MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — At the party convention in Duluth this weekend, party leaders made an appeal for Minnesota Republicans to unite behind Donald Trump.
Privately, however, some party leaders, both here and across the country, worry that having Trump at the top of the ticket will hurt other Republican candidates.
Rep. Tom Emmer, of the 6th Congressional District, spoke briefly at the Duluth event, but never mentioned Trump by name.
Neither did former radio talk show host Jason Lewis, who is the Republican nominee in Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District.
Some Republican leaders believe Trump could so alienate mainstream Republicans that they might not go to the polls – or, even worse, they might vote for the almost-certain Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.
In Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District, Erik Paulsen has easily won reelection by double digits, but Democrats believe that because of Trump, he is vulnerable.
In response, they have recruited popular state Sen. Terri Bonoff to run against him.
Paulsen has also not been eager to talk about Trump, instead he’s stressed his own legislative record.
“The reality is that a lot of Minnesotans and voters in the 3rd District are frustrated with the top two candidates, and I feel no differently,” he said on WCCO Sunday Morning. “I have criticized Donald Trump when he has poor rhetoric concerning women…but you have to realize he has been able to capture more than a million votes this primary season.”
While Trump has some Republican leaders worried, his supporters insist that the billionaire will be able to do in the general election exactly what he did throughout the primaries and caucuses — bring new voters to the polls.
Call To Rally Behind Trump At Minnesota GOP Convention