"Trump Tracker" keeping tabs on GOP governors' support of Trump
COLUMBIA - The Democratic Governors Association is keeping tabs on gubernatorial candidates around the country and their stance on Donald Trump with a new website.
The Trump Tracker, launched on Monday, aims to help voters keep track of their states’ governor candidates and whether they would support Trump if they shared the ballot with him in November.
“GovTrumpTracker.com enables citizens to find out if their candidates have had the courage to speak up about Trump,” said Jared Leopold, DGA Communications Director.
The website shows the stance of governor's in 10 states and the Republican Governors Association stance on Trump. It allows candidates to fall into three categories: will support, a question mark for those who are undecided and against.
Missouri is one of the states where all Republican gubernatorial candidates are featured on the tracker.
“Donald Trump’s success has Republican gubernatorial candidates in total panic mode and completely fractured,” Leopold said. “With the most divisive candidate in modern history likely to lead the Republican ballot in 2016, Missouri voters deserve to know where the 2016 GOP gubernatorial candidates stand on Donald Trump for President.”
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, businessmen Eric Greitens and John Brunner and former Rep. Catherine Hanaway all said they would support Trump as the Republican nominee for president.
Candidates in other states, however, said they would not support Trump under any circumstances, including Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Vermont Lt. Gov. Phil Scott.
Before the Monday launch, nine governors have taken a stance and nine candidates have not.
Eight candidates, including the four Republican gubernatorial candidates from Missouri, said they would support Trump if he wins the nomination. One candidate, Vermont’s Phil Scott, said he will oppose Trump no matter what. The other nine candidates have yet to take a position on the matter.
The Republican Governors Association Chair Susana Martinez also refused to say whether she would support Trump if he was on the ballot.
Jon Thompson, communications director for the RGA, said the main purpose for the Trump Tracker is for Democrats to sway Republican voters to keep Democrats in states' governor seats.
"The DGA is desperate to distract voters from the unpopular, out-of-touch policies from Democrat candidates for governor because that’s the only way they can prevent their extremely small minority of only 18 Democrat governors from plummeting even further," Thompson said.
Thompson added that the RGA isn't worried about the impact the Trump Tracker will have on voters in the 2016 gubernatorial elections.
"We’re confident voters will elect Republican candidates for governor so their states can also experience the successful pro-jobs, pro-growth policies championed by 31 Republican governors across the country," Thompson said.
For weeks, the political world has been discussing the damage a Trump nomination would cause for GOP gubernatorial candidates for years to come.
Senior officials at the RGA admitted Trump would hurt Republican governor nominations in key 2016 races. Finance chairman for the RGA, Fred Malek, said a Trump nomination would impact GOP chances at taking over Democratic governor seats in Missouri, Montana, West Virginia, Vermont and New Hampshire.