GOP Consultants across the nation are getting nervous phone calls from their longtime clients as an historic number of incumbents are now sweating the next few months before most filing deadlines hit.
If there’s one thing incumbents hate, it’s uncertainty and Donald Trump’s continued electoral success has meant campaign plans around the country for those running in House and Senate contests this year are getting shredded. Running with Trump at the top of the ticket won’t just mean a shift in messaging for many Republican candidates down the ballot, it could mean a fundamentally different approach, altering everything from grassroots strategy to media.
Jason Cabel Roe, a Republican consultant who works with congressional and state-level candidates, uses four-letter words to describe the predicament the GOP is in with Trump’s candidacy the focal point.
“He is almost certain doom for Republicans in November and he likely costs us control of the Senate, possibly House seats, governors and state legislatures,” Roe told C&E. “While it's true Trump has energized an element of the electorate previously unengaged, we have to account for the people he is chasing away. When you look at his poor approval ratings among Millennials and Hispanics, it's hard to ignore the negative impact he will have on us in the future.”
Whether Trump as the nominee will grow the GOP electorate, or cause the party’s traditional coalition to stay home is going to be a race by race, even district by district calculation for other GOP candidates ahead of November. The greatest fear for many Republican strategists is that he’ll inspire a Democratic wave with the potential to erase the largest GOP House majority in almost 90 years.