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Friday, Nov 6 2015

National Republicans' Arkansas Worries Emblematic Of GOP's Larger 2016 Senate Challenges

Nov 06, 2015

A year out from election day, national Republicans already have at least half a dozen Republican incumbents in trouble. And the Senate map continues to grow. A new poll out this week shows Arkansas’ John Boozman with an approval rating of just 38%.


Alongside Boozman’s low poll numbers is his completely lackluster fundraising — and the combination has national Republicans nervous and sounding the alarm bells. 


CNN reports the NRSC has made it clear it’ll cut its losses if his campaign continues its downward slide:


The National Republican Senatorial Committee has also flatly warned Boozman that it will not spend a penny in Arkansas if he gets into trouble, according to several people familiar with the situation.


But for now, the Committee is roping in Mitch McConnell to help Boozman raise some money — and turning the screws on its donor network:


At a recent closed-door summit with party donors in Sea Island, Georgia, Ward Baker, the NRSC’s executive director, didn’t mince words about Boozman’s campaign. While Baker said Boozman is a “good man,” he added that his campaign has been slowly “trying to climb a mountain,” according to two people present. The message was clear: Republican donors need to help fill Boozman’s war chest.


The NRSC’s escalating anxiety in Arkansas is emblematic of the GOP’s larger problems with holding on to the Senate majority in 2016. Rising concerns in Arkansas, combined with vulnerable incumbents in Wisconsin, Ohio, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Missouri, and Illinois, as well as a hotly contested open seat in Florida, will invariably leave national Republicans with resources spread thin. The GOP can only put out so many fires at once — and they’re already cropping up left and right.

Published: Nov 6, 2015

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