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CLEVELAND – A GOP delegate made a dire prediction for vulnerable Republican senators up for reelection this fall – including the one from her home state, after Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania decided to skip the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week.
“Here’s what I think Donald Trump is going to do,” Lee Snover, a pro-Trump delegate from the Keystone State, told Business Insider, noting that she is working to get Toomey reelected. “The last night of the convention, when the doors close and the lights go out, Republicans who aren’t on board – he’s going to run against them as hard as he does the Democrats.”
“He’s going to run against the establishment in both parties,” she continued. “So that’s a caution from me to all the Republicans not on board. I think he’s going to put both groups in the same basket as establishment. He’s going to run against those the same as the Democrats.”
Toomey is locked in a tough reelection bout with Democratic nominee Katie McGinty. The Pennsylvania Republican, who has not endorsed Trump, is campaigning throughout the state instead of attending the Manhattan billionaire’s coronation.
“He intends no disrespect to anyone, and wishes the party a good convention, but he will be on an aggressive travel schedule all across Pennsylvania during that time,” his campaign said in a statement.
Snover told Business Insider at a breakfast for the Pennsylvania delegation in Cleveland that “a lot of people” were discussing Toomey’s absence.
“It is kind of odd,” she said. “It’s funny, there’s a going joke in our area that he must have done a poll and he doesn’t need his base.”
Although she said that many are “a little disgruntled with him,” her fellow Pennsylvania Republicans still believe that they need him in the Senate.
“Because we need a Republican majority, so let’s go get him elected,” she said. “But I think Trump’s going to put anyone not with him together as establishment.”
Others felt that Toomey had a legitimate reason to bail on the Cleveland convention.
Rep. Keith Rothfus of Pennsylvania said that Toomey’s “using his time wisely,” while state delegate Mary Ann Meloy, who’s attending her seventh convention since 1968, said that he “needs to stick to” campaigning in the state.
“He comes to our state committee meetings, he comes to county dinners,” she said. “Everyone in this room has met Sen. Toomey and expressed whatever they’ve wanted to say to him.”