Trump and Republicans in Congress could be posing a new danger to each other the worse their relationship gets. As my friend the political scientist Thomas Schaller observes, this infighting could produce a two-way roll-off effect that we haven't seen before. Roll-off is when some people vote for president, but don't bother voting for other offices; it happens to a degree in every election, usually because some voters just aren't interested in the other races or don't know who to vote for. But this year, the anger of Trump supporters "raises the prospect that some of these Trump voters will show up on election day, vote Trump, and spite some or all downballot Republican candidates by skipping these contests. This would magnify the normal roll-off effect," he says. At the same time, "a significant number of reliable Republican voters may skip the presidential [ballot] but vote for some or all of the remaining races." The result could be "lost votes for Trump at the presidential level and lost votes at the sub-presidential level for all other Republicans. That is the disaster scenario for the GOP."
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