Skubick: What is the Trump factor in November elections?

Michigan

Both political parties are trying to figure out what impact President Donald Trump will have on the fall elections.

President Trump is not on the ballot in Michigan but everything he does is a potential X factor in statewide and legislative races this fall.

For example, the president’s latest controversial handling of the death of Senator John McCain has some Republicans running for office worried about veteran blow-back from that that could hurt them.

As one House Republican put it, this stuff is beginning to pile up.

Republicans have nothing to worry about when the vice president comes to Michigan as he is today for U.S. Senate candidate John James.

But Democrats are elated to have the president come to Michigan, which he is expected to do.

East Lansing senator Curtis Hertel, Jr., who is running the Democratic campaign for the state Senate, says, “The president is helping us more than them.”

Mr. Hertel reports there are 13 seats in the state Senate, all held by Republicans, and the internal polling data suggests that Mr. Trump does not get 50 percent support in any of those districts.

To underscore the Trump problem in some districts, part of the reason Republican candidate for governor Bill Schuette selected west Michigan running mate Lisa Lyons is because Mr. Trump is weak in Kent county where she is presumed to be strong.

Republican senator Mike Kowall  ran unsuccessfully for Congress and he says the president is an issue with some Oakland County voters and when he was passing out literature that did not mention Mr. Trump by name he says one voter said, “I’m voting for you.”

On the other hand,  hooking your wagon to the president is a winner in some sections of the state, especially up north where he remains popular.

While Mr. Schuette shows no signs of downplaying his Trump endorsement,  Republican candidate for attorney general Tom Leonard was asked for his positions on some of Mr. Trump’s policies and he quickly said,  “I’m staying focused on state issues.”
 

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