Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is privately warning Republicans that Donald Trump could cost Republicans control of the House.
Buried in a New York Times story was this little nugget:
At a recent conference of Republican donors, Paul D. Ryan, the speaker of the House, warned that even the party’s substantial majority in that chamber might be in jeopardy.
“The conclusion has become that the guy is incorrigible,” said Thomas M. Davis III, a former House member from Virginia who is still close to many of the party’s leaders. “He’s going to leave our candidates with no choice but to go their own separate way.”
There is no unity down ballot. Republican House incumbents don’t have a popular nominee to come into their districts and campaign with them. With all of the attention being on Trump’s endless series of negative headlines, Republicans are caught in a bad publicity machine.
House Republicans aren’t going to have any help in their bids for reelection. What they do have is an unpopular presidential nominee who could drag them all down with him if he loses. There is no message for incumbents to run on. House Republicans are in a position where many of them are going to have to run away from their party’s presidential nominee.
It would take an epic landslide for Democrats to take back the House.
What Speaker Ryan is dreading is an election where Republicans lose a double digit amount of House seats, and Ryan is left with a smaller House majority that is made up of the far right Republicans that reside in districts that supported Trump.
Paul Ryan could find himself in an even worse situation than John Boehner experienced. Ryan could be facing a Democratic White House and Senate, but he may be stuck with a small majority that will be torn apart by their differences. It might be easier for Ryan to lose the House to Democrats than to try to govern with a tiny majority that will be deeply divided.
A Clinton landslide could cost Republicans the House, and even if it doesn’t, Trump’s candidacy could result in a lose-lose situation for Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association