Trump running behind GOP Senate candidates in many key states

In this post, I expressed doubt that Donald Trump’s candidacy will have a significantly adverse effect on other Republicans running this year, unless Hillary Clinton wins by a landslide (which may happen). My post prompted a reader to send me some polls through which we can compare Trump’s standing in swing states with that of the Republican Senate candidates running in them.

Here are the RCP averages:

Trump -2.6
Portman +5.8

Trump -3.6
Rubio +4.3 (against his toughest potential opponent)

Trump -9.2
Toomey -2.6

Trump +0.3
McCain +5.5

Georgia (a potential swing state only because Trump is running)
Trump -0.3
Isakson +8.0

Trump -0.4
Grassley +7.6

Trump -2.3
Heck +0.3

New Hampshire
Trump -8.2
Ayotte -1.0

North Carolina
Trump -2.0
Burr +1.0

Trump -11.0
Glenn -12.2

Trump -9.4
Johnson -11.3

These polls don’t show the absence of a down ballot Trump effect. It’s possible that many of these Republicans Senate candidates would be faring better with a conventional Republican presidential nominee on the ballot (or an unconventional one who isn’t an embarrassment).

But at least the polls show that, with only a few exceptions, the polls in Senate races don’t track the presidential polls. That’s a good thing, given how pathetically Trump is performing.

Trump, naturally, complains that the polls are rigged. Some of his fans seem to believe this.

But polls in Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and North Carolina don’t appear to be rigged against the GOP candidates. Thus, we’re asked to believe that pollsters in these states are rigging their results against Trump but not the Republican Senate candidate. (Keep in mind that the most common way to influence poll outcomes is to use a skewed sample of respondents, and that pollsters typically use the same sample to poll both the Senate and the presidential race in a given state).

If you want to drink the rigged-polls Kool-Aid, be my guest. I doubt that, in real life, Trump is joining you.

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