Trump could sink vulnerable Senate Republicans even in states he manages to win
Donald Trump's parting gift to vulnerable Senate Republicans is that he appears to be a drag on them with both his most loyal supporters and the swing voters they need to win their reelection bids.
In several of the most crucial Senate races, Trump is running ahead of his Senate GOP counterparts. In some cases, Trump might even win the state while the corresponding Senate Republican loses their race. In others, they both appear poised to lose the state but the Senate Republican could suffer a bigger defeat.
What this suggests is that Trump's wild support among MAGA enthusiasts isn't making the 1-to-1 transfer to his Senate colleagues—meaning their blind loyalty to Trump hasn't paid the dividends they anticipated. At the same time, Senate Republicans' studied obsequiousness to Trump has hobbled their chances of winning enough moderate and independent voters to be assured they can prevail in their reelection bids.
In North Carolina, for instance, Trump and GOP Sen. Thom Tillis are both losing to their Democratic rivals according to polling composites, but Tillis is running behind Trump. According to Washington Post aggregates of the races, Trump has 45% support to Tillis' 41%.
In Georgia, the Post has Trump running slightly ahead of Joe Biden, 48% to 46%, but Sen. David Perdue only garners 46% support. It's worth noting the some aggregates show Biden just slightly ahead or virtually tied. But more crucially to Sen. Perdue, if he can't clear the 50% threshold in the state, he'll be forced into a two-way runoff with Democrat Jon Ossoff.
South Carolina's Senate race is wild and GOP incumbent Senator Lindsey Graham is still favored to win reelection, though Democrat Jamie Harrison has made a real race of it. But in last week's New York Times/Siena poll, for instance, Trump enjoyed a "very favorable" rating among 79% of GOP voters while only 54% said the same of Graham. The survey also showed Trump up by 8 points, while Graham was winning by 6 points.
In Iowa, polls show a dead heat between Trump and Biden in the presidential race but incumbent Senator Joni Ernst is fairing worse against her Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield. The Post aggregates have Trump winning 46% of voters to Ernst's 44% of voters.
It's kind of beautiful, when you think about it. After Senate Republicans built Trump into a monster by underwriting every abhorrent thing he's done and then acquitting him of all wrongdoing to boot, they're getting punished for selling out America on both sides of the electoral equation.