May 6, 2020 |
Politico – Senate Republicans are settling on their pandemic message as they fight to save their majority: President Donald Trump did a tremendous job.
The coronavirus has killed more than 70,000 Americans, tanked the once-soaring U.S. economy and shows no signs of abating.
And Trump’s ineffective leadership is largely to blame, say Democrats who are growing optimistic they can seize the Senate after being relegated to the minority for six years.
But nearly all GOP senators running for reelection have decided there’s little utility in breaking with the president, particularly after seeing some fellow Republicans collapse at the ballot box with such a strategy.
And if the economy recovers and the virus dissipates by the fall, Republicans could benefit by sticking with Trump.
It’s the latest sign that Trump has nearly total control over his party.
And that Republicans see their own political fortunes tied to the president’s, amid a global pandemic that will dominate both the presidential race and the battle for the Senate over the next six months.
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), whose race could easily decide the Senate, said Americans won’t necessarily be voting with today’s drumbeat of 2,000 deaths a day and endless quarantines in mind.
He predicted by August everything will look different.
“We’ll be doing million and millions of tests, we’ll do the antibody tests, we’ll have good reports, I think, on the beginnings of economic progress,” Tillis said. “And I think all those things will benefit the president and they’ll benefit me.”
“Generally, I feel [Trump’s] done a very good job,” said GOP Sen. Joni Ernst, who faces a tough reelection race in Iowa. “He was right on it from day one prohibiting travel from certain countries and so forth. I think it was the right thing to do.”
“He exhibited tremendous leadership in this whole process, looking to people who are the experts and acting accordingly,” added Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), whose state is constantly eyed by Democrats as fertile ground … Read more.