Clinton plans on campaigning in Kentucky, Trump could cost the GOP Congress, Yarmuth says

04/10/2016 03:15 PM

The presidential nominating contests are rolling on, but for one Kentucky Congressman both Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and Republican front-runner Donald Trump could cause varying degrees of damage to their respective parties.

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth is looking on to see which way the American people swing in their hope for a functioning government. The Louisville Democrat sees the uptick in outsider politicians as a symptom of Americans’ frustrations with government.

“There’s just a restlessness out there, a sense that the government is not functioning right,” Yarmuth said. “Most people want a strong government — they just want one that works.”

Trump is leading what’s left of the GOP field in delegates, but if he comes up short from the Republican National Convention, Yarmuth thinks those followers will not vote before supporting someone else within the GOP.

“If Donald Trump goes to the Republican convention with the most delegates and doesn’t get the nomination, I think his supporters are going away,” he said. “They’re either going to look for a third-party candidate or not show up.”

If Trump does go on to become the GOP presidential nominee many, including Yarmuth, say the polling favors Democrats in flipping the U.S. Senate and potentially the House. Democrats need to pick up 30 seats in the House to wrest control from the GOP.

“(Trump) would be a disaster for Republican Party down-ballot.”

Democrats have their own outsider candidate in U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Yarmuth has endorsed Hillary Clinton in the race, and he’s not predicting dire outcomes for his party if Sanders loses in the primaries.

“Some of them will probably sit out the election, but a majority of them probably will come out and vote for Secretary Clinton,” he said.

Yarmuth said Clinton is positioned well for the general election with a “comprehensive program” laying out her platforms.

Though she does have her downfalls, Clinton is “not her husband” at the stump, but in the right format he said she is compelling, Yarmuth said of the former U.S. secretary of state and first lady.

One of the planks of Clinton’s campaign is squared around revitalizing Appalachia, but her recent comments on coal could hurt some down-ballot candidates in Kentucky.

“I think right now there’s a built in anti-Democratic vote in Appalachia, and I’m not sure anything is going to change that,” Yarmuth said. “Certainly, what she will do which Barack Obama didn’t do is go to Appalachia and campaign there.

“That makes a big difference.”

Both Hillary and former President Bill Clinton have told Yarmuth they will be campaigning in Kentucky, the state’s lone federal Democratic federal official said.


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