WASHINGTON — South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said he is pleased Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is holding up against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
“Trump is getting better,” Graham told reporters Tuesday pointing to the recent polling. “You can see a more disciplined message. If he can hold it together for another 8 weeks.”
Graham, who ran against Trump in the primary and doubted that the New York billionaire could beat Clinton, appeared impressed that Trump could withstand the amount of political attacks he had taken so far.
“He’s had massive political body blows that would knock anybody else out. If he can cross the lines in the eyes of the public and be ready for the job, then I think you’re gonna have one hell of a race,” Graham added.
Graham and other Republicans in Washington have something to be optimistic about. A number of recent polls show the race between Trump and Clinton narrowing, a development happening as a result of some unsure Republicans who finally decided to support Trump. A new CNN/ORC poll, for example, shows Trump with 83 percent support of Republican registered voters. This is up five points since late July. TheCNN/ORC poll shows Trump leading Clinton by 2 points among likely voters. Clinton previously led Trump by three points in the same poll.
Texas Republican Rep. Pete Sessions, a member who did not endorse Trump until May when three other Texas House Republicans threw their support behind Trump, told The Daily Caller Tuesday that he believes a combination of Clinton’s troubles and people trusting Trump more than Clinton is key for a GOP victory.
“I think the members of Congress recognize that the numbers back home suggest to them that this voter that will come out and support Donald Trump is someone we have not dealt with very much in the 32nd Congressional District and out of the 80,000 votes, 26,132 never had voted in a primary,” Sessions said. “And when you have such large numbers of people who then see candidates and ideas that are in front of them, anything can happen.”
Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, who waited to support Trump long after his fellow Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions made his endorsement, told TheDC simply that Clinton’s trust problems are only helping Trump.
“I’m a Republican and supporting Trump, so I think she has a lot of problems and it shows in the polls. You got a problem with trust and everything else,” Shelby said.
Democrats, however, refuse to believe Republicans are coming to unify around their Republican nominee.
“The conventions were a real contrast. At the Republican Convention — and I told this to a number of people in the media — there was little controversy because those who disagreed did not come. They stayed home. President Bush stayed home. The senior President Bush stayed home,” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer told reporters Tuesday. “Presidential candidate McCain stayed home. Frankly, Bob Dole was the only one who came. He’s 93, and he was being honored, and it was appropriate for him to come to his party.”