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Trump lends support to swing district Republicans

President TrumpDonald John TrumpREAD: The Hill’s interview with Anthony Fauci Trump’s routing number revealed as press secretary announces he’s donating quarterly salary to HHS: report Former White House aide won M contract to supply masks amid pandemic MORE on Friday lent his support to several Republicans running in swing House districts to aid the GOP’s efforts to retake ground in the lower chamber.

Trump announced endorsements for a number of Republicans in a late Friday night tweetstorm, backing at least six House candidates who are running in districts that are top GOP targets.

The candidates are mostly running in Pennsylvania and Iowa, two swing states that will be crucial to Trump’s own race this November. The president also endorsed Republican Karen HandelKaren Christine HandelHow the GOP hopes to overcome steep odds in House battle The Hill’s Campaign Report: 200 days to Election Day 2020 Here’s where things stand 200 days before Election Day MORE, who lost a swing seat in the Atlanta suburbs in 2018 that she is running to retake this year.

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“We need @KarenHandel back in Congress to fight for the incredible people of Georgia! She is a tremendous advocate for our Military, Vets, Border Security and the Second Amendment. Karen has my Complete and Total Endorsement,” Trump tweeted Friday. 

In Iowa, Trump endorsed Ashely Hinson and David YoungDavid Edmund YoungFormer ‘Apprentice’ contestant ranks Trump next to Mother Teresa on women’s issues Churches are arming and training congregants in response to mass shootings: report Assault weapons ban picks up steam in Congress MORE, who are running in Iowa’s 1st and 3rd Congressional Districts, respectively. The GOP ceded both seats in 2018 to Abby FinkenauerAbby Lea FinkenauerIowa Democrat tops Ernst in early fundraising report The Hill’s Campaign Report: DOJ, intel to be major issues in 2020 Human Rights Campaign rolls out congressional endorsements on Equality Act anniversary MORE and Cindy AxneCindy AxneHuman Rights Campaign rolls out congressional endorsements on Equality Act anniversary The 14 Democrats who broke with their party on coronavirus relief vote Democrats target Ernst in bid to expand Senate map MORE, whose districts are both top priorities for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).   

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The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates both seats as toss ups.

In Pennsylvania, Trump backed Lisa Scheller, Scott PerryScott Gordon PerryHouse GOP urge Trump against supporting additional funding for state and local governments Top conservatives pen letter to Trump with concerns on fourth coronavirus relief bill House Republicans press Trump officials on plans to contain coronavirus at border MORE and Sean Parnell in the state’s 7th, 10th and 17th Congressional Districts. Scheller and Parnell are running to unseat Democrats, while Perry is fighting for reelection in a seat that is expected to be hotly contested by Democrats.

Scheller’s race is rated “lean Democratic,” Perry’s race is rated a “toss up” and Parnell’s race is rated “likely Democratic.”

Republicans are still smarting from their loss of the House in 2018, when a blue wave in suburban districts across the country delivered the chamber for Democrats. While the GOP is not the favorite to win back the House this year, the party received promising news when Republican Mike Garcia won a Democratic-held California district in a special election earlier this month, the first time the GOP has flipped a seat in the state since 1998.

Democrats contend that the circumstances surrounding the special election, including low turnout, will not translate into November, and that they anticipate winning back the seat in the general election. 

Trump is known to relish the role of campaigner-in-chief, appearing often on the campaign trail in 2018 for Republicans in competitive congressional races. However, his campaign efforts both for himself and down-ballot contenders has largely been relegated to the digital realm in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

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