As we’ve seen for months, the burning question thrown at Republican candidates around the nation has been, “Will you support Donald Trump if he’s the nominee?” Democrats and media alike have worked to tie republican candidates to the newly declared presumptive GOP presidential nominee, who is arguably the most despised political candidate in modern U.S. history.
Unfortunately, 24 GOP Senate seats are up for election in November, many of which the Democrats see as ripe for the plucking. Due in part to the Tea Party effect in 2010, the Democrats are only defending 10 seats. Even worse, as the Huffington Post points out, is the fact that 6 of the Republican senators are in states that President Obama won twice.
The Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee has wasted little time, launching its “Party of Trump” campaign back in March. The effort seeks to scorn vulnerable Senate Republicans with their prior remarks, including those promising that they would support the Republican presidential nominee, whoever he or she turns out to be.
— Senate Democrats (@dscc) May 4, 2016
Of the 21 Republican Senators running for reelection, more than half said they would support the nominee. This includes Sen. Kelly Ayotte (NH), whose spokeswoman confirmed support on Wednesday. Others stating they would do the same include Senators Boozman, Blunt, Grassley, Hoeven, Isakson, Johnson, Kirk, Lankford, McCain, Paul, Scott, Shelby, and Thune.
Senators that have not yet answered, including those that backed other presidential candidates, are Senators Crapo, Lee, Moran, Murkowski, Portman, and Toomey. Senate Majoriy Leader Mitch McConnell, who is not facing reelection in November, confirmed his support for Trump on Wednesday evening.
The DSCC released the following ad in March for online circulation. The ad features several of the aforementioned senators expressing their support for the eventual nominee. The statements are interspersed with footage of Trump making controversial remarks. Versions of the ad are now expected to air on television and radio as November nears.
Also working against the senators, as well as Republicans facing elections nationwide, is the fact that Trump’s nomination provides Democrat rivals with a unified narrative of attack capable of being applied to all GOP candidates. The “Party of Trump” label is sure to become political vernacular in the same manner that did “Lying Ted.”
The Democrat challenger to Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) has already put this tactic into practice, releasing the following ad on Monday:
Although the Democrats may not unseat the Republican majority in the House, GOP congressmen will be tasked with either defending or distancing themselves from Trump’s statements about various women, like those excerpted in the anti-Boozman ad. It is statements like these that the Democrat party is so skilled with weaponizing during a political campaign. With Trump’s unfavorability among women hovering between 60 and 70%, Republican candidates in all offices have their work cut out for them.
Disclosure: The author volunteered for the Ted Cruz campaign in her state.DONATE
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