously said on Twitter that he would be stumping for Cruz at “the biggest stadium in Texas we can find.”

But the venue, the NRG Arena in Houston, falls more than a little short of the largest arenas in the state. It’s not even the largest facility in its own parking lot. It has an 8,000 seat capacity. NRG Stadium, where the Houston Texans play, seats upward of 72,000. That pales in comparison to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, home of the Dallas Cowboys, that seats more than 100,000. 

An aide to the Trump campaign told the Dallas Morning News that NRG Arena was the largest space available when the campaign went looking to book a space.

“The suggestion that we didn’t book the largest venue available is erroneous, as we sought other locations for the day that early voting begins in Texas on Oct. 22, but they were not available in Houston,” the aide said.

The president seems sure to focus some of his campaign rally energy on another potential 2020 rival, Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Ever since Warren released results of a DNA test showing potential Native American heritage, Trump and other Republicans have been mocking her with renewed fervor, especially after she demanded Trump pay up on his offer to give $1 million to a charity if she took a test that revealed she had Native American blood.

Trump, who had no public events on his Tuesday schedule, has been busy tweeting about the test.

“She took a bogus DNA test and it showed that she may be 1/1024, far less than the average American. Now Cherokee Nation denies her, ‘DNA test is useless,’” Trump wrote. “Even they don’t want her. Phony!”

Warren is among the Senate Democrats on the midterm ballot this fall, but as The Washington Post reported on Sunday, Warren has set up an operation out of the back of her re-election campaign office in Massachusetts aimed at boosting Democratic candidates running across the country.

The newspaper reported that she has already dispatched aides to key states.

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