NEW: GOP operatives are increasingly concerned about their prospects this fall.
Not just the White House- Congress too.
One top Senate aide telling CNN:
"Put it this way, I am very glad my boss isn't on the ballot this cycle."
— Ryan Nobles (@ryanobles) May 28, 2020
… Republican strategists are increasingly worried that Trump is headed for defeat in November and that he may drag other Republicans down with him.
Seven GOP operatives not directly associated with the President’s reelection campaign told CNN that Trump’s response to the pandemic and the subsequent economic fallout have significantly damaged his bid for a second term — and that the effects are starting to hurt Republicans more broadly. Some of these operatives asked not to be identified in order to speak more candidly.
Several say that public polls showing Trump trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden mirror what they are finding in their own private polls, and that the trend is bleeding into key Senate races. The GOP already had a difficult task of defending 23 Senate seats in 2020. The job of protecting its slim 3-seat majority has only gotten harder as the pandemic has unfolded. States like Arizona and North Carolina, once thought to be home to winnable Senate races now appear in jeopardy.
Trump himself is being alerted to the problems. Politico reported this week that two of Trump’s own outside political advisers, Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, warned the President last week that his support was falling in some swing states…
… To which the Squatter-in-Chief responded with a blizzard of offensive tweets, reinforcing every Repub weakness. So much for strategery!
… Whereas a few months ago, they were confident of the party’s chances across the board, many of the strategists who spoke to CNN have lowered their expectations, and now talk in terms of minimizing what they worry could be a wipeout for the GOP. This leaves them hoping for a minor rather than devastating defeat, something akin to Mitt Romney’s narrow loss in 2012, when Republicans lost two Senate seats, rather than John McCain’s performance four years earlier, when they lost eight.
The broader fear among Republicans is that the election becomes a referendum on Trump’s performance during the pandemic. Coupled with a cratered economy, the effect could be devastating by both depressing the Republican faithful and turning off swing voters…
The party’s chief concern, some of these Republicans say, should be holding onto its Senate majority. The task requires Senate candidates to make appeals to suburban voters who flipped to Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections as a reaction against Trump.
But that goal is complicated by how dependent Republican candidates are on maximal turnout for the President, even in states the Trump campaign does not expect to win. GOP Sens. Cory Gardner in Colorado and Susan Collins in Maine cannot afford a depressed Trump base in their states, even as they play up their independent identities to win swing voters.
And the concern for Republicans goes beyond endangered incumbents — including Sens. Martha McSally of Arizona and Thom Tillis of North Carolina. There is even a chance, in a bad year for Trump, that GOP-held Senate seats in Georgia and Montana could be in trouble, said Donovan…
Yes, some of this is poor-mouthing for the cameras. But every hint that the other Repubs might be trying to distance themselves from their Gilded God-King will set off another flurry of violently offensive statements, reminding low-info voters all over again that the GOP is welded together like a box of soggy cookies mildewing in the back of a dank cupboard. Best thing to do is throw the whole pack out — and make sure to take the trashbag outside before it stinks up the kitchen any further.
Reminder: Trump's absolute public opinion nadir came after Charletosville/Kaepernik. The public wants peace and quiet and at least a patina of mutual respect, not just lawnorder. https://t.co/vt98V2hTZb
— Alex Hazanov (@alexhazanov) May 29, 2020