Trump made the Sept. 21 trip to the JQH Arena to help re-energize his voter base ahead of Hawley’s face off against Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill this November. The senator is widely believed to be one of the more vulnerable Democrats vying for re-election this year, since Missouri went for Trump by 18 points over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
Missouri has two Democratic representatives and six Republican representatives.
The latest polls show Hawley and McCaskill neck to neck in a tight race, with Hawley leading by less than one percentage point, according to RealClear Politics average of polls.
“Everything you voted for [in 2016] is on the line, this November in this state, let’s make history again!” Hawley told the crowd.
Trump reiterated his support for Hawley adding that “Josh is star….he is 100 percent pro Second Amendment.”
“We need Josh in the senate…we’ll never get a vote from Claire McCaskill, she’s been saying very nice things to us,” he continued.
Just days before Trump’s rally, McCaskill announced her opposition to Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. In a lengthy Sept. 19 statement, she attributed her decision to Kavanaugh’s stance on campaign finances.
“It his allegiance to the position that unlimited donations and dark anonymous money, from even foreign interests, should be allowed to swamp the voices of individuals that has been the determining factor in my decision to vote no on his nomination,” she wrote.
Trump responded to her decision at the rally, while also touting historic economic gains. He also lamented the Democrats’ obstruction of Kavanaugh, and the high taxes they would implement if in political control.
“She just announced she’s not voting, including tax cuts, figure that one out. She will never, ever vote our way because she loves the swamp. We have a true swamp in Washington,” he said. “Just look at what’s going on in the Department of Justice.”
Hawley describes himself as a “constitutional conservative” on his official biography. He currently serves as Missouri’s attorney general. In his time both as Attorney General and in his professional career, he has advocated strongly for religious liberty.
McCaskill became the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Missouri in 2006. According to her campaign website, she previously worked as a felony courtroom prosecutor.
McCaskill has more cash on hand than Hawley, according to the latest data by the Center for Responsive Politics, with $6,645,412 in her war chest, versus Hawley’s $2,323,868.
Near the end of the rally, Trump said the people of Missouri will save more than $4 billion dollars from the tax cuts. In the U.S. Senate, 32 seats are up for grabs this November, but 23 of them are now held by Democrats.
“To continue this momentum to protect your family, your jobs, your country… you need to get out to vote Republican,” Trump added during his closing remarks.