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No Trump Zone: Only two of 23 vulnerable Republicans want him

President Trump recently said he plans to eventually spend four to five days campaigning for Republican candidates ahead of the midterm elections. But the reality is that out of the 23 most vulnerable House Republicans, only two candidates said they would accept Trump's help — and neither were especially eager about it.

Driving the news: Axios called all 23 Republican congressmen and their campaign representatives in districts that Hillary Clinton won in 2016 (listed above) and asked whether they would want the president to campaign for them in their district.

  • 14 didn't respond, four said they didn't want him, one dodged the question, two had "no comment," one — Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California — said they'd be happy to have Trump's support, and one — Rep. Carlos Curbelo — said he'd accept Trump's support if the president endorsed his bipartisan approach.

The bottom line: The fact that so many congressmen have a hard time answering whether they want a president from their own party to support them in the midterms tells you everything you need to know about Trump's political strength.

What they aren't saying, according to Alex Conant, a Republican strategist and former spokesman for President George W. Bush:

"Many candidates want the president to fundraise for them, but will go to great lengths to avoid being seen with him publicly. An ad of Trump gripping and grinning with a Republican congressman could be priceless fodder for Democratic campaign commercials in certain districts."

Conant added that Bush faced a similar problem when he was unpopular in 2006, and 2010 proved the same for Barack Obama.

Here's who went on the record:

  • Tyler Sandberg, campaign manager for Rep. Mike Coffman (R, CO-06): "Coffman has been one of the most outspoken members to split with Trump, so I don’t think it would make sense for him to even come here.”
  • Veronica Vera, communications director for Rep. Peter Roskam (R, IL-06): "We have not requested the president's assistance and we don’t plan on requesting his assistance."
  • Ken Grubbs, press secretary for Rohrabacher: "He’d be happy to have the president campaign for him."
  • Joanna Rodriguez, communications director for Curbelo: "While Carlos has never invited public figures to campaign with him, he has welcomed those who have offered. He has also joined Presidents Obama and Trump in South Florida to stand with them on issues in which ‎he agrees with them ... Anyone who wants to support Carlos' efforts and endorse his bipartisan approach to public service is welcome to do so."
Dan Primack 1 hour ago
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Why the stock markets are tanking

Stock market trader adjusts his glasses.
Photo by Xinhua/Wang Ying via Getty Images

Stock markets are down sharply on Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average off around 1.5% as of noon.

Three key drivers: Tariffs, inter-bank lending rates and Facebook's troubles.

Caitlin Owens 2 hours ago
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How Congress missed yet another chance for an immigration deal

Congressional leaders with President Trump
Congressional leaders with President Trump. Photo: Olivier Douliery - Pool / Getty Images

Congressional leaders and the White House failed to come to an agreement on temporary protections for Dreamers over the past week as part of the giant spending bill, leaving the issue unresolved.

Why it matters: After all of the fighting over President Trump's decision to end DACA — including a government shutdown over it — the White House and Congress ended up with nothing. The issue is currently tied up in the courts. And though both sides agree it's better to give Dreamers more certainty over their future, they just can't agree how to do it.