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January 1, Parnell’s Exit May Harm Trump’s Political Clout, Experts Say



According to The Hill, Republican Sean Parnell’s exit from the Pennsylvania Senate race is the latest potential threat to former President Donald Trump’s political sway.

Parnell had emerged as the leading GOP candidate in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) after winning an early endorsement from Trump. Parnell recently decided to suspend his campaign after a judge awarded primary custody of his three children to his estranged wife, who had accused him of physical and verbal abuse.

Although Parnell has vehemently denied the allegations, the controversies surrounding his personal life and his decision to remove himself from the race are likely to raise questions about Trump’s political instincts, experts say.

“Trump’s got no strategy. He’s got no plans,” said Keith Naughton, a veteran Republican consultant. “He just wants to punish his enemies and reward his most loyal sycophants.”

“He doesn’t really have anything positive to say,” Naughton added. “It’s all nonstop negativity and trying to assert control over a political party that’s not really that controllable, and I think it’s getting worse by the day.”

The Hill reported that Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., encouraged him to endorse Parnell.

“I think the people around him led him to believe that Sean Parnell was the best candidate,” one Pennsylvania Republican said, according to The Hill. “But he had every opportunity to pull back, he had a million off-ramps, and he didn’t take any of them.”

However, there’s little doubt within the GOP that Trump remains a prominent, influential figure in the political landscape.

“No candidate who wants to win can afford to isolate Donald Trump. It’s about more than that now,” one Republican strategist said. “I think voters are paying more attention to the big picture — whether a candidate is viable, whether they can win in the general — than they are to the Trump factor.”


Parnell exit threatens to hurt Trump’s political clout

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