Republican consultant Liz Mair has written an editorial in the New York Times warning GOP lawmakers that they should avoid bringing President Donald Trump to their rallies if they face tight races next year.
Citing the fate that befell ousted Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, who lost just one night after holding a rally with the president, Mair argues that Trump has not proven he can be a difference maker for endangered GOP incumbents.
“That is a huge problem for Joni Ernst, Cory Gardner — and yes, perhaps even Mitch McConnell,” she writes. “These senators enter re-election campaigns struggling with poor approval numbers, according to Morning Consult. At 37 percent, just a notch above Mr. Bevin’s, Mr. McConnell’s are actually the most worrying. And a shocking 50 percent disapprove of the job he’s doing.”
Mair warns that bringing Trump to Iowa could be particularly perilous for Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), whose approval ratings have been hit by bad economic conditions created by the president’s trade war.
“Since Iowa is looking like a 2020 swing state, Mr. Trump will probably hold many rallies there, trying to drive up support for himself and for Ms. Ernst,” she writes. “But the Bevin example shows that unless Ms. Ernst gets her numbers up on her own and relatively soon, she could be in trouble. She may be able to save herself; Mr. Trump, it appears, cannot.”
Mair thinks the one Republican senator who is best positioned to survive in 2020 is Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) — but that’s only because Trump is unlikely to want to campaign with her.