Trump is Gambling with His Political Future in Ohio and Pennsylvania

Published April 18, 2018

Washington Post

Former president Donald Trump’s last-minute endorsements in the crowded Ohio and Pennsylvania Republican Senate primaries are gambles to show he can still drive underdogs to victory. Trump’s immediate political future now likely turns on whether those bets pay off.

Trump’s status as the GOP’s kingmaker already stands on shaky ground. His first endorsee in the Pennsylvania Senate race, Sean Parnell, dropped out after his estranged wife accused him of spousal and child abuse (which Parnell denies). And Trump’s pick in the Alabama Senate race, Rep. Mo Brooks, started in first place but gradually sank to third in the polls as he failed to keep up with two big-spending foes. Trump then withdrew his endorsement, apparently attempting to avoid defeat by abandoning ship. Savvy politicos nonetheless took note: Trump could command, but the GOP tides might not listen.

Click here to continue reading on the Washington Post’s website.

Henry Olsen is a Washington Post columnist and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Photo by Matthew Bornhorst on Unsplash

Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.

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