Elections

Trump's Message Clashes With GOP's Most Endangered Governor

October 24, 2016

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is desperate to talk about his economic achievements after a year mired in contentious debate over social issues, including the state’s transgender “bathroom law.”

The only problem? Donald Trump keeps coming to town and telling voters how terrible the economy is.

It’s the most glaring example this year of the disconnect between Trump’s apocalyptic rhetoric and the message of achievement that many Republican incumbents are trying to use to win reelection. It has been known to happen before — there was reportedly friction between affable Mitt Romney’s campaign and some recovery-touting GOP governors in 2012. But the gap between McCrory’s “Carolina Comeback” theme and Trump’s doom-and-gloom assessments yawns particularly wide, as McCrory faces the toughest reelection challenge of any governor in the country in 2016.

“It’s always tricky when you’ve got a governor running on a positive record of accomplishment and then to have the national political environment be so negative,” said Robert Blizzard, a Republican pollster. “Voters hear mixed messages from members of the same party, and all that serves to do is confuse voters. That problem is just further exacerbated this cycle by Trump."

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