As GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump's numbers continue to drop in the polls, fears are growing that he's heading for a landslide defeat to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton this fall and Republicans are fearing that could translate to a loss of party majority holds in the House and Senate, according to a GOP expert.
"He's in big trouble right now," GOP strategist Ron Bonjean told The Hill. "If we're at this same point after Labor Day where it looks like we're still spiraling into a black hole, I fully expect you'll start to see resources directed to protecting our majorities in the House and Senate."
This past week alone, Trump faced increasing opposition from his own party, including from powerful Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who said she backed out because of concerns over his policy positions and after his attacks toward a Gold Star family who spoke against him at the Democratic National Convention.
She joined numerous current and former GOP lawmakers and officials in opposing Trump. Aside from Republicans who say they won't vote for him, he faces a bigger potential issue following a letter written by more than 70 Republican lawmakers and operatives demanding the Republican National Committee pull back its funding from his campaign.
But both Trump and RNC officials say the media is exaggerating tensions between the two, and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus appeared at a Trump rally in Erie, Pa. on Friday to introduce the nominee and reaffirm his support for the campaign, reports USA Today.
"Don't believe the garbage you read," Priebus told the crowd. "Despite the biased media, this man is going to win."
The appearance came after reports that Priebus was angry at Trump for his initial reluctance to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan's reelection bid, and after a report came out this past week that the chairman warned Trump the party would not back him if he did not make a pivot in his race.
Such talk is "wishful thinking" by Trump's opponents, an adviser, Kellyanne Conway, told The Hill, saying the nominee is working with the RNC to work out a strategy for victory.
But other Republicans told The Hill that even if the RNC doesn't publicly renounce Trump, it could still hurt his campaign by shifting funds toward Congressional races.
According to a Real Clear Politics poll average, Clinton is polling at nearly 7 percentage points over Trump, but GOP pollster Frank Luntz said those numbers could be erased once the presidential debates begin.
"No one is really paying attention to the election right now — August is always the slowest month of the political year," Luntz told The Hill. "But come September, Trump will need a more unified, strategic and disciplined message and party. Labor Day is the pivot point. And a brilliant debate performance changes everything."
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