Via NRO, this isn’t the first anti-Trump ad to run this year on behalf of a vulnerable House Republican. Mike Coffman of Colorado was way ahead of the curve, distancing himself from Trump in a spot in early August. It is, however, the first anti-Trump ad to be produced by the NRCC, an arm of the House Republican caucus. Why are they bailing on Trump now? Simple: Bob Dold’s district in Illinois is one of the bluest in the country to have a Republican representing it in Congress. Coffman’s district in Colorado tilts Democratic by one point and has a significant Latino minority, which may explain why he was eager to run away from Trump early. By comparison, Dold’s district has a similarly-sized Latino minority — but his tilts Democratic by eight points. He’s in deep trouble in a state Trump will lose easily and a district that will break even more heavily for Clinton. Solution: This ad, which mentions the word “independent” twice but conveniently never mentions the words “Democrat,” “Republican,” or “Clinton.” If you believe an NRCC poll taken earlier this month, Dold is up seven points in the district. (A Democratic poll claims his opponent is up five.) If Dold holds his seat and the GOP holds the Senate, it’ll prove conclusively that despite all the hype about how awful Clinton and Trump are, the Democrats’ congressional candidates collectively are the biggest pile of political garbage in this election.
Speaking of which, via WaPo, here’s what Team Rubio’s been doing lately to their own lame Democratic challenger, Patrick Murphy:
— Joe Pounder (@PounderFile) October 25, 2016
That’s less about tarring Murphy with Trump than getting him to back off a bit on tarring Rubio with his own support for the nominee. Murphy’s attacks haven’t sunk Rubio, though, partly because Trump’s hanging in there in Florida. If his campaign had gone sideways in that state and ended up as a Clinton blowout, not only would Trump’s political career be over, Rubio’s would be too as the blue wave washed him away. The fact that it’s competitive ironically means that Trump will likely end up helping “little Marco” fight on to 2020.
It would be hilarious if Trump got wind of this spot and then attacked Dold over it at a rally — whereupon the NRCC would quickly cut the footage of that attack into a second ad and start running that in Dold’s district. Exit question: Which Democratic district will be the next to feature a GOP-backed anti-Trump spot? How about, er, Orange County?