Skubick: Would President Trump visits help or hurt Republican candidates?

Michigan

It appears that President Donald Trump will make two campaign visits in Michigan during the run-up to the November election.

But there’s a divided debate on whether Republicans should do this.

There is no middle political ground on President Trump.

Either you like him or you don’t but on this point both sides can agree, Donald Trump is one of the most polarizing presidents we have seen in modern times.

It is against that backdrop that Republican candidate for governor Bill Schuette has decided,  “I’m not running away” from the president even though some believe he should.

In Oakland County, where the president is very unpopular with female voters, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is advising Mr. Schuette to stick with the president.

Plus he adds, how can Mr. Schuette move away, given how strongly he has endorsed Mr. Trump.

Depending on where you take Mr. Trump, it can help or hurt.

In an Ohio congressional race, the president made a difference but this Republican consultant John Yob warns any trips to Michigan should be decided later on, not now.

“It’s going to be very difficult to have him come in,” says Yob. “In Ohio the president was a positive factor in one congressional race, but if you are Bill Schuette and you are still ten points down in the polls close to the election, the answer about bringing the president in is probably no.”

Democrats are seeing internal polling data that shows them within a couple of votes of taking control of the House and, in part, Donald Trump is a factor.  A source says in outstate Michigan there is some buyers remorse over voting for Mr. Trump but in Oakland County it’s anger, not remorse.

But former state Republican party chair Saul Anuzis believes Mr. Trump is a political plus and Bill Schuette should stick with the president.

Anuzis: “I don’t think donald trump is a liability. I think these culturally conservative working class Michigan independent voters are Trump voters.”

Reporter:  “Are there enough to elect Schuette governor?”

Anuzis: “Absolutely.”

Others strongly disagree.

Meanwhile Democratic Senator Curtis Hertel argues the more Mr. Trump visits Michigan, the more seats Democrats will win.

Donald Trump:  the great divider or the great uniter?  

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