Donald Trump is the best Republicans have at mobilizing their base, but since he also mobilizes the Democratic base and turns off many independents, some Republicans in tough races don’t want him to rally for them. Trump’s advisers are in a tough spot, trying to work around Trump’s low popularity and his big ego as they schedule his events—“Mr. Trump’s desire to fill arenas often overrides the preference of the candidate he is ostensibly there to help,” the New York Times reports—and the White House is prepped to hold grudges:
The White House has very much taken notice of who has spurned Mr. Trump — Mr. Paulsen and Representative Kevin Yoder of Kansas are mentioned frequently by West Wing officials — and Mr. Stepien even went so far as to write a memo this month warning lawmakers that they would not fare well if they did not “boldly align” themselves with the president.
But that remains an open question in Florida, where Gov. Rick Scott, running for the Senate, has drawn notice in the White House for his willingness to appear with Mr. Trump at official events but refusal to stand with the president at his beloved rallies.
There’s one important thing to remember, though, about all of these Trump-dodging Republicans, from Scott to Rep. John Culberson and Kevin Yoder. They back Trump. They vote with Trump. They won’t seriously condemn Trump’s outrageous actions—at most, they’ll make disappointed noises about his worst abuses and go on voting to support his agenda. It’s just that they don’t want to remind voters of that fact.
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