Washington Republican candidates concerned about Trump

Republicans are feeling the Super Tuesday hangover and some fear it isn’t going away. Donald Trump may very well be the party’s nominee. “He doesn't stand for anything except political manipulation and treating you like a sucker. If he’s the nominee, RIP GOP,” said radio host Michael Medved.  On his Seattle-based, syndicated show today, it was all Donald, all the time with listeners weighing in. “He is such a real person,” said one caller.  Another listener called Trump, “dangerous for this country.”

Washington Republicans who are running for office this fall are quick to distance themselves from the billionaire and his brash comments. “It's an odd year. It's very unusual.  The rules are being rewritten,” said Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant. “Normally you would be concerned about who was on top of the ticket, but the presidential campaign has become such a circus unto itself or reality show or whatever you want to refer to it as that I think people are putting that in its own little box over here,” said Bryant.

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Chris Vance released a statement, "Once again I feel compelled to make it clear that I don’t agree with Donald Trump. I don’t support renegotiating the Geneva Convention to allow waterboarding and 'a hell of a lot worse.' I don’t support new, unconstitutional, laws to silence journalists. And Trump’s refusal to explicitly criticize David Duke, the KKK, and other White Supremacists is unacceptable."

Following Trump’s strong finish on Super Tuesday, the Republican Party is searching for solutions. “Panic would be too strong of word.  Panic is you're running around and don't know what to do. I think there's a fear and there's great seriousness about this, because the survival of our party is at stake," said Medved.

The Washington State Democratic Party has been quick to connect Republican state candidates to Trump. A news release from the party reads, "Despite Trump's Racist, Xenophobic, and Islamophobic Campaign, Bryant and Vance Still Considering Voting For Trump." Eight months before Election Day, Bryant isn’t surprised. “I have a record that I can run on that demonstrates I'm not any of that."  Bryant acknowledges that if voters are not inspired by Trump, Republicans may not show up at the polls. “There's not anything I can do about (it) and so I tend to focus on those things that I can control and I can't control that," said Bryant.

Medved believes Trump may go to the Republican National Convention with the most delegates, but short of what is needed to become the nominee.  He would not be surprised to see Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney or House Speaker Paul Ryan emerge as an alternative.  If Donald Trump becomes the party’s presidential candidate, Medved believes it could a tough election for Republican candidates in Washington state. “It's a devastating impact.  I mean, Rob McKenna last time was our candidate for governor and he came this close to winning when Obama was winning the state by 16 points. Now, if it's Clinton verses Trump, Clinton will win the state by about 25 points.  There's just no way that we win any statewide race. There's no way to win a lot of the closest legislative and senatorial races in the state.  It's a disaster," said Medved.