Dem Senate Candidates Rush To Tie GOP Opponents To Donald Trump

AP
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As Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee with a decisive win in the Indiana primary, Democratic candidates in a handful of tough races quickly linked their Republican opponents to Trump.

With Trump at the top of the ticket in November, close Senate races could become even tougher for Republicans, and the real estate mogul’s candidacy could put additional states into play, like Arizona and Iowa.

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland’s (D) campaign on Tuesday night issued a short statement taunting incumbent Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) over the prospect of running with Trump at the top of the ticket.

“Here are the 5 words that are striking fear into Senator Rob Portman: presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump,” Strickland spokesman David Bergstein said in a statement.

Katie McGinty, the Democrat running against Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), published a series of tweets on Tuesday night tying Toomey to Trump.

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan’s (D) campaign issued a Tuesday evening statement noting that Ayotte has said she will back the eventual nominee. Ayotte’s campaign on Wednesday morning confirmed that the Republican senator will support Trump if he wins the nomination.

“Kelly Ayotte has repeatedly said that she’ll put her political party first by supporting Donald Trump if he is the nominee, and now it is time for Ayotte to just do what she’s been preparing to do for weeks and make her support for Trump official,” Hassan spokesman Aaron Jacobs said in a statement.

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), who is challenging Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), noted on Tuesday night that McCain has said he’ll support the nominee.

Conner Eldridge, the Democrat challenging Sen. John Boozman (R-AR), on Wednesday morning called on the Republican senator to denounce Trump and his comments about women.

“I have one simple question for Sen. Boozman, and it’s the easiest softball he will get all election season: Do you still support Donald Trump as the Republican nominee after witnessing his reprehensible treatment of women?” Eldridge asked in a written statement. “My opponent’s silence speaks volumes. Boozman’s refusal to tell the people of Arkansas where he stands on this issue is a disqualification for the office of U.S. Senator. Once again, I call on Sen. Boozman to denounce Trump and his anti-women slurs.”

Rep. Tammy Duckworth’s (R-IL) campaign against Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) noted that Kirk has said he would back Trump if he’s the eventual nominee in a Wednesday morning statement.

“On his first day as the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump can already count on Mark Kirk’s support for President. For very good reasons, a Trump presidency is unthinkable to most Illinois voters, but not Mark Kirk. The amazing thing is that Trump apparently didn’t even have to ask, because Kirk is more loyal to the Republican Party than he is to Illinois values,” Duckworth spokesman Matt McGrath said in a statement.

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