But I think some people are reading too much into this:
... the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, has laid out a plan that would have lawmakers break with Mr. Trump explicitly in a general election.Kevin Drum responds:
... Mr. McConnell has begun preparing senators for the prospect of a Trump nomination, assuring them that, if it threatened to harm them in the general election, they could run negative ads about Mr. Trump to create space between him and Republican senators seeking re-election. Mr. McConnell has raised the possibility of treating Mr. Trump’s loss as a given and describing a Republican Senate to voters as a necessary check on a President Hillary Clinton, according to senators at the lunches.
He has reminded colleagues of his own 1996 re-election campaign, when he won comfortably amid President Bill Clinton’s easy re-election. Of Mr. Trump, Mr. McConnell has said, “We’ll drop him like a hot rock,” according to his colleagues.
Mitch McConnell is the ultimate transactional politician. He never bothers with fancy justifications for what he wants to do; he just tells reporters that his goal is stop x or push y because it's what he wants, and that's that. It's almost refreshing in a way.Do you think that's what McConnell is doing? Threatening to throw the presidential election to save his Senate colleagues' phony-baloney jobs?
So if he's seriously suggesting that Republicans in significant numbers might break with Trump and hand the election to Hillary Clinton, he's probably serious. He doesn't play 11-dimensional chess. I've been frankly dubious about all the promises I've heard from conservatives about abandoning Trump even if he wins the nomination, and I still am. I think most of them will eventually invent some reason to "reluctantly" pull the lever for him thanks to their existential horror of a Hillary Clinton presidency. But who knows? If McConnell is up for it, maybe it's a more serious possibility than I think.
Nahhh. He's going to put a wet finger in the wind and determine how Trump is doing. If Trump's getting clobbered in the polls, Senate Republicans will run away from him. If he's doing okay, he'll be their best friend. Whatever.
Unless Trump puts David Duke on the ticket, I think the polls all the way are going to predict the usual 52%-48% American presidential election, and I think it's possible Trump will be on the winning end of that. So McConnell and his Senate colleagues probably won't have to go for this. But it's a Plan B.