Senate Republicans are deeply concerned over Trump andÂ his nomination and believe thatÂ he will cost them their majority.
Senate Republicans are deeply concerned that Donald Trump will cost them their majority, despite private assurances from leaders that voters opposed to the presumptive GOP presidential nominee will split their ballots.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll published last week shows Trumpâ€™s unfavorable rating has hit new a high, with 7 out of 10 respondents nationwide viewing him negatively.
One Republican senator facing a competitive re-election said he and his colleagues are â€śvery concerned.â€?
â€śThereâ€™s deep, deep concern,â€? he added.
Republicans have to defend 24 seats while Democrats only have to protect 10. Six of the vulnerable GOP seats are in states that President Obama won in 2008 and 2012.
Almost every day, Republican senators see new evidence of Trumpâ€™s lack of mainstream appeal.
Major companies such as Wells Fargo and UPS, which sponsored the 2012 Republican convention in Tampa, are skipping this summerâ€™s event in Cleveland.
â€śThereâ€™s a lot of anxiety out there,â€? said a second Senate Republican. â€śPeople are trying to figure out whatâ€™s going on in the political climate, what it means to us, to me. Thereâ€™s anxiety.â€?
Yet thereâ€™s a growing sense of resignation that not much can be done to change their presumptive nominee.
At a meeting of Senate Republicans at the National Republican Senatorial Committee headquartersÂ Wednesday, Trump didnâ€™t even come up for discussion, according to two lawmakers who participated.
Republican leaders are trying to buck up their nervous colleagues by arguing they can win re-election even if Trump crashes and burns.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) predicted on Fox News that this will be a â€śticket-splitting kind of year.â€?
He is urging vulnerable incumbents to distance themselves from Trump and run their own races.
Republican Sen. Mark Kirk (Ill.), the most endangered Senate incumbent, has taken that advice and withdrawn his endorsement.
â€śHe is too bigoted and racist for the land of Lincoln,â€? he told The Hill, adding that other Senate Republicans â€ścouldâ€? be concerned about his effect on their own contests.
NRSC Chairman Roger Wicker (Miss.) said Trump wonâ€™t necessarily have a negative impact on Senate candidates.
â€śThat hasnâ€™t happened historically,â€? he said of fears that the nominee will create headwinds in Senate races. â€śOur candidates look very, very good. Weâ€™ll take [the races] one by one.â€?
Other Republicans make the same argument.
â€śI believe that people vote individually, evaluating each race. We have very strong Senate candidates and they will run their own races,â€? said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who is not up for reelection this year.
In recent elections, however, the macro political environment has had as big an impact on results and candidate quality, experts say.