President Trump’s campaign has confirmed a last-minute pre-election rally the night before next Tuesday’s general election in southeast Missouri.
The President will appear at the Show Me Center on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau on Monday, November 5 at 9 p.m. Doors will open at 6 p.m., according to the president’s website.
Last month a rally at the same venue was canceled as President Trump dealt with Hurricane Florence.
The Monday trip will be Trump’s second within a week to Missouri. He’ll also be in mid-Missouri’s Columbia Thursday, November 1. During both visits, the President is expected to campaign for Missouri State Attorney General Josh Hawley, who is trying to unseat incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill.
Cape Girardeau Mayor Bob Fox is excited over the influx of business activity the President’s visit is likely to bring, especially to local restaurants.
“He’ll draw a lot of people, and I imagine those people will want to have lunch or have dinner, and that’s great for the restaurants and food places around here because it’ll be a big boom for their business,” said Fox. “If I were in the restaurant business, I’d be ready for an onslaught.”
Local restaurateurs, including Stuart Matthews, owner of Minglewood Brewery, are making sure they have personnel in place to handle the rush of diners surrounding the President’s Monday night visit.
“We’ll staff up obviously. We’ll make sure we have enough staff on hand to take care of a big crowd that may come in,” said Stuart Matthews, owner of Minglewood Brewery.
Matthews also said he hopes Monday’s rally grows business not just for his restaurant but others around town.
Layne Franklin, assistant manager for Bella Italia, is hoping to see patrons who normally wouldn’t know about his restaurant.
“It’ll definitely be a positive effect on our sales and just really help us get our name out there. So, I think it’ll be great just preparing for all of that,” said Franklin, who isn’t ruling out a visit by the President himself. “I hope that he comes by and takes a second to dine in our restaurant. I don’t know if he will. But if he does, then we will be prepared to give him excellent service here at Bella Italia.”
Mayor Fox noted the number of President’s to come to Cape Girardeau can be counted on one hand.
“It’s just an honor I think to have a president visit your city. It’s only the fourth one in history. William Howard Taft was here, Ronald Reagan was here, Bill Clinton was here, and this will be the fourth. So that’s a big deal,” said Fox.
The fact that President Trump is visiting Missouri twice in five days shows how tight and coveted the race for the U.S. Senate seat is. The outcome, along with several others in which vulnerable Democrats are fighting to hold their seats, could determine which party controls the Senate in 2019.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, almost $66 million in outside money has been spent on the Missouri U.S. Senate race. Roughly $10 million more has been spent both for and against McCaskill than for and against Hawley.
The largest contributor is the Senate Majority PAC, which is aligned with the chamber’s Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, followed by the Senate Leadership Fund which is a close ally of Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Senate Majority PAC has spent $17.4 million on the race, while the Senate Leadership Fund has chipped in $16.6 million.
(Missourinet media partner KFVS-TV contributed this story with additional reporting from Missourinet’s Jason Taylor)