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Trump promotes party before election

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PACKED HOUSE:Supporters fill the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum during a rally with President Donald Trump and other Republicans in Fort Wayne on Monday evening.
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MAGA:Supporters wave signs during a rally with President Donald Trump at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne on Monday evening.
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CAMPAIGN RALLY:President Donald Trump waves to supporters as he takes the stage for a rally at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne on Monday evening.

BY Spencer Durham - sdurham@chronicle-tribune.com

FORT WAYNE — On the eve of Election Day, President Donald Trump made a campaign stop at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, promoting his party and administration’s acheivements.

The president promised a 10 percent tax cut and urged against voting blue, saying the Democratic agenda “will deliver a socialist nightmare.”

Trump was in town in part to campaign for US Senate hopeful Mike Braun, who is opposed by incumbent Democrat Joe Donnelly. Donnelly’s seat is one of the most contested in the country.

“A vote for Mike Braun is a vote for jobs,” Trump said.

When Braun addressed the crowd briefly, he said he was running for the right reason, “to help someone shaking up Washington.”

In response, chants of “drain the swamp” echoed through the stadium.

Grant County Republican Party Chairman Darren Reese said Trump’s visit to Fort Wayne can only help mobilize the Republican voter base in the state.

“I think it’s a significant effort by the federal government to get Braun over the hump,” he said. “… The investment of time and resources of the party are impressive. If we can keep the senate and house, that’ll be big.”

Opinion poll analysis website FiveThirtyEight gives Republicans an 81.1 percent chance to keep control of the Senate, as of Monday evening projections. Democrats are projected to take the house (87.7 percent chance).

“He gets his crowd so excited, it can’t [hurt],” Reese said.

In addition to the president, Ivanka Trump, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Counselor of the President Kellyanne Conway gave remarks.

Trump took his share fair of shots at notable Democratic critics such as Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters and Chuck Schumer, while encouraging the crowd to get out and vote.

“If you don’t want to hear ‘ladies and gentlemen Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi,’ then get out tomorrow,” Trump said, which was met with boisterous applause.

According to Rep. Jim Banks, Monday evening marked the first visit by a sitting president to Fort Wayne since Ronald Regan’s trip 36 years prior.

Banks introduced a number of Indiana Republicans including U.S. Senator Todd Young and State Auditor Tera Klutz, ahead of the president’s arrival. All were greeted with raucous cheers. Young encouraged the crowd to vote.

Other members of Indiana’s GOP included State Senator Andy Zay, of Huntington, and Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Prior to Trump’s appearance, perhaps no one received a bigger round of applause than former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz.

Cheers of “Lou” greeted the coaching great as he addressed the crowd. Holtz vouched for Braun. The coach also voiced is support for President Trump.

“We have to send people to Washington to get the damn thing done,” he said. “… Wanna be happy for a lifetime? Send Donald Trump help in Washington.”

Trump spoke for over an hour before concluding his rally with “Make America Great Again” motto. Fort Wayne was just the second stop of the day. He had arrived in the Summit City from Cleveland. The president’s last stop of the night was in Cape Girardeau, Missouri to campaign for Josh Hawley, a Republican Senate candidate. He was joined by Rush Limbaugh.