Democrats are making their most explicit bid yet to yoke vulnerable Republican senators to their party’s divisive presidential front-runner, unveiling a national campaign to paint the GOP as the “Party of Trump.”
A 90-second Web ad released Tuesday by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee features a greatest-hits reel of Donald Trump at his coarsest, bleepiest and most Trumpian interspersed with footage of various Senate Republicans and GOP Senate candidates pledging to support the party’s eventual nominee.
Trump leads in the Republican presidential delegate count, and most polls show him leading Florida and Ohio, the two biggest states voting Tuesday.
Featured in the ad are senators Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Richard Burr (N.C.), John McCain (Ariz.), Ron Johnson (Wisc.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Rob Portman (Ohio) and Patrick Toomey (Pa.) — all of whom are amid competitive re-election campaigns — as well as House members Joe Heck (Nev.), David Jolly (Fla.) and Ron DeSantis (Fla.), who are seeking Senate seats this year.
None have endorsed Trump, but none have said they will abandon him if he is nominated. An on-screen message says all are “running in lockstep with Donald Trump.”
The DSCC is promising a “sustained campaign” on the “Party of Trump” theme, starting with the web ad and a new website featuring a list of “ReTrumplicans,” and expanding to television, radio, and social media ads. The committee reported having $13.6 million in its coffers last month.
DSCC spokeswoman Lauren Passalacqua said in a statement that the candidates highlighted in the campaign “helped build the ‘Party of Trump’ by refusing to stand up to Donald Trump, and now these Senators and candidates are tied to the frontrunner’s toxic rhetoric and offensive comments.”
“Republicans know that Trump threatens their already fragile Senate majority, but they are unwilling and unable to do anything to stop the car from driving off the cliff with Trump at the wheel,” she said.