GOP strategists and campaign managers are looking on with dismay at the upcoming midterm elections, believing their candidates -- particularly the incumbents -- are woefully unprepared for a campaign where they are tied to an unpopular president.
According to the Wall Street Journal, some mainstream Republican voters have been turned off by the antics of President Donald Trump, meaning GOP nominees need to sell themselves to voters outside of the president's base.
With the so-called "blue wave" of insurgent Democratic nominees looming, GOP officials are looking at the number of seats that they need to protect and see a disaster on the horizon because of Trump.
Ben Ray Luján, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee agreed, saying: “If you look at our battlefield, 55 districts, the president is underwater in every one of those 55 districts across America.”
The problem, as one consultant sees it, is that many of the nominees spent years attacking President Barack Obama at election time and don't know how to run a positive campaign that could see them having to ally themselves with Trump.
“Some of these Republicans have spent their careers running against Barack Obama,” explained Tom Davis, a former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. “They don’t know how to run a real race and are going to get caught napping.”
According to to the report, Democrats have been consciously avoiding mentioning Trump out of fears they may motivate his base, putting Republicans on the spot over whether they praise Trump at the risk of driving away some voters they need to win re-election.
Instead, Democrats are accusing the Republican Party of corruption in the wake of two high-profile Republican officeholders -- Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) and Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr. (R-CA) -- being the subject of federal indictments for financial crimes.
“We are the underdogs until Election Day,” lamented Charlie Kelly, the House Majority PAC executive director.
You can read the whole report here (subscription required).