President Trump will watch the midterm election returns with family and friends at the White House Tuesday evening, settling into a brief role as spectator after months of campaigning for Republican congressional and gubernatorial candidates.
Trump has crisscrossed the country in the weeks leading up to Election Day, hosting “Make America Great Again” rallies to campaign for Republicans in an effort to maintain the majority of the House and Senate, and pick up or hold some governor’s mansions along the way. He finished with a spree of three rallies on Monday.
“After 11 rallies in 8 states and weeks of campaigning for Republican candidates, the President will spend today making phone calls, monitoring Congressional, Senate and Gubernatorial races across the country and meeting with his political team for real-time updates,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.
“Later this evening, the President and First Lady have invited family and friends to join them in the residence as they watch election returns.”
Trump has held 26 rallies since October, embracing Democrats' attempts to make the election a referendum on his agenda. The president urged supports to “pretend” he was on the ballot.
“I’m not on the ballot, but in a certain way, I’m on the ballot,” Trump said in October. “I want you to vote…Pretend I’m on the ballot.”
This week, though, Trump softened his stance, acknowledging “it’s really about the candidate.”
“But if they want to give me the credit or the liability, I’ll be willing to take it,” Trump told reporters in Indiana on Monday.
Trump has taken credit for big Republican victories throughout the primaries, which often came following his endorsement. But he also has acknowledged that, despite his efforts, the GOP is facing tight battles on Tuesday in races across the country. Republicans currently hold a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate, though Democrats have a steep climb to flip the chamber given the nature of the map this year.
For Democrats, their best shot is at winning the House, where they need to secure 23 seats for a majority. Whether they tilt the balance of power in that chamber or not, Democrats are expected to at least gain seats, given the favorable political environment for the party.
Meanwhile, Republicans currently hold 33 governorships, with Democrats holding 16. Thirty-six seats are up this year.
Fox News’ Alex Pappas and Gregg Re contributed to this report.