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News Tip: Tuesday’s NC Primary: What if Trump Wins?

Duke political scientists say other GOP candidates may avoid Trump

A Trump nomination will put GOP candidates in North Carolina and the nation in the uncomfortable position of deciding whether to support the controversial candidate, Duke experts David Rohde and Mac McCorkle say.  David Rohde • Quotes: “North Carolina’s primary is part of the very important day. It is quite possible that next Tuesday could settle both nomination races, and so it depends on how things play out in five states next Tuesday -- and North Carolina is one of the biggies,” says David Rohde, a professor of political science at Duke University. “The current expectation is that both Clinton and Trump will win in North Carolina, though we haven’t had a lot of good polling yet.” “A Trump nomination has the potential to have an effect on Senate races, and so does Clinton depending on what happens with her email problems.” “If Trump is the nominee then every Republican for national office will be asked, ‘Do you support or don’t you support Trump?’ And the answer to that question has the potential to affect public support for those candidates.” “I don’t think there’s ever been anything like we’ve seen with Trump. Last week Sen. McConnell told Senate Republicans running for re-election in places where Obama carried the last election that they need to be prepared to run negative ads against Trump if he gets the nomination.” “One of the big things the GOP has to worry about is Republicans staying home instead of voting for Trump in November.” • Bio:David Rohde is a professor of political science and director of the Political Institutions and Public Choice Program, Duke University. He specializes in American politics, including campaigns and elections, and legislative politics. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, author of "Parties and Leaders in the Post-Reform House" and co-author of a series of books on every national election since 1980.  • Archive video interview (different subject): • For more comment, contact David Rohde Pope "Mac" McCorkle • Quotes: "Even on the Republican side, because they chose to do a proportional delegate distribution in North Carolina vs. a winner-take-all like Ohio and Florida, we’re probably going to be relegated to secondary rank,” says Pope "Mac" McCorkle, an associate professor of the practice in public policy at Duke. (Read his blog about the N.C. primary at “For Hillary Clinton, who along with husband Bill is campaigning here, North Carolina is a place where she hopes she can run up the numbers because it’s another Southern state,” says McCorkle, who has worked as an issues consultant to political candidates and state governments, including former North Carolina Democratic Govs. Mike Easley and Bev Perdue. “Back when I was a Democratic consultant the issue for my North Carolina candidates was often how much do I support the national ticket, do I not go to the airport and shake hands? That’s always been a Democratic problem, and it might still be a Democratic issue if Bernie Sanders got the nomination.” “But Because of Trump, it seems like the shoe is on the other foot. Republican Gov. Pat McCrory says he’ll support whoever gets the GOP nomination, but will he be there with Trump if he wins?” • Bio:Pope “Mac” McCorkle has served as an issues consultant to political candidates, state governments and various organizations for the last two decades. Since starting McCorkle Policy Consulting in 1994, he has worked for state and federal candidates in North Carolina and 28 other states. • Archive video interview (different subject): (1:43 mark) • For additional comment, contact McCorkle