Sunday, June 19, 2016

Running For The Hills

Senate Republicans are realizing a bit too late that Donald Trump as their party's presidential nominee is going to cost them control of the Senate in a big, big way.

Senate Republicans are deeply concerned that Donald Trump will cost them their majority, despite private assurances from leaders that voters opposed to the presumptive GOP presidential nominee will split their ballots.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll published last week shows Trump’s unfavorable rating has hit new a high, with 7 out of 10 respondents nationwide viewing him negatively.One Republican senator facing a competitive re-election said he and his colleagues are “very concerned.”

“There’s deep, deep concern,” he added.

Republicans have to defend 24 seats while Democrats only have to protect 10. Six of the vulnerable GOP seats are in states that President Obama won in 2008 and 2012.

Almost every day, Republican senators see new evidence of Trump’s lack of mainstream appeal.

Major companies such as Wells Fargo and UPS, which sponsored the 2012 Republican convention in Tampa, are skipping this summer’s event in Cleveland.

“There’s a lot of anxiety out there,” said a second Senate Republican. “People are trying to figure out what’s going on in the political climate, what it means to us, to me. There’s anxiety.”

Yet there’s a growing sense of resignation that not much can be done to change their presumptive nominee.

At a meeting of Senate Republicans at the National Republican Senatorial Committee headquarters Wednesday, Trump didn’t even come up for discussion, according to two lawmakers who participated.

What profiles in courage. We'll just pretend he doesn't exist.  Maybe Republican voters are dumb enough to go along (they did nominate Trump after all, so there's ample evidence right there to support that theory) but I don't think most of them are going to take the repeated Trump slights very well.

Ticket splitting works both ways, after all.  I'd like to see polling on Republicans who plan to vote for Trump and not their local Senate incumbent as opposed to Republicans who won't vote for Trump, but will back their GOP senator's seat defense.

Odds are that those numbers are relatively equal, I would think.  But there are also Republicans who I think will stay home completely or worse (for the GOP) vote Hillary.

That number I'm betting will be larger.

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