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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

President Trump is adding an 11th rally to his final six-day blitz leading into the Nov. 6 midterm elections. Trump will be ending his campaign swing, on election eve, in the pivotal Senate state of Missouri, according to a source with direct knowledge of Trump's plans.

Why this matters: Trump is going to Trump country within Trump states. Only two competitive House seats lie within these locations.

The locations and dates we cite here, the big picture details of which were first reported by Bloomberg, are based on internal White House planning and could change:

  • Oct. 31: Fort Myers, Florida
  • Nov. 1: Columbia, Missouri
  • Nov. 2: Huntington, West Virginia and Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Nov. 3: Bozeman, Montana and Pensacola, Florida
  • Nov. 4: Macon, Georgia and Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Nov. 5: Cleveland, Ohio; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Between the lines: The Cook Political Report's elections analyst Amy Walter told me the schedule, developed by White House Political Director Bill Stepien, is a "very strategically smart tour" and also appears to her to basically "concede the House."

  • "It's all about the Senate... really expanding the Senate," Walter said when I shared the presidential travel schedule with her.
  • Trump is "going to the places where he remains popular, more rural or exurban, and he's staying away from big cities that have suburbs where he's toxic," Walter said.
  • "It's notable, by the way, that he's not spending the last week in places that won him the White House in 2016," Walter added. For example, Trump is not rallying in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin or Michigan.

Asked to respond to this analysis, the White House declined to comment. A person familiar with the situation pointed out that Trump "made six House-only trips during October, all in districts considered to be competitive, outnumbering the Senate trips in the month."

  • And "during the final week, when high demand for the president results in the need for him to make multiple campaign stops per day, logistics come into play and where he is going in the final stretch will cover as much ground as possible to drive turnout for Republicans."

Go deeper: The 2016 vote numbers for the counties and congressional districts surrounding each of these locations show that we have a specific location: It's Trump country in a Trump state.

  • Trump won many of the counties by at least 20 points. He won all of the congressional districts by at least 20, and in one case (Cape Girardeau, MO) he won by more than 50.
  • The most striking exception is Macon, Georgia, which sits within Bibb County, which Hillary Clinton won by 20 points. But Trump won Macon's congressional district by almost 30 points.

The wildcard: We were surprised to see Trump do a rally in Ohio, given the Senate race there is not competitive. Our guess is this decision has nothing to do with the Senate race. There's a strategically important governor's race in Ohio that Republicans badly want to win. The Ohio governor plays a huge role in overseeing elections in the state — more so than any other presidential battleground.

  • The bottom line: The difference between having a Republican governor's political team in Ohio for 2020 versus a Democratic governor in that state cannot be overstated.

Correction: This story previously said there were no competitive House races in the states where Trump will visit.

Go deeper

Biden says he'll make Supreme Court pick by end of February

President Biden speaks on the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday said he will announce the nominee for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's replacement by the end of February.

Driving the news: Biden also affirmed that he will nominate a Black woman to replace Breyer, saying "it's long overdue."

Stephen Breyer formally announces retirement from Supreme Court

Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP

Justice Stephen Breyer on Thursday sent a letter to President Biden formally announcing his retirement from the Supreme Court.

State of play: Breyer said his retirement will take effect when the court "rises for the summer recess (typically late June or early July) assuming that by then my successor has been nominated and confirmed."

COVID created an epic U.S. trade gap

Chart: Axios Visuals. Data: Census Bureau/Bureau of Economic Analysis

The details of the blockbuster fourth quarter GDP report released Thursday morning tell a vivid story of how the underpinnings of the world economy have been reshaped by the pandemic.

One example: In the arithmetic around U.S. economic output, trade acted as a more severe drag last year than it has in a generation.