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McConnell signal to Republican Senate candidates: Distance from Trump if necessary

In recent weeks, the Senate majority leader has become so concerned that Republicans are losing control of the Senate that in a tough race he has informed vulnerable GDL senators that, according to several senior Republicans, they may distance themselves from the president if they feel it is necessary. including a source close to McConnell.

While this may give some senators the flexibility to separate themselves from the president, it also forces them to go the rope. The brief remains hugely popular on the Republican base, and any attempt to overthrow it risks alienating those voters.

“These vulnerable senators cannot afford to explicitly reject Trump,” said one senior Republican on Capitol Hill. “They just have to show that they are independent on issues that matter to their states.”


However, Trump continues to provide GOP senators with ways to ease the break with it.

The President’s constant attack on postal voting lacks VV’s allies. His motion to postpone the election on Thursday morning resonated with many top Republicans, including several senators for re-election, as well as McConnell.
“Never in the history of the country, through wars, depressions and civil war, has there ever been a timely federal election. We will find a way to do it again on November 3,” the majority leader said. interview with WNKY.

Senate Mathematics


Republicans currently have a three-seat majority and at least six old senators facing serious Democratic challenges. Senior Republicans say Sens is the most vulnerable. Martha McSally from Arizona, Thomas Tillis from North Carolina, and Cory Gardner from Colorado. Despite polls showing intense competition in Maine, GOP sources have sounded more optimistic in recent weeks about Elder Susan Collins, a longtime Democrat and Liberal interest group.

John Ernst of Iowa and Steve Daines of Montana are also alarming. While some Republicans believe they are both in good shape, other GOP sources tell CNN that the competition is extremely tough and that the fate of both candidates may ultimately depend on how Short man behaves during election day in both states. The senior Capitol Hill Republican has even expressed caution over Elder Dan Sullivan, who is believed to be a fairly safe first-term Alaskan Republican.

Hoping Republican candidate Tommy Tuberville will defeat Alabama Democratic Elder Doug Jones in November, McConnell can afford to lose up to three of those endangered seats and still maintain a small majority.

But the size of the GOP’s net defeat is important. Even after losing majority control, Senate Republicans can effectively defend themselves against democratic laws with a sufficiently large minority and a handful of moderate Democrats. But if the losses of the VVT ​​in the Senate are too great, their chances of using the filibuster to force the super Majors to vote will continue to make sense.

Three charts showing how Republicans are losing the opportunity to retain the Senate

“Even if we lose the majority, it’s important that we have 49 seats,” a senior Republican said on the mountain. “If we have 45, we can’t stop (with) the filibuster. Every place matters.”

The presidential race trajectory – Joe Biden led a Short 14-point nationwide in the last CNN poll – and the survival of the coronavirus pandemic made the GS border protection project even more urgent.

“The big GOP donors are directing money to the Senate race,” said Fred Zeidman, a Republican donor from Texas. “The Senate is a firewall. We have to make sure we oversee the Senate, no matter who is elected president.”

Early distance signs

There are some signs that Republicans are already beginning to subtly differ from Trump. McConnell publicly acknowledged and promoted wearing masks as the “most important thing” people could do – for days and weeks before Trump finally announced his support for wearing masks. Collins’ new ad features a photo of Democratic colleagues claiming it is “bilateral” and “effective” for Maine, with Gardner stressing that protecting the environment is bona fides.
U.S. old Cory Gardner will speak on the first day of Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court approval hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“They are elected to represent the state, so they should have the freedom to represent the people who vote for them,” Zeidman said. “And if it means a position that is not fully endorsed or agreed with the White House, it is a matter of democracy.”

But if you are re-elected Republican in 2020, it mostly means changing the subject of Trump and his response to the pandemic.

The endangered LAG senators appealed for recognition of their own positive actions, starting with individual line items in the first pandemic economic stimulus law and ending with additional efforts to address testing issues in their home state. The Tillis campaign draws attention to a letter sent in March. The North Carolina Republican wrote to Vice President Mike Pence asking for more coronavirus testing. In the first ad of this year’s campaign, Gardner highlighted local news reports of successful efforts to import masks and Covid test kits from East Asia to Colorado.

Last week, Gardner joined three of his colleagues – Tillis, Collins and McSally – in a tough race to sign a public letter urging McConnell to include clean energy projects in the latest round of promotion spending.

Republican strategist Liam Donovan said the kind of talks that stimulus lawmakers had put to Dutch government senators “tells everything you need to know” about the state of the election and hopes Trump is heading for defeat.

“Vulnerable members desperately need to do something before their ambitious colleagues in safe havens write off 2020. And they think what 2024 will look like, “Donovan said.

Caught in a bind

However, most Republican Senate candidates hold the president closely. Candidates for McConnell or the Republican Senate are unlikely to push Trump directly, even if the president continues to follow Biden. As toxic as moderate suburban residents may be, the Trump brand remains the GOP senators’ primary link to the party base. For example, last week Gardner appeared with Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and White House adviser, at an official childcare event in Colorado.

For other candidates, the distance between Trump and even is not an option. Republican operatives say the fate of current GDL senators in places like North Carolina and Arizona will be irrevocably linked to Trump.

This poses a dilemma for endangered LAG senators. Republicans have little incentive to sever relations with the president and risk losing the support of his base, which forms a critical part of the GDL coalition. Opening up any contrast with the president, at least Covido, offers a chance to win for those voters who will vote against Trump and otherwise oppose the president’s allies who vote low.

In almost every recent poll, McSally, following his Democratic rival Mark Kelly, found himself in that place.

In one recent CNN poll, 60 percent of Arizona voters voted. He did not support Trump’s treatment of the coronavir, arguing that the president could be criticized or at least separated from him. But McSally’s path to victory demands that every D. Short voter also pull a lever for her. Any distance McSally tries to make between himself and Trump risks complicating things. Several Republican sources on CNN said they believe McSally is the most vulnerable and could lose.

Both the McSally and Tillis campaigns say the focus will be on creating a contrast between themselves and their Democratic opponents, which party will be best placed to revive the economy. However, all their focus is not on Trump – it is an obvious sign that the association with the president does not need much more.

Keep track of the money

Republican money may also start to shrink sharply at the top of the Senate book. June GOP founders Sheldon and Miriam Adelson donated $ 25 million to McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund, giving a $ 97 million PAC at the end of the second quarter. (During the same period, the Democratic SLF colleague, the Senate Majority Commissioner, raised $ 30 million and had $ 87 million in cash at the end of June.)

Meanwhile, the National Republican Senators Committee spent $ 4 million to $ 6 million in North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa in the first half of the year, while Maine (where not a super PAC) spent just over $ 3.5 million. both sides spent a lot) and Arizona.

This follows where both sides of the super PAC have prioritized their spending in recent weeks. According to Kantar Media, television and digital advertising spending for the Senate race in July was highest in North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado (along with Kansas, which in August was a major part of the competitive GOP Senate).

There are a few in Washington who are not so serious about GS circumstances. Scott Reed, a veteran Republican strategist leading the political hand of the Chamber of Commerce, made a hopeful statement about the chances of first-time VV senators such as Gardner and Tillsi terminating the re-election agreement.

“The presidential competition will intensify, and this 2014 The Senate class is sharp, strong and has a good understanding of how to win, ”said Reed, who repeated to other Republicans, giving Collins the best shot of the four vulnerable GOP senators who won the re-election.

One senior Republican who spoke to CNN was more upset about where Trump had announced the party less than 100 days before the election. “Where can we play offensive? Zero seats,” this Republican said. “Where does he play defense? He shouldn’t worry in all places.”

CNN’s David Wright contributed to this story.

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