Republican senators in competitive states are more likely to lose reelection after standing by President Donald Trump on the vote to rescind the designation of national emergency to build his border wall.
On Thursday, 12 Republicans sided with Democrats in calling the emergency declaration unconstitutional — but 41 Republican senators stood by Trump.
“Today, senators from his own party, as we mentioned, voted to defeat the president’s signature campaign issue,” MSNBC “The 11th Hour” anchor Brian Williams reported. “As the president was handed a major political blow with the U.S. Senate voting to block his self-declared national emergency to fund the border wall.”
Politico congressional reporter Melanie Zanona explained how Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) approached the vote.
“He caved to the pressure,” Zanona noted. ‘He had come out in an op-ed and said ‘I’m going to vote with the resolution and vote against the president’ — and he got a lot of conservative backlash.”
“Of course, he’s up for re-election in 2020, so this was going to be a difficult vote for him either way,” she explained.
“If he voted against the president, he was going to be vulnerable to primary challenges and face criticism from the right. But now that he flip-flopped his position and voted against the resolution and voted in favor of the president, he’s going to be facing challenges in the general election from Democrats who are going to say he’s unprincipled, that he doesn’t stand up for what he believes in, that he’s hypocritical,” she continued.
“He made it worse for himself by reversing his position,” she noted.
Tal Kopan, the Washington correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle, explained the impact of the vote on the re-election chances of Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO).
On Thursday evening, the Denver Post rescinded their support for the Republican lawmaker.
“If you look at Cory Gardner from Colorado, he may be at the top of Democrats’ target list for the Senate in 2020,” Kopan noted. “That’s a state that’s been trending Democratic.”