Facing anti-washington winds, senate democrats point to home gaston yla agrupacion santa fe

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The Democrats seeking re-election this fall in states Republican Donald Trump carried — the battlefront in the fight for Senate control —are portraying themselves as independent actors and known entities in hopes of inoculating themselves against Republican accusations that they are lockstep obstructionists to Trump’s agenda.

“All of these Democrats have gotten elected in red states, which by definition means they have a brand at least somewhat independent of the national Democratic Party,” said Republican pollster Whit Ayres, who is advising a group that supports Republican Senate candidates. “We’ll see whether those brands can withstand an even more partisan time than when they were first elected.”

In West Virginia and Indiana, Republican primary voters turned down U.S. House members’ bids for the Senate, keeping the pressure on Manchin and Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly, who might have been able to attack an incumbent congressman’s record during the campaign. Instead, they’re facing outsiders with no federal record at a time when national polls show 80 percent of the public disapproves of the job Congress is doing.

Manchin goes so far as to say “Washington sucks” in a recent ad. “For me, it’s always about West Virginia,” Manchin says, wearing blue jeans and standing near the monument to a 1968 West Virginia coal mine disaster that killed 78 miners, including Manchin’s uncle.

“What we’re seeing in these early ads is an effort to localize and personalize these candidates — to put distance between them and Washington,” said Steven Law, who heads Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s super PAC Senate Leadership Fund. “In effect, they’re saying: ‘I’m like you. I’m not part of the D.C. mess.’”

Trump took on Donnelly during a campaign-style rally Thursday night in Elkhart, Indiana, calling him “Sleepin’ Joe” and a “swamp person.” He said Democrats like Donnelly will say one thing at home “and then they go to Washington and vote for the radical, liberal agenda. It never, ever fails. You know there’s about 12 of ’em. You think you have their vote. And they talk a good game. But they always raise their hand for the radical left of Nancy Pelosi. Always. “

Manchin said Wednesday he would vote for Trump’s nominee to lead the CIA, Gina Haspel, despite widespread opposition among Democrats. The day before, he said he backs Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement as long as the president pursues “a better deal.”

McCaskill isn’t so friendly with Trump. But she recently chided Hillary Clinton after the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee said she topped Trump in “the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward.” Said McCaskill, “For those of us that are in states that Trump won, we would really appreciate if she would be more careful and show respect to every American voter and not just the ones who voted for her.”

Though the Democratic incumbents are trying to explain their votes as fiscally responsible and necessary to protect Social Security and Medicare, a steady stream of messages pounding at the tax cut opposition and other party-line votes can chip away at a personal brand over time, strategists and pollsters in both parties said.

“All of these Democrats have gotten elected in red states, which by definition means they have a brand at least somewhat independent of the national Democratic Party,” said Republican pollster Whit Ayres, who is advising a group that supports Republican Senate candidates. “We’ll see whether those brands can withstand an even more partisan time than when they were first elected.”

In West Virginia and Indiana, Republican primary voters turned down U.S. House members’ bids for the Senate, keeping the pressure on Manchin and Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly, who might have been able to attack an incumbent congressman’s record during the campaign. Instead, they’re facing outsiders with no federal record at a time when national polls show 80 percent of the public disapproves of the job Congress is doing.

Manchin goes so far as to say “Washington sucks” in a recent ad. “For me, it’s always about West Virginia,” Manchin says, wearing blue jeans and standing near the monument to a 1968 West Virginia coal mine disaster that killed 78 miners, including Manchin’s uncle.

“What we’re seeing in these early ads is an effort to localize and personalize these candidates — to put distance between them and Washington,” said Steven Law, who heads Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s super PAC Senate Leadership Fund. “In effect, they’re saying: ‘I’m like you. I’m not part of the D.C. mess.’”

Trump took on Donnelly during a campaign-style rally Thursday night in Elkhart, Indiana, calling him “Sleepin’ Joe” and a “swamp person.” He said Democrats like Donnelly will say one thing at home “and then they go to Washington and vote for the radical, liberal agenda. It never, ever fails. You know there’s about 12 of ‘em. You think you have their vote. And they talk a good game. But they always raise their hand for the radical left of Nancy Pelosi. Always. “

Manchin said Wednesday he would vote for Trump’s nominee to lead the CIA, Gina Haspel, despite widespread opposition among Democrats. The day before, he said he backs Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement as long as the president pursues “a better deal.”

McCaskill isn’t so friendly with Trump. But she recently chided Hillary Clinton after the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee said she topped Trump in “the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward.” Said McCaskill, “For those of us that are in states that Trump won, we would really appreciate if she would be more careful and show respect to every American voter and not just the ones who voted for her.”

Though the Democratic incumbents are trying to explain their votes as fiscally responsible and necessary to protect Social Security and Medicare, a steady stream of messages pounding at the tax cut opposition and other party-line votes can chip away at a personal brand over time, strategists and pollsters in both parties said.