A GOP Meltdown in Pennsylvania Threatens Trump's Reelection Prospects

December 17, 2018 AT 10:20 AM

By Holly Otterbein

A GOP implosion in Pennsylvania has Republicans alarmed about President Donald Trump's reelection prospects in a state that proved essential to his 2016 victory.

The enfeebled state party — still reeling after a devastating midterm election where Republicans lost three congressional seats and whiffed gubernatorial and Senate races by double digits — is tangled in a power struggle messy enough to capture the attention of the White House.

The chaos threatens the president’s chances in a state where there’s no room for error. Trump, the first Republican presidential nominee to carry the state since 1988, won by less than a percentage point.

“He has to win Pennsylvania in order to win the presidency,” said Republican Rep. Ryan Costello, a one-time rising star from the Philadelphia suburbs who is retiring from Congress after just two terms. “And I don’t think he’s the favorite to win against a generic Democrat.”

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