September 15, 2018

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Cook Political Report: Primaries Left GOP With Weaker Nominees

Cook’s Jennifer Duffy: “Democrats generally nominated strong candidates while the same isn’t true for Republicans”

In case you missed it, Cook Political Analyst Jennifer Duffy wrote on the state of play for gubernatorial races as we emerge from the primary season.

And the top line? Republicans nominated weaker candidates. One big reason: Donald Trump.

Despite the efforts of the RGA, Donald Trump waded into a number of races, endorsing candidates who ended up defeating candidates who were “clearly stronger general election challengers.”

According to Duffy, “Democrats generally nominated strong candidates while the same isn’t true for Republicans.”

Read more of her analysis below:

September Governors Review

Thanks to August primaries in a handful of key races, all the pieces of this year’s gubernatorial puzzle are finally in place, and Republicans’ exposure to losses in November has increased.

Republicans were already battling the trends that batter the party in power in midterm elections, and now the GOP is must deal with President Trump’s flagging popularity in the Midwest, one of the party’s electoral strongholds.

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Finally, Republicans need to deal with the outcome of several primaries that failed to produce the strongest general election nominees. Both parties held crowded and often contentious primaries, but Democrats generally nominated strong candidates while the same isn’t true for Republicans. While national Republicans stayed out of primary contests, the same can’t be said for President Trump. Trump endorsed a number of candidates, who ended up defeating candidates who were clearly stronger general election challengers. As a result, Republican-leaning states like Georgia and Kansas are in the Toss Up column, while potential pick-up opportunities in Minnesota and Pennsylvania were lost.

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