January 5, 2016

ADULT SUPERVISION REQUIRED:

Trump and Cruz send shivers down GOP spines : The prospect of either man as the Republican nominee is setting off alarm bells among officials and operatives across the country. (ALEX ISENSTADT, 01/05/16, Politico)

One growing worry about Trump or Cruz, top party officials, donors, and operatives across the country say, is that nominating either man would imperil lawmakers in down-ballot races, especially those residing in moderate states and districts.

"At some point, we have to deal with the fact that there are at least two candidates who could utterly destroy the Republican bench for a generation if they became the nominee," said Josh Holmes, a former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. "We'd be hard-pressed to elect a Republican dogcatcher north of the Mason-Dixon or west of the Mississippi."

"Trump and Cruz are worrisome to most Republican candidates for governor, senator and Congress," said Curt Anderson, a longtime GOP strategist and former Republican National Committee political director. "Some will say they are not worried, but they are."

Romney has been calling around to former advisers to sound them out about the race, and to kvetch about Trump's surprising durability. But in the immediate term, at least, he has expressed unwillingness to lend his hand to a stop-Trump effort -- or to endorse a candidate more palatable to a GOP establishment paralyzed by his rise and worried that nominating him or Cruz would scupper an opportunity to control both the White House and Congress in 2017.

The concern is particularly acute in the Senate, where Republicans are fighting to preserve a relatively slim four-seat majority, defending more than half a dozen seats in hard-to-win swing states. Among them: Ohio, a presidential battleground state where Republican Sen. Rob Portman faces a perilous path to reelection.

When Trump traveled to the state in November, he met with Matt Borges, Ohio's Republican Party chairman -- who warned the front-runner that "divisive rhetoric won't help us carry Ohio."

"It's time for people who have never won squat here to listen to the people who have been doing it for decades," Borges said in an interview. "I'm just looking out for how we win in November."

In Wisconsin, some party officials fret that a Trump or Cruz nomination could sink Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, who faces a tough race against his predecessor, Russ Feingold.


Posted by at January 5, 2016 3:36 PM

  

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