From ‘perfect storm’ to ‘a tsunami’: Cook Political Report expert details how Trump is dragging down Senate Republicans
Cook Political Report expert Jessica Taylor explained to MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle that President Donald Trump is such a drag on the ticket that all of the mistakes Republican senators have made are proving to be damaging to their November chances.
Taylor noted that the Senate seats in Minnesota and New Mexico were moved to the “safe” category. However, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and appointed Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) have been moved from “leaning Republican” to being a “toss-up.”
Loeffler has waged a war against the WNBA saying that Black players and their allies have no business participating in the nationwide effort Black Lives Matter. Loeffler claimed the movement threatens “to destroy” America. It generally isn’t a smart political move to alienate a huge number of your state ahead of an election, but Loeffler was already on thin ice after being accused of insider trading because she dumped stocks shortly after a closed-door meeting about the coronavirus. She then called it “socialist” to criticize her. Senate Republicans have dropped the ethics investigation as has Trump’s Justice Department, meaning a new Justice Department could relaunch the investigation if Trump loses in November. She’s already loaned her campaign $10 million, desperately trying to beat Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) and two Democratic opponents she is trailing.
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) is in a difficult position after making it clear she didn’t take Trump’s impeachment seriously. She was then caught on tape saying she wanted to kill Medicare. But on the ground, Ernst keeps failing at very basic campaigning. The Iowa Starting Line explained went down in flames during an interview where she was asked basic questions about policies and political goals.
“The most newsworthy moment that came from the taping with a trio of top Iowa reporters was Ernst admitting that she would back a lame-duck Supreme Court nomination at the end of this year, even if President Donald Trump was defeated and even if Senate Republicans lost their majority,” the site wrote.
It flies in the face of what Ernst said in 2016 when she argued, “We must wait to see what the people say this November.” But it wasn’t the position, the site said, that was terrible so much as her excuse for it.
The Joni Ernst SCOTUS comments are much more stunning in the actual video. Watch the 2 minutes. Ernst's reasoning f… https://t.co/q9peBnjAkp— Iowa Starting Line (@Iowa Starting Line)1595024765.0
It only added to an “inept” description of her health care position, “or lack thereof,” the site explained.
“So, what has happened over the past year and increasingly over the past four months since this pandemic began is that Democrats have expanded the map by putting states like that in play along with Montana, and we now have six seats that are in our tossup category, Colorado, North Carolina, Maine, Iowa, Georgia and Montana,” Taylor told Ruhle. “And then we also see Martha McSally there in Arizona, who was appointed to the seat, she lost on the election, just two years ago, for the seat, and her numbers have not improved there. She is losing consistently to Mark Kelly, a former astronaut, husband of Gabrielle Giffords and that’s a seat in play at the presidential level. These states are just racking up for possibilities for Democrats. And at this point, there are multiple paths to the three seats that they need and that I think of it as four seats probably that they’re going to need, because the most vulnerable incumbent is Doug Jones in Alabama, and we project that one as a probable loss for Democrats, but everywhere else they are playing offense where Republicans are very much on defense.”
She explained it is a combination of things that are leading Democrats to victory.
“Four months ago one Republican strategist said to me this was sort of the perfect storm against them,” Taylor recalled. “Now it is becoming a perfect tsunami that could really wipe out the Senate and Republicans increasingly see this as their last firewall. If the polls stand and Joe Biden defeats President Trump, we at the Cook Political Report, my colleague Dave Wasserman believes that Democrats could possibly grow the House majority they won back last cycle, then this Senate would be the last sort of remaining piece that would stop Democrats from having unified control and I think that’s a message we will increasingly hear them say.”
She noted that it’s clear Trump hasn’t handled any of the crises well and his poll numbers are dragging GOP incumbents down in many states.
See the full interview below: