While many past presidents have held rallies on behalf of congressional candidates before midterm elections, the focus of those events generally has been the candidates, not the president. The campaign rallies President Trump attends as president are instead Trump campaign rallies, with the candidate generally given a few minutes to make some comments and Trump spending a little time praising them and bashing their opponents.
Trump’s rally Thursday night in Montana checked those and all of the other expected boxes: inflammatory comments, questionable assertions, enthusiastic fans. Trump has held two dozen campaign-style rallies as president in 16 states, all but two of which voted for him in 2016. Over the past month, he’s held three such rallies; extend that window back to the beginning of August and the number climbs to five.
The president also spent much of August at his private golf club in New Jersey. He spent a lot of July there, too. That club, Bedminster, is to the summer what Mar-a-Lago is to the winter: Trump’s refuge away from the confines of the White House. Refuges that, of course, are also close to Trump-owned golf courses, of which the president often avails himself.
The effect of those diversions from Washington is remarkable. By our count, Trump has either held a rally or visited one of his own properties on 48 of the past 92 days; that is, since June 7.
He’s probably played golf on at least 30 of those days, about a third, but it’s hard to say. When he’s at Bedminster, it can be tricky to know when Trump is playing golf because the media generally isn’t given access to the facility. But since it is his primary form of exercise, it’s safe to assume he usually plays when he’s there.
Over the course of his presidency, the figures are more modest. He’s visited one of his own properties on about 33 percent of days and probably played golf on about 22 percent of the days he’s been president. (Know some of his golf partners? Let us know.) One rejoinder that’s usually offered in response to our noting the regularity with which Trump plays golf is that former president Barack Obama also played a lot of golf. Obama played 306 rounds as president, over eight years. In fewer than two years, Trump has probably played 129, by our tally.
Here’s how that looks since Trump took office.
Notice that there have been days on which Trump has visited his own property, played golf and held a campaign rally. That’s made easier by the fact that Trump has only played golf at a non-Trump property precisely once: With Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Japan in November last year.
If you’re curious about which properties Trump has visited and when, we’ve got you covered. We’ve been tracking that since he took office.
These data will be out-of-date quickly. As I write, it’s Friday; Trump has gone to play golf or been at one of his properties on each of the last 10 Saturdays. Even if he stays at the White House this weekend, he’s slated for a pair of campaign rallies next week in Missouri and Mississippi, also two states he won in 2016.