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ICYMI: GOP Senate Prospects In 2024 Battlegrounds Rush To Trump’s Defense [NBC News]

From Nora Keefe, DSCC spokesperson: “Donald Trump’s indictment is intensifying Senate Republicans’ nasty primary dynamics across the map — exacerbating their intra-party fighting and pushing GOP Senate candidates further away from the voters who will decide the general election.”

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NBC News: GOP Senate prospects in 2024 battlegrounds rush to Trump’s defense

A year after Trump inserted himself heavily into competitive Senate primaries — at times with disastrous results — potential candidates remain sensitive about alienating him.

By Henry J. Gomez

March 31, 2023

  • The indictment of former President Donald Trump was only hours old and details of the charges were not fully known. Nevertheless, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice unfurled his unwavering defense.

  • The performative gesture from Justice, who is weighing a bid for a Senate seat Republicans dream of flipping in 2024, also underscores the influence Trump continues to hold over the party. 

  • A year after Trump inserted himself heavily into competitive Senate primaries — in several cases elevating problematic nominees who went on to lose in winnable states — potential candidates remain sensitive about alienating the former president and the voters who look to him for guidance on down-ballot races.
  • “Candidates and elected officials quickly jumping to defend President Trump against the politically motivated prosecution proves that President Trump is still the most powerful voice and endorsement in the country,” Emily Moreno Miller, executive chair of the Cuyahoga County Republican Party in Ohio and a former Trump campaign aide, told NBC News.
  • In Ohio, where Republican Senate hopefuls in 2022 engaged in constant one-upmanship to impress Trump, those sizing up a run against Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in 2024 quickly went on record with words of support.
  • In other Senate battlegrounds, Republicans presented varying levels of fealty and rage. 

Read more: POLITICO: “GOP dances around Trump’s indictment;” ABC: “‘If he’s the nominee next year at this time, and the nominee despite three or four criminal indictments hanging over his head, absolutely that puts the entire map in jeopardy,’ said the strategist who worked on Senate campaigns.”

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