Reprinted with permission from Alternet.
The Republican Party will suffer a double whammy in November if it loses control of not only the White House, but also, the U.S. Senate. And according to New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Matt Stevens, recent polling indicates that President Donald Trump is hurting the GOP's chances of maintaining its Senate majority.
Martin and Stevens report that according to a recent New York Times/Siena College poll, "President Trump's erratic performance in office and his deteriorating standing in the polls [are] posing a grave threat to his party's Senate majority, imperiling incumbents in crucial swing states and undermining Republican prospects in one of the few states they had hoped to gain a seat [Michigan].
"The battleground states where Republican senators could be in trouble, Martin and Stevens write, range from Arizona to North Carolina. And the states in which Trump is trailing former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, are also the states in which Republican U.S. Senate candidates are trailing Democrats.
For example, the Times and Siena found that in Arizona, GOP Sen. Martha McSally is trailing Democrat Mark Kelly by nine percent, and in Michigan, incumbent Democratic Sen. Gary Peters is ahead of Republican John James by ten percent. In North Carolina, meanwhile, Republican Sen. Thom Tillis is trailing Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham by three percent.
Kirk Adams, the Republican who formerly served as speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, told the Times, "The election is a referendum on Trump. That could change, but until then, down-ballot Republicans will have to decide if they will ride the Trump train to its final destination or if they need to establish some brand independence."
In Arizona, McSally is all-in for Trump, and 52-year-old Tempe resident Jill Cohen noted that she won't vote for McSally for that reason. Cohen, who left the GOP in 2016, told the Times, "I really like (Democratic Sen.) Kyrsten Sinema…. because she is willing to go across the aisle and work bipartisan. And I think Kelly would, too."
Similarly, Fern Fousse, an 84-year-old Tucson resident, criticized McSally for being a "Trump lackey" and told the Times, "I'm a Republican. I have a voice. And I am not a Trump Republican…. Martha McSally's campaign has been so negative…. Mark Kelly sounds like a nice person, a winner and someone who can work with both parties."
The Times/Siena poll found Biden leading Trump by 14 percent nationally and by 11 percent in Michigan and Wisconsin, ten percent in Pennsylvania, seven percent in Arizona, nine percent in North Carolina and six percent in Florida.
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