POLITICO interviewed a half-dozen lawmakers in tough reelection races, ones who have perhaps the most to fear about Trump as their general election standard-bearer.
Their plan, in a word, is to ignore him. Disregard the racket in the presidential race and keep it local. Whether voters will do the same is another matter, but they're playing the hand they've been dealt.
Few of the Republican lawmakers were comfortable discussing Trump. Some wouldn't utter his name.
“I’m focusing on the 10th District in Illinois and really focusing on trying to come up with the solutions that are out there,” said Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.), who won his seat in 2010, lost it two years later, then won it back in 2014. His race this year is rated a pure toss-up. “Honestly, I’m focused on one race. I’m focused on one race alone.”
[Carlos] Curbelo [R-FL] has blasted Trump for his comments about immigrants and Muslims, and vowed not to vote for the business mogul if he wins the nomination.
Still, the Trump caucus on the Hill is notably small for a candidate this far ahead in the delegate count. Four lawmakers, Chris Collins of New York, Duncan Hunter of California, Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee and Tom Marino of Pennsylvania, were early Trump backers. More recently, Reps. Tom Reed of New York and Renee Ellmers of North Carolina, as well as Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, have announced their support for him.