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House GOP No Longer Fear Trump Effect on Down-Party Races

Image: House GOP No Longer Fear Trump Effect on Down-Party Races

(AP Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 05 Oct 2016 07:47 AM

Top Republican strategists are no longer concerned that Donald Trump's campaign will cost the party many of their seats in the House, as polling shows no incumbent representatives are behind in their reelection bids.

"We're on a much stronger position than anybody thought [we'd be]," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Politico, after saying last week Democrats are now "nervous" rather than "cocky" over the House.

"Sit down with [Democratic] leadership and compare their notes from a month ago to today," the California Republican continued. "I think you'll see a less optimistic attitude than you saw a month ago."

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesperson Meredith Kelly, though, said it's too early for McCarthy and other Republicans to be so optimistic, based on early or mid-September polling, however.

"There is plenty of time left for Hillary Clinton to pull away from Donald Trump, and for that to impact down-ballot races," Kelly said.

But many Republicans believe that even if Trump drops back more, it won't hurt them as much, as voters appear to be separating Trump from the rest of the party.

As a result, many incumbents outpoll Trump, which rarely happens, said Brian Walsh, a former National Republican Congressional Committee political director who last month feared the party would lose several seats.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., however, remains optimistic that the "makings of a wave are there," but it's too soon to tell for sure.

Usually by this point, a month away from the general election, it's easier to tell if a sweep is coming.

In 2006, Democrats led in polling by as much as 10-20 points before winning the House majority. But this year, Democrats have a smaller lead on the generic congressional ballot, leading by just about 4 percent in late September, and that lead could disappear because the GOP usually outperforms the ballot by 3 to 4 points, said RealClearPolitics senior elections analyst Sean Trende.

"It's not too late for a wave to form, and maybe if Trump completely imploded, we'll see that — but as of today, it doesn't look like the House majority is in much jeopardy for Republicans," Trende told Politico.

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Top Republican strategists are no longer concerned that Donald Trump's campaign will cost the party many of their seats in the House...
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Wednesday, 05 Oct 2016 07:47 AM
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