Back-to-back losses in key governors’ races send additional warning to Trump and GOP ahead of 2020
When Kentucky’s Republican governor lost his bid for reelection two weeks ago despite President Trump’s active endorsement, the president and his allies brushed it off by declaring that Trump had nearly dragged an unpopular incumbent across the finish line.
On Sunday, a day after another Trump-backed GOP gubernatorial candidate fell in Louisiana, the president and his surrogates barely mounted a defense.
In a barrage of 40 tweets and retweets by Sunday evening, Trump didn’t mention Eddie Rispone’s loss to incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), even though the president had held two campaign rallies in the state in the 10 days before the election aimed at boosting his chances....
For Trump, however, the back-to-back losses of GOP gubernatorial candidates in red Southern states is more than just a bad look. It’s a warning sign that the president’s strategy of focusing strictly on maintaining the strong support of his conservative base might not be enough to help fellow Republicans or even himself in 2020 amid the House Democrats’ impeachment probe that has imperiled his presidency....
Trump has cast a long shadow over the GOP, and his job approval ratings, which have hovered in the low 40s, have made it more difficult for Republicans. The party was routed in the 2018 midterm elections as Democrats regained control of the House for the first time since 2010. The GOP has been bleeding support in the suburbs, where Trump’s conduct has made him and the Republican brand increasingly unpopular.