Two Candidates Who Might Benefit From President Trump's Latest Nashville Rally | Nashville Public Radio

Two Candidates Who Might Benefit From President Trump's Latest Nashville Rally

May 25, 2018

President Donald Trump is scheduled to arrive in Nashville Tuesday afternoon, prompting road closures and heightened security around Municipal Auditorium, where the rally is to take place.

The event is being put together by Trump's political organization, and it seems to be aimed at bolstering Tennessee candidates — perhaps two in particular.

Trump is popular in Tennessee. A recent Vanderbilt University poll shows that 53 percent of registered voters believe he's doing a good job, up since late last year.

So while in town, his main order of business will be headlining a fundraiser for Congressman Marsha Blackburn's Senate campaign. Tickets go for as much as $44,000 per couple.

That's private. But the public rally will give Trump a chance to state his case for Blackburn. After more than two decades in politics, she's grown relatively unpopular. Only 49 percent of Tennesseans view her favorably, compared to 67 percent who say the same of her likely Democratic opponent in November, former Gov. Phil Bredesen.

The story is similar for Congressman Diane Black, a candidate for governor. Her favorability rating among the voters is only 44 percent, while the leading Democrat, former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, clocks in at 53 percent.

So Black is also going to appear with Trump and hand him a petition calling for construction of the border wall in the Southwest, an issue she's delved into in recent weeks as she tries to close the deal with Republican voters before the GOP primary in August.

And Trump is perhaps the perfect person to get the Republican base hyped up. That's exactly what both Black and Blackburn need GOP voters to be if they're going to cinch their party's nomination and hold off energized Democrats in November.