The political field is laden with tales of the Republican party being split as we begin 2018. It all started with the GOP Presidential primary in 2016 with Trump going from underdog to White House victor.
Just last week, two very different Republicans have been making the news about entering races for the United States Senate. On one side, U.S. Representative Jim Renacci is shifting from running for governor of Ohio to the U.S. Senate under the urging and stamp of approval from President Trump.
On the other side, Gary Emineth in North Dakota, a long time anti-Trumper, began receiving buzz about considering a run for U.S. Senate after Kevin Cramer announced he would be pursuing reelection to the House of Representatives.
— David Catanese (@davecatanese) January 18, 2018
For Gary Emineth, who sided and led the efforts of ‘Never Trumpers’ for North Dakota at the Republican National Convention to block Trump’s convention nomination in 2016, he is betting the house on the notion that North Dakota Republicans are not happy with how President Trump’s administration has fared in its first year.
Emineth’s role in the ‘Never Trump’ push at the RNC will certainly lead to some interesting conversations in North Dakota, which Trump won by a margin of 36 points. Also, when the anti-Trump push failed at the Convention, Emineth publicly resigned from his RNC finance post.
Similar Republicans who have vocally opposed the President, like Senator Jeff Flake from Arizona, have read the country’s sentiment differently than Emineth and decided not to run for re-election. In Arizona, Kelli Ward, Flake’s primary opponent, is a loyal Trump supporter — helping to knock Flake out of the race early on.
Or even Senator Dean Heller from Nevada who is vying for his re-election in a tough primary against political outsider and businessman Danny Tarkanian — where polls have shown Tarkanian already putting up a competitive fight. Heller has been critical of Trump and is now struggling to hold his Senate seat after being called out by the President for his opposition to repeal Obamacare.
U.S. Representative Jim Renacci, on the contrary to the Never Trump crowd, is counting on the support of the President to tilt the scales in his favor.
When President @realDonaldTrump asks you to run — you do it.
That’s why I am proud to announce that I am running for the United States Senate!
— Jim Renacci (@JimRenacci) January 11, 2018
There’s something to be said here for potential candidates who have the support of the White House or have been vocally anti-Trump — the President can make or break a victory with a Tweet.