FILE - In this Dec. 31, 2018, file photo, Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., arrives at the Senate Chamber for an abbreviated pro-forma session at the Capitol in Washington. Republican senators up for re-election in 2020 are trying to figure out how closely to align themselves with President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

GOP senators try to figure how out closely to run with Trump

January 20, 2019 - 5:29 am

DENVER (AP) — Republican senators up for re-election in 2020 are trying to figure out how closely to align themselves with President Donald Trump.

Sen. Cory Gardner helped devise the GOP's strategy of pushing Senate candidates closer to Trump in 2018. But heading into his own re-election bid in Colorado, he's allowing more distance with the president.

Other Republicans, including Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine and Martha McSally of Arizona, are doing their own balancing acts.

Still, some Republicans will probably align themselves closer to Trump as they see the political power he brings to their home states.

Strategists say it's much too early to assess how the partial government shutdown may affect the races. Republicans now control the Senate with a 53-47 majority.

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