Senators who are up for reelection in 2016 are preparing for unpredictable elections next year. Despite following the typical playbook in swing states, the senators watched as Donald Trump swooped in and dominated the media. The terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino further caught the attention of Americans, who are becoming increasingly insecure. In addition to all of this, the House of Representatives’ most powerful Republican left the political scene suddenly and without warning.
Going into 2016, senators will be facing tough races as the presidential campaign will drown out their campaign efforts.
Republicans in the senate know that the key primary issue is defeating Hillary Clinton in the presidential election next year. Results for senate elections are often tied to the presidential vote, but senators have no control over the nominating process’s outcome.
Senate Republican operatives are taking steps to prepare for every possible outcome. Memos have been prepared by the National Republican Senatorial Committee that outline strategies for running with every potential presidential nominee.
Trump, the current front runner and headline-grabber, has Senate Republicans concerned, and Senate Democrats bullish on taking the GOP in 2016.
In 2014, Republicans seized each major issue, sending five Democrats packing and claiming four open seats. But the national headwinds are sure to be stronger in 2016, and senators will be preparing aggressively for that day.