GOP strategists also think they have gained the advantage in Texas and Tennessee, two states that caused nervousness earlier this year. Nevada and Arizona, which they are also defending, are still vulnerable but are winnable, they said.
The president’s political team is trying to remain flexible on his schedule for as long as possible to allow polling, early voting and other emerging data to identify the Senate, House and governors’ races where he can maximize his impact, according to a person familiar with his political strategy, who, like others interviewed for this article, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private deliberations.
The GOP is protecting the Senate majority on friendly turf. Democrats are defending 26 seats, including 10 in states Trump won in 2016. The GOP is defending only nine seats, eight of them in states Trump won.
“These are not red states, these are not Republican states. These are Trump states,” said White House political director Bill Stepien, noting that some have been closely contested in previous presidential elections.