In recent weeks, Senate majority leaders have become so concerned over losing control from the Republican Senate that they have hinted at tough GOP senators in a tough race that they can distance themselves from the president if they feel it is many According to senior officials, including McConnell’s close source.
While this may give some senators the flexibility to draw a distinction between themselves and the president, it also forces them to take a hard line. Trump is very popular with the Republican base, and as part of any effort to reduce the risks of alienating them voters.
A senior Republican from Capitol Hill said, “These weak senators cannot afford to explicitly repeal Trump.” “They only need to show that they are independent on important issues in their states.”
Nevertheless, Trump continues to give GOP senators ways to ease their break with him.
Republicans currently have a three-seat majority and at least six incumbent senators, who face a serious Democratic challenger. Senior Republicans say the weakest are Martha McSally of Arizona, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Corey Gardner of Colorado. Despite showing a tight race in Maine during the election, GOP sources have seemed more optimistic about Sen. Susan Collins in recent weeks, a long-held goal of Democrats and liberal interest groups.
Sensor. Joni Ernst of Iowa and Steve Daines of Montana are also of concern. While some Republicans believe they are both in good shape, other GOP sources tell CNN that those races are too tight and that the fate of both candidates may ultimately depend on how Trump does in both states on election day . Senior Capitol Hill Republicans also expressed caution about Sen. Dan Sullivan, formerly an Alaska Republican, otherwise considered relatively safe.
But a pure necklace size matters for the GOP. Even if they lose control by a majority, Senate Republicans can effectively defend against Democratic law with a large enough minority and a handful of liberal Democratic defectors. But if the GOP’s losses in the Senate are too numerous, their ability to use a filmbuster to force a supremacy vote to move forward on the method would be rendered meaningless.
“Even though we lose the majority, it matters that we have 49 seats,” said the senior Republican on the Hill. “If we have 45, we can’t stop (with) filibuster. Every seat counts.”
And the trajectory of the presidential race – Joe Biden gave Trump a 14-point lead nationally in the most recent CNN election – and the persistence of the coronovirus epidemic have made the GOP’s project of defending margins more urgent.
“GOP major donors are redirecting money for the Senate race,” said Fred Zeidman, a Republican donor from Texas. “The Senate is a firewall. We’ve got to make sure that we don’t have any case with the Senate who is elected president.”
Early signs of distance
“They are being elected to represent a state, so they should have the freedom to represent the people who are voting for them,” said Ziderman. “And if it means taking positions that are not fully accepted or consistent for the White House, then that’s what democracy is about.”
Reclaiming as a Republican in 2020, however, is largely about changing the subject from Trump and his response to the epidemic.
Endangered GOP senators have turned to positive acts of their own, ranging from personal line items in the first pandemic economic stimulus bill to additional efforts to solve testing problems in their home states. Tillis’s campaign reported in a letter that North Carolina Republicans wrote a letter to Vice President Mike Pence in March asking him to undergo more coronovirus testing. And in his first campaign advertisement of this year, Gardner highlighted local news reports on his successful efforts to import masks and Kovid test kits from East Asia to Colorado.
Republican strategist Liam Donovan said that such a conversation by GOP senators lulled in the stimulus bill “tells you everything you need to know about the state of elections” and Trump is hoping with defeat.
Donovan said, “Weaker members are in dire need to work, while their ambitious colleagues on safe seats are writing by 2020 and wondering what they do and say that will be visible in 2024 now.”
Caught in a bind
For other candidates, the distance between himself and Trump is also not an option. Republican goons say that in places like North Carolina and Arizona, the fate of GOP senators will be irrevocably tied to Trump.
This puts GOP senators in danger at a risk. Republicans have little incentive to break with the president and reduce the risk of losing support from their base, who are an important part of the GOP coalition. But drawing any opposite line with the president, at least in contrast to Kovid, opens the door to victory over those swing voters who would vote against Trump and otherwise oppose the president’s down-ballot allies.
McSally, who implicates his Democratic challenger Mark Kelly in almost every recent poll, finds himself in this bond.
The campaigns by both McSally and Tillis say their focus will be on drawing a contrast between themselves and their Democratic opponents, over which party will be in the best position to rule the economy. But his overall focus is away from Trump – a strong indication that there is not much to gain from cooperation with the president.
follow the money
Meanwhile, the National Republican Sanatorial Committee has spent between $ 4 to 6 million in North Carolina, Colorado, and Iowa during the first half of the year, while in Maine (where some more than $ 3.5 million on Super Super Sacks Was spent) by both parties) and has spent very well in Arizona.
Super PACs on both sides have been prioritizing their spending in recent weeks. According to Kantar Media, TV and digital advertising spending for the Senate race in the month of July was the highest in North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado (along with Kansas, which has a competitive GOP Senate primary in August).
There are some in Washington who are less serious about the circumstances for the GOP. Scott Reid, the veteran Republican strategist who runs the political arm of the Chamber of Commerce, published an optimistic note about the ability of first-term GOP senators such as Gardner and Tillis.
“The presidential race will be stricter and this 2014 Senate class will be faster, stronger and better at winning,” said Reid, who echoed other Republicans in giving Collins the best shot of the four weakest GOP senators to win.
A senior Republican, who spoke to CNN, was more distracted by where Trump placed the party 100 days before the election. “Where can we play crime? Zero places,” the Republican said. “Where is he playing defense? He shouldn’t worry at all places.”
CNN’s David Wright contributed to this story.