Republicans up for reelection fear daylight with Trump

3/16/19
Senate Republicans who are up for reelection next year are sticking as close to President Trump as possible, especially on his signature issue of illegal immigration and border security. Even as some Senate Republicans broke with Trump over his emergency declaration to build a wall on the Mexican border, most of those running for reelection next year backed Trump — a sign of their fear of Trump-fueled primary opponents. Only one of the 12 Republicans who voted on Thursday for a Democratic-backed resolution overturning Trump’s emergency declaration is up for reelection next year: Sen. Susan Collins (R), who has a well-established reputation in Maine as an independent. Republicans running in other swing states who arguably might have benefited from distancing themselves from Trump, such as Sens. Cory Gardner (Colo.), Martha McSally (Ariz.) and Thom Tillis (N.C.), stuck with him. The tone was set early by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The GOP leader, who is up for reelection, endorsed Trump’s national emergency declaration last month despite initially warning Trump against the move, according a Feb. 1 Washington Post report. GOP strategists said Republicans have little choice given the potency of the issue of border security with Trump’s base.
Forcing a Senate vote on Trumps "national emergency" will come in handy during the 2020 election cycle. The support of Trumps core base regarding vanity wall funding, the totally unnecessary government shutdown, and Trumps ersatz national emergency declaration are not shared by the majority of Americans. Defeating Trump in 2020 is only part of the battle. The Senate composition must also be altered if meaningful political change is to occur.