Republicans have found success in Democratic strongholds such as Maryland and Massachusetts by fielding moderate candidates who can appeal to both parties’ supporters. Republicans believed that plan would pay dividends again this year, as Democrats face headwinds.
However, Republican voters have chosen former President Donald Trump supporters in numerous Democratic states, including Maryland and Connecticut, increasing the GOP’s chances of winning those general election battles. Next month, Republican voters in Massachusetts will choose between a Trump-backed conservative and a more moderate Republican for the party’s gubernatorial nomination.
“It can’t go on,” former Connecticut U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, a moderate Republican and Trump critic, said of the GOP’s preference for pro-Trump candidates. “One of the things that will happen is that many of the Trump primary candidates will lose the general election.” And there are a number of disgruntled Republicans in government who fear the Senate is in danger of becoming Democratic.”
Trump’s clout was on full display earlier this month, when his last-minute endorsement helped propel Leora Levy, a Republican National Committee member who opposes abortion rights, to victory over the party’s endorsed candidate, former House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, in a Republican U.S. Senate primary in Connecticut. Klarides believes in abortion rights and has stated that she will not vote for Trump in 2020.