Just picture it. President Donald Trump venturing into Massachusetts, where he has yet to set foot during his presidency, to stand beside Geoff Diehl, the Republican nominee who will face off with Sen. Elizabeth Warren in November. The closest he’s come since getting elected is New Hampshire.
Diehl, the former co-chair of the Trump campaign in Mass., came out on top in the GOP primary for Senate this week, besting businessman John Kingston and former Romney official Beth Lindstrom. He has hammered Warren on the campaign trail for her stance on immigration and has also accused her of using her senate seat as a stepping stone for Oval Office ambitions. But he will have an extraordinarily steep climb if he hopes to unseat Warren in deep blue Massachusetts, particularly because he has branded himself a pro-Trump candidate and, if you recall, we hate Trump more than any other state in the union.
Still, expect to see Diehl giving it his all over the next two months before the November 6 general election. Warren has already agreed to debate him three times, and the incumbent’s national celebrity and her possible run at the presidency in 2020 are sure to attract national attention, and possibly a good deal of outside money, to the race.
But the talk of the town as we lurch into the short general election period is whether Trump might try to lend some of his presidential clout to Diehl’s run, and maybe even swing through the Commonwealth for one of his wild rallies.
Maybe he will. Because he truly, deeply cannot help himself, he would surely relish the opportunity to savage Warren in her home state, and maybe mouth off for the millionth time about the senator’s past claims of Native American ancestry and call her “Pocahontas.” Considering the immense heat he’s facing in Washington right now, and his fondness for being surrounded by hooting fans, he’s surely packing his schedule with tour dates this fall. He came here several times during the presidential campaign for rallies in Lowell and Tyngsboro, demonstrating he can draw some really large crowds in this state, and also once popped into Boston’s Financial District for a high-dollar fundraiser, where he was met with swarms of protesters.
But at the same time, Trump has shown that he does not enjoy backing candidates who lose—he recently shirked responsibility for his endorsement of a failed candidate in Wyoming, blaming his son, Don Jr.—and Diehl’s prospects in the general election are, let’s just say, not great. Most poll respondents say they don’t even know who he is, although that will undoubtedly improve now that he’s won the primary.
Just imagine if Trump does for some reason end up bringing the presidential motorcade to Massachusetts. Reflect on the size of the crowds that have turned up in Boston for the Women’s March, in protests amid the family separation crisis, and during the counter-protest to the 4chan-friendly “Free Speech” rally in Boston that mobilized after the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, among many others. This is a state that is more than willing to take to the streets, perhaps in large enough numbers to see a replay of Trump’s disastrous attempt to hold a rally in Chicago in 2016.
Will he try his luck visiting here, send out a quick tweet or two, or steer clear entirely? We’ll have to wait and see.