Thanks but no, thanks. That's the pervasive response of all but two of the 23 vulnerable House Republicans to the question of President Donald Trump campaigning on their behalf ahead of November's midterms, Axios reports.
Of the 23 Republican incumbents surveyed by Axios who are running in districts won by Hillary Clinton in 2016, just two welcomed the support of the president.
The breakdown, according to Axios:
Reps. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., and Carlos Curbelo, R-Florida, welcomed Trump's support.
- 14 didn't respond.
- 4 said outright they didn't want Trump campaigning for them.
- 1 dodged.
- 2 said "no comment."
"Many candidates want the president to fundraise for them, but will go to great lengths to avoid being seen with him publicly. An ad of Trump gripping and grinning with a Republican congressman could be priceless fodder for Democratic campaign commercials in certain districts," Republican strategist Alex Conant told Axios.
The informal survey comes amid growing anxiety among Republicans of a Democratic wave this November that threatens the House, most acutely, if not the Senate.
Republicans are holding their breath over Tuesday's special election in Pennsylvania where Rick Saccone is in a hotly contested battle with a Democrat in a dead-red district.
Though Saccone is not an incumbent, the president — as well as his family — has actively campaigned on his behalf.
Trump's support has also fallen short for Ed Gillespie in the Virginia governor's race, interim Sen. Luther Strange in the Alabama Senate primary, and then Roy Moore in Alabama's special election to replace Jeff Sessions in the Senate.
"We have not requested the president's assistance and we don’t plan on requesting his assistance," Veronica Vera, communications director for Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Illinois, told Axios.
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