A seven-page confidential memo written by National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Executive Director Ward Baker titled “Observations on Donald Trump and 2016” was leaked to the Washington Post Wednesday by an anonymous “high-ranking Republican”.
Dated Sept. 22, the memo details a strategy for 2016 GOP Senate candidates should Trump be nominated in July 2016 and highlights some of the reasons why the New York real estate billionaire is so popular with Republican voters.
“Trump is a misguided missile”, the memo begins in its “recommendations” section. “(He) says what’s on his mind and that’s a problem. Our candidates will have to spend full time defending him or condemning him if that continues.”
Despite inferring that Trump will be a handful for his own party, Baker writes that Congressional GOP candidates have something to learn from his success thus far in rallying alienated conservatives.
“Trump has risen because voters see him as authentic, independent, direct, firm – and believe he can’t be bought,” Baker wrote. “These are the same character traits our candidates should be advancing in 2016.”
He went on to point out, “The Trump phenomenon exists because Washington politicians promise change, but don’t deliver . . . (he) has been gaining Democrat adherents and he’s solidifying GOP cohorts who feel they’ve been totally ignored by the Washington Ruling Class.”
Baker also offered a historical comparison for Trump’s ostensibly unprecedented candidacy: in 1940, Republicans nominated a New York businessman named Wendell Willkie to their presidential ticket. Although considered a liberal, Willkie was a political outsider and received an enormous amount of attention from the media.
Despite running against a two-term president, Willkie lost in a landslide to Franklin Roosevelt who secured the White House for a third-term. (The final electoral vote count was 449–82).
24 Senate Republicans are up for reelection in 2016, and the conventional wisdom is that whichever party wins the White House will also gain control of the Senate. Currently, Republicans hold a slight majority in Congress’ upper-chamber, 54–46.
According to the Washington Post, the most likely GOP senators to lose their seats next November include Pat Toomey (Pa.), Kelly Ayote (N.H.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Ron Johnson (Wis.), and Mark Kirk (Ill.).
GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio of Florida, whose Senate term also expires in 2016, will not seek reelection.
[Washington Post] [270towin.com]