ASSOCIATED PRESS: GOP worries Trump’s divisive June imperils Senate control

Tuesday, July 7, 2020 - 2:45pm

President Donald Trump’s June began with his Bible-clutching photo op outside a church after authorities used chemicals and batons to scatter peaceful demonstrators. It never got less jarring or divisive.

By month’s end, he was downplaying a coronavirus pandemic upsurge that was forcing Western and Southern states to throttle back their partial reopening of businesses. And Republican strategists already straining to retain Senate control in November’s elections were conceding that Trump’s performance could make it harder to defend their majority.

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Scott Reed, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s senior political strategist, said Trump has enunciated “zero” about his second-term agenda and should correct that. He said he believes independent swing voters abandoning Trump will be willing to back GOP Senate candidates and expressed cautious optimism.

“It’s going to be tough” to hold the Senate, Reed said. “Republicans are playing defense across the board, but they’re good defensive players.”

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