We must be getting closer to Election Day, because it appears that the Cover Your Six phase has launched in the media, and among the parties themselves. Until now, Americans have watched a steady diet of polling showing Joe Biden with comfortable leads over Donald Trump, if not historically massive leads. Insider accounts based on anonymous White House and Team Trump sources talk about nothing but despair.
Even in down-ballot races, such as the Senate, the perspective is on disaster prep for the GOP, such as today’s Washington Post report. However, there’s one interesting nugget in the otherwise Trump-albatross narrative, emphasis mine:
In competitive Senate races across the country, including states where Trump remains popular, Republican incumbents are facing a conundrum: how to prove their pro-Trump bona fides to a MAGA movement that sees many longtime Republicans as insufficiently pure while stopping the hemorrhaging among suburban moderates who wonder why they have enabled the president.
The result for Ernst and as many as a half-dozen of her GOP colleagues may be the worst of both worlds, in which they risk alienating energized Trump backers if they criticize the president but then, if they stick with him, lose some centrist voters who have soured on Trump and are open to voting for a Democrat.
Several of these Republicans are losing, or clinging to narrow leads, but almost all of them are performing just slightly worse than Trump when looking at averages of polls dating back to Sept. 20 that measure support for both Senate and presidential races. How each candidate navigates the dynamic over the next two weeks could determine whether the Republicans hold onto the 53-47 majority that has, among other things, served as a critical defender of the Trump presidency and helped transform the nation’s federal courts into a far more conservative branch of government.