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ICYMI: GOP’s stormy 2024 outlook [Axios]

New reporting from Axios highlights how Senate Republicans are already “concerned” about their candidate quality and are in a “lose-lose situation” when it comes to backing Trump as their intra-party fights escalate in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT 

Axios: GOP’s stormy 2024 outlook

By Josh Kraushaar

April 9, 2023

  • Some Republicans already are concerned that far-right candidates could hurt the GOP’s prospects against vulnerable Democratic incumbents.
  • Swing-state Republican Senate contenders have avoided weighing in on Trump, knowing it’s a lose-lose situation. If they distance themselves from Trump, it hurts them in a Republican primary. But tie themselves too closely to the former president, and they’ll shed independents.
  • In Ohio, two potential Republican Senate candidates are clashing over Trump. After Trump’s indictment, businessman Bernie Moreno tweeted: “It’s time [for] all Republicans to coalesce around President Trump, especially those that just got elected to serve four years in office for a different and important position.”
  • That was seen as a shot at Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, who said in February: “When it comes to who’s going to be my party’s standard-bearer in 2024 … it’s not something I’m going to weigh in on anytime soon.”
  • Asked last month whether he’d support Trump in the primary, potential Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dave McCormick said: “I’m excited about the primary. There appears to be a number of great people that are going to jump into the arena, and I have not made a decision to support anybody.”
  • He faces a possible primary challenge by Doug Mastriano, who badly lost last year’s governor’s race with a right-wing message and Trump’s backing.
  • “These moderate types, they can’t win either the primary or general election without the grassroots of Pennsylvania. And right now, they don’t have them,” Mastriano said this week. (Mastriano’s extreme message led to a landslide 15-point defeat in swing-state Pennsylvania.)

Read more: Axios: Senate GOP’s 2024 landmines; The Cook Political Report: The Looming Senate GOP Primary Wars; POLITICO: Playbook: The GOP faces its ‘candidate quality’ issues.

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