Thursday, December 24, 2015

Presidential Battle Fuels Republican Worries Over Senate

Centrist Republicans are alarmed over the potential impact of nominating Donald Trump or Ted Cruz on efforts to retain seats

By Heather Haddon, WSJ
Updated Dec. 23, 2015 7:41 p.m. ET

MANCHESTER, N.H— Brian Dooley, a New Hampshire Republican, represents the GOP’s biggest fear: a voter who would rather stay home on Election Day than support the party’s current front-runners.

“It would give me pause. It’s like pick your poison,” said Mr. Dooley, a 57-year-old Nashua Republican activist, of the prospect of voting for businessman Donald Trump over leading Democratic contender Hillary Clinton.

The top of the ticket could have implications for turnout that affect the outcome of races further down the ballot, particularly on the GOP side.

Senate Republicans will defend 24 seats in November, with 10 of them in competitive states, according to political tracking services. State polls show New Hampshire’s Senate race is one of the tightest, with incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte facing Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan.

Voters in the swing state tend to be moderate, and some centrist Republicans have grown alarmed over the potential impact of nominating Mr. Trump or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

(More here.)

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