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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.

Expand chart
Data: Cook Political Reports, @unitedstates project, Daily Kos Elections; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios

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."

Go deeper

Biden to sign voting rights order to mark "Bloody Sunday" anniversary

President Biden will sign an executive order today, on the 56th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," meant to promote voting rights, according to an administration official.

Why it matters: The executive order comes as Democrats face an uphill battle to pass a sweeping election bill meant, in part, to combat a growing number of proposals introduced by Republicans at the state level that would restrict voter access.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

In photos: Pope Francis spreads message of peace on first trip to Iraq

Pope Francis waving as he arrives near the ruins of the Syriac Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception (al-Tahira-l-Kubra), in the old city of Iraq's northern Mosul on March 7. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis was on Sunday visiting areas of northern Iraq once held by Islamic State militants.

Why it matters: This is the first-ever papal trip to Iraq. The purpose of Francis' four-day visit is largely intended to reassure the country's Christian minority, who were violently persecuted by ISIS, which controlled the region from 2014-2017.

Cuomo faces fresh misconduct allegations from former aides

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February press conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was on Saturday facing fresh accusations of misconduct against his staff, including further allegations of inappropriate behavior against two more women. His office denies the claims.

Driving the news: The Washington Post reported Cuomo allegedly embraced an aide when he led the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and that two male staffers who worked for him in the governor's office accused him of routinely berating them "with explicit language."