Donald Trump’s comments are making it more difficult for Senate Republicans to stay on message.

Seung Min Kim, a POLITICO reporter covering Capitol Hill, says senators are having a branding issue as the national conversation focuses on Trump.

“They are showing open frustration that those comments and the continuous coverage of them are really kind of stepping on their agenda,” Kim said, as press conferences on public policy turn into interrogation sessions about whether their support for their presumed presidential nominee will waver.

This could pose danger for some senators with tight races at home while the Republican majority hangs in the balance. Kim says senate candidates will have to be able to “toe the line.”

“They can’t completely disavow Mr. Trump as the nominee. They need those Republican primary voters who went out in big numbers to support Trump in the primaries. They need to drive out those voters in the fall for their own reelection campaigns. However, they clearly do not and cannot support the kinds of comments that Mr. Trump has made, so they have to distance themselves as much as they could but while still supporting the nominee and that’s kind of the dance that they have had to do.”

Ultimately, Kim says, it will all come down to whether Senate Republicans can promote their own agenda over Trump’s in the minds of voters at home.

According to the Cook Political Report, there are seven toss-up races this election season.  Six endangered seats are currently held by Republicans senators. Democrats only need to win five new seats to regain control of the Senate.

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