Reports: Trump headed to Macon next Sunday to stump for Kemp

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Ga., Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Ga., Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Credit: Andrew Harnik

Credit: Andrew Harnik

President Donald Trump appears set to host a rally in Macon on Nov. 4 for Brian Kemp, seeking to give the Republican’s campaign for governor a major boost ahead of his showdown against Democrat Stacey Abrams.

Multiple news outlets reported that Trump would include a stop in Macon as part of a nationwide blitz of campaign rallies across the nation before the Nov. 6 election. Kemp's campaign did not immediately comment. 

Trump endorsed Kemp days before the July GOP runoff, helping to turbocharge his victory over Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. And Vice President Mike Pence is set for a three-stop tour with Kemp this week. But until Sunday, it was unclear whether the president would make a personal intervention.

On the trail, Kemp is far more likely to invoke the last two Republican governors – Nathan Deal and Sonny Perdue – than Trump. At stop after stop, Kemp assailed Abrams for trying to present herself as the heir to some of Deal's legacy.

That's a stark contrast from earlier in the campaign, when he directly tied himself to Trump and even unveiled a "Georgia First" mantra modeled after the president's slogan.

In-person early voting in Georgia ends Nov. 2.

But Kemp has aggressively sought his support, hoping to amp up his turnout in the final stretch of the race. With polls showing Kemp in a neck-and-neck race with Abrams, the Republican told the AJC earlier this week he's got the welcome mat ready for Trump.

"We're certainly hoping that's the case," Kemp said of the president, whose approval ratings have ticked upward to around 50 percent in recent polls. "We'd love to have him down."

Abrams has earned the endorsement of former President Barack Obama, who could still campaign for her. But she's largely steered clear of targeting the president on the campaign trail even as a long list of potential 2020 candidates have campaigned with her.

Georgia Democrats are wary of turning the race into a referendum on Trump – and possibly further energizing Republicans – in a state he carried by five percentage points.

Trump’s visit would be the same day as the Channel 2 Action News debate between the three candidates. It’s unclear if Kemp would still attend the event, which is scheduled to feature Abrams and Libertarian Ted Metz.

More: Will Trump make a late intervention in Georgia gov race? 

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