Tags: Trump | GOP | Optimistic | Senate | Majority

Trump Has GOP Optimistic About Holding Senate Majority

Image: Trump Has GOP Optimistic About Holding Senate Majority

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By    |   Thursday, 15 Sep 2016 10:49 AM

Thanks to Donald Trump and an influx of millions to GOP coffers, optimism is running high again with Senate Republicans.

Faced with 24 seats to defend in the upper house and staring down a candidate they feared might sink them in swing states, Senate Republicans have spent the past few months scrambling for a strategy to maintain their majority come November.

But Trump's resurgence in national polls seems to be having an important effect on GOP Senate races in battleground states.

"As you've seen Trump improve his game and you've seen the shrinking difference between Trump and Clinton, obviously he's not the drag he was on our down-ballot candidates," Sen. John Cornyn told Politico.

"It makes people feel better about our prospects."

Further, two outside GOP groups — Senate Leadership Fund and One Nation — raised $42 million in August, giving Republicans ample monies to spend in key battleground states.

And the combination seems to be paying off.

According to the Washington Examiner, most GOP incumbents have widened leads or cut deficits in their races.

To wit:

  • Ohio: Sen. Rob Portman has extended his lead to double digits over former Gov. Ted Strickland;
  • New Hampshire: Sen. Kelly Ayotte has turned a 5-point deficit into a 2-point lead over Gov. Maggie Hassan;
  • Pennsylvania: Sen. Pat Toomey is now in a dead heat with challenger Katie McGinty after trailing by 3 points a month ago.

Plus, Marco Rubio has a 4.5-point lead over Patrick Murphy in Florida.

"I think the fact that Marco's putting away the race in Florida is good for us because it saves a ton of money," South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the No. 3 Senate Republican, told Politico.

But GOP insiders agree — it all comes down to Trump. When he's polling well, it kills the Democrats' strategy of linking Trump in a negative way down the ballot.

"They don't need Trump to win," one GOP consultant told the Examiner. "They need him to be close."

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Thanks to Donald Trump and an influx of millions to GOP coffers, optimism is running high again with Senate Republicans.
Trump, GOP, Optimistic, Senate, Majority
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2016-49-15
Thursday, 15 Sep 2016 10:49 AM
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