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Politics These Republican senators may need to ride Trump's coattails to reelection

14:21  29 september  2020
14:21  29 september  2020 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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The Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is expected on Friday to vote on the pivotal question of The Democratic Caucus, assuming it remains united, needs to convince at least four Republicans The final decision on witnesses may hinge on a few undecided Republican senators .

And in five of these races, Republicans face particularly tough reelection battles. Election forecasters have rated these races as the most competitive Senate contests in the 2020 cycle, and in each race, the partisan lean of their states is less than 10 points more Republican than the country as a whole.

President Trump's coattails may be the best hope a number of Senate GOP incumbents have of keeping their seats.

a man wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Washington Examiner

In Arizona, Trump is running far ahead of GOP incumbent Sen. Martha McSally. In that race, McSally is averaging 44.8% of the vote compared to her challenger, former astronaut Democrat Mark Kelly, who earns 50% support, according to a RealClearPolitics poll.

The president still trails Democratic challenger Joe Biden there but by 3.4 percentage points instead of over 5. An ABC News/ Washington Post poll released earlier this month had Trump leading the former vice president by 1 point.

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And in five of these races, Republicans face particularly tough reelection battles. Granted, coming up with any scenario where 20 Republican senators vote to remove Trump from office — the minimum needed if all 47 Democrats voted in favor — is challenging to begin with, but it’ s even harder

Trump remains enormously popular with the Republican base, and any attempts to undercut him risks alienating those voters. " These vulnerable senators can't afford to explicitly repudiate Trump ," said one senior Republican on Capitol Hill. "They just need to show they are independent on issues important

In North Carolina, the presidential race is almost tied. Biden has a 0.8-point lead in the polling average, but most recent surveys have both candidates within the margin of error. Sen. Thom Tillis, however, trails Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham by 6 points.

Iowa's Sen. Joni Ernst also faces an uphill battle against Democrat Theresa Greenfield, who leads the GOP lawmaker by an average of 2.6 points. Trump, meanwhile, is tied with Biden in RealClearPolitics's average. A Monmouth poll released earlier this month had Trump leading by 3 points.

Arizona, North Carolina, and Iowa are three states where Trump enjoyed a comfortable margin of victory against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016. Barring historically high ticket-splitting from voters, Trump's relative popularity in those states compared to the GOP senators could be enough to drag them over the finish line. The 2016 election saw the lowest rate for ticket-splitting in a century. That means if voters like who is at the top of the ticket, they'll probably hold their nose for down-ballot members of the same party.

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Donald Trump could be the one benefiting from the good will GOP senators on the ballot have with voters in their states -- keeping him within sight of Hillary Clinton in the presidential race. Ohio is Exhibit A of where Republican strategists hope this reverse coattail phenomenon will happen.

Witness the speed with which Republican senators up for re - election such as John McCain and Kelly Ayotte These days, the bill may not be the first thing on McCrory’ s worried mind: Floating in there somewhere must be the thought that another crisis If they materialize, he’ s bought a ticket to ride .

Trump losing Iowa would constitute a 9.5-point reversal from his 2016 victory. In 2014, Ernst won her seat with an 8.5-point margin of victory.

North Carolina was far narrower, although Trump's 3.7-point margin of victory was an improvement over Mitt Romney's 2-point win in 2012. Tillis, meanwhile, won his seat in 2014 by 1.7 points.

McSally, who has never won a Senate race in the state and instead enjoys her spot thanks to a gubernatorial appointment, has a bit more of an awkward dance to perform. On the one hand, Trump remains more popular than her in the state, but the Arizona Democratic Party's playbook of running centrists like Sen. Kyrsten Sinema means ticket-splitting may be more expected.

Trump's numbers in states such as Maine and Georgia suggests he may be more of a liability for Republican senators there looking for another term. In Maine, Susan Collins trails Democratic challenger Sara Gideon by an average of 6.5 points, while Biden leads by an average of a whopping 15.3 points.

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Republican senators aren't happy about the president' s threat to impose tariffs on Mexico. They are considering their next actions. TRUMP : Mexico shouldn't allow millions of people to try and enter our country. They could stop it very quickly. I think they will.

Trump may not help the rest of this year’ s Republican candidates win on Election Day, they concede. that “ Republican operatives” are starting to wonder, as their headline put it, whether “Donald Trump [ might ] ride GOP senators ’ coattails ” to victory in places like Ohio and Florida.

Both Republicans in Georgia facing Democratic challengers enjoy 2-to-3-point leads over their opponents, with Trump besting Biden by an average of 1.3 points. In 2016, the president won the state with a 5.1-point margin of victory.

In 2016, a number of GOP Senate candidates ultimately performed better than Trump in swing-state races. This time around, the reverse seems true as Republicans try to cling to their Senate majority.

Tags: 2020 Elections, Campaigns, News, Campaign 2020, Donald Trump, Joni Ernst, Thom Tillis, Martha McSally, Susan Collins, Kelly Loeffler, Doug Collins

Original Author: Joseph Simonson

Original Location: These Republican senators may need to ride Trump's coattails to reelection

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