Vulnerable GOP Sen. Predicts Trump Will Help Republicans Down Ballot

Senate subcommittee on Investigations member Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., questions witnesses during the subcommittee's hearing on “adequacy of the Department of Health and Human Services’ efforts to protect unaccompanied alien children from human trafficking,” Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who is locked in a tough re-election race against former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), told CNN in an interview published Monday that if Donald Trump wins the Republican presidential nomination, he will help other Republicans up for re-election.

Johnson told CNN he thought that Trump would help bring Republican voters to the polls.

“Certainly as I travel the state extensively, I hear a lot of support because what
Donald Trump is saying resonates with an awful lot of people when it comes to the incompetence of Washington, D.C.” he said.

“From what I’ve heard, Trump is running very strong up in the Northwest (part
of the state)… that should also help me a bit too,” Johnson added.

When asked whether he would campaign with the real estate mogul, Johnson replied, “Stump with Trump? … Just because it rhymes: It’d be the Ronald (and) the Donald.”

Though Johnson seems happy to embrace Trump, at least one analysis shows that the real estate mogul’s candidacy would hurt congressional Republicans. According to an analysis from Cook Political Report released earlier this month, the nomination of either Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) could hurt several members of Congress up for re-election. Cook Political Report moved ten House races to favoring Democrats, citing the potential for either Trump or Cruz to become the nominee.

Johnson also told CNN he thought Senate Republicans’ hard line against considering President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee would help his re-election chances.

“Our supporters do not want to see the Supreme Court flipped from five conservatives — to four liberal judicial activists,” he said. “This judge is pretty — he’s got a proven record of being pretty hostile to Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. That’s kind of important in the state of Wisconsin. So I think in general if anything it will probably be to my benefit.”

The Wisconsin senator’s approach appears to differ from that of other vulnerable Republicans like Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), who has said that the Senate should consider and vote on Obama’s nominee.

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