Trump Takes Field at College Football Championship Game

But Mr. Trump’s appearance placed him at an event that drew widespread attention from two states he carried in the 2016 presidential race and would be certain to need to win re-election in 2020. Still, observers of Southern politics — with allegiances to both teams — said Mr. Trump’s visit was unlikely to sway many voters inside or outside Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Charles S. Bullock III, a University of Georgia political scientist who was not planning to attend the game, said he expected that the legions of Crimson Tide and Bulldogs faithful were more focused on the pigskin than the president.

“The fans will be concentrating on what’s going to happen on the field,” he said hours before kickoff.

Instead, Professor Bullock said he believed the stop in Atlanta — and any cheering from the stands — would probably serve only to stroke Mr. Trump’s ego.

“This is just a sideshow,” he said, “but for him, it’s important.”

ESPN, which televised the game and has been a target of Mr. Trump’s Twitter barbs for years, said it had requested an interview with the president for its broadcast and was turned down.

“The president shows up at a sporting event, ideally, you’d document it and you’d like to talk to him,” Stephanie Druley, an ESPN executive, said Sunday. “I don’t think this president makes it any different, quite honestly. I don’t think we have a need to mend fences.”

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