Thursday, July 7, 2016

DCCC Links McSally and Other House Republicans to Trump in Early Air War Sortie

Posted By on Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 4:25 PM

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has launched a new nationwide ad buy targeting Republican House members who haven't disavowed presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.

The ad will be running both in the Phoenix market and here in Southern Arizona, where freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Martha McSally is seeking reelection in Congressional District 2. Right now, former state lawmakers Matt Heinz and Victoria Steele are battling it out in the Democratic primary to see who will have the chance to face McSally.

While she captured the highly competitive CD2 by just 167 votes over Democratic incumbent Ron Barber in 2014, McSally is undeniably favored to win this year's race. A former A-10 pilot and squadron commander, she has been one of the loudest voices in the fight to save the Warthog and the jobs it brings to Southern Arizona. She's worked with local officials on efforts such as reversing plans to shut down Tucson's mail-processing operation. She's a rising GOP star in D.C. who regularly lands spots on the cable news nets.

We'll see where Heinz and Steele are on the fundraising front later this month, but neither one has come close to keeping pace with McSally, who remains one of the best fundraisers in the country. 

To sum it up: Few people are betting on McSally losing in November. Nonetheless, the DCCC's willingness to dump money into the region with this buy shows that Democrats aren't completely writing off CD2. Sure, the ads also benefit Democrat Tom O'Halleran in his race for the open and competitive seat in Congressional District 1, but Dems are holding out hope that in the Year of Trump, the national mood might just bring a wave powerful enough to sink even McSally.

McSally herself has continued to keep her distance from Trump. As she often does when facing tough political choices, McSally has neither denounced nor endorsed Trump. Instead, she's said that she needs more time to measure his character, which was certainly on display in DC today.

Republicans have basically four ways of dealing with Trump—and all of them have negative consequences in one way or another. They can go #NeverTrump and outright denounce him, as Jeb and Mitt—who aren't so concerned about having a political future—have done. They can withhold their support, as Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake has done. They can embrace him, even reluctantly, as Arizona Sen. John McCain has done as he seeks to tamp down yet another challenge from the right in this year's GOP primary. Or they can do like McSally and just kind of pretend he's not out there, saying all these crazy things.

But until or unless McSally denounces Trump, expect Democrats to  connect her to his every outrage with spots like these, featuring #NeverTrump Republicans like these:

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