SALISBURY, N.C. — With two weeks until Election Day, Mike Pence has squared up his message for Republicans: “Come home.”
The GOP vice presidential candidate repeated the line seven times at a campaign rally on Monday afternoon.
Pence, who joined the ticket this summer to help win over hesitant conservatives, turned his eyes toward galvanizing the turnout of members of his own party.
“I want to submit to all of you, it's time to reach out to all of our Republican and conservative friends and say with one voice: ‘It's time to come home and elect Donald Trump as the next president of the United States,’” Pence emphatically told a crowd of several hundred supporters at a Salisbury, North Carolina, campaign stop.
Pence asserted that their ticket has “won over independents” and “many southern Democrats,” yet in recent weeks, Trump has lost the support of a litany of Republican lawmakers, effectively fracturing the party amid depressed poll numbers.
There is now deepening concern about Republican voters either not voting or backing the likes of Libertarian Gary Johnson or independent Evan McMullin.
Pence pushed those gathered to look at the election “as a choice.”
“It’s time to come home and come together and do everything in our power to make sure that Hillary Clinton is never elected president of the United States of America,” he said.
The VP candidate rejected polls that have indicated Clinton currently has a commanding grip in national polling and in key states needed to secure the election.
“[The media is] trying to refer to some polling data to try and roll this campaign up,” Pence said, adding: “Don’t let them spin you any other way. Don’t be fooled. This race is on.”
A day after Trump subtly pushed for down-ballot Republicans, his running mate amped up that message.
“It’s time to come home and re-elect Republican majorities in the United States House and United States Senate,” Pence drummed up, telling the North Carolinians to send Sen. Richard Burr, Gov. Pat McCrory and U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows back to their respective offices.
The Republican ticket has seen a flurry of un-edorsements by GOP lawmakers and other key officials, like House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, offering only tepid support.
A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll indicated Trump holds a 41 percent to 36 percent edge over Clinton among Independents.