by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
After failing to recruit a viable alternative to Donald Trump and already missing deadlines to register an independent candidate for president in states like Texas, the door has officially closed for the Never Trump crowd. Now, instead of enabling Hillary Clinton by attacking the presumptive Republican nominee, it is time for Never Trump to focus its attention and resources on keeping the Senate.
If Republican donors and voters do not like Donald Trump, they should want control of Congress to serve as a check on his potential presidency. They should also want a Republican Congress to work alongside Donald Trump on critical issues like repealing Obamacare, rolling back job-killing regulations and enacting pro-growth policies to revive our struggling economy. With Republicans defending 24 Senate seats, seven in states President Obama won in 2008 and 2012, there is plenty of work to be done.
The University of Virginia’s Institute of Politics’ Larry Sabato has ranked states Republicans are defending like Florida, Illinois, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as either a “Toss Up” or “Lean Democratic.” There are also potential pick up opportunities for Republicans in states like Colorado and Nevada, and Sen. Chuck Grassley appears to be favored for reelection in Iowa. The Democratic Party needs to gain only four or five seats, depending on the outcome of the presidential election, to take back control of the Senate. That means the Republican Party has some serious work to do. But it can be done.