At-risk Republicans — including those in battlegrounds such as Arizona, Colorado and Georgia — are calculating that a strong economy and an energized pro-Trump base will be enough to carry the party as it works to retain the White House and its Senate majority in 2020, according to interviews and private discussions with more than a dozen Republican senators, Senate aides and veteran strategists and officials.
More broadly, most Republicans have also largely jettisoned plans to break ranks with Trump to woo independents and suburban women, who turned on the party in 2018 and helped hand the House to the Democrats. This political positioning is driven in part by their view that Democrats are again poised to nominate a uniquely vulnerable presidential standard-bearer weighed down with ideological or establishment baggage.
“There’s nothing in the middle of the road other than dead possums and yellow lines,” said Will Ritter, co-founder of Poolhouse, a center-right ad agency. “Like no other president before, Republican voters want you to wrap yourself around Trump. There is no upside to doing any distancing.”