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Ohio GOP leader talks concerns with Trump

Posted: 6:25 PM, Dec 02, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-02 18:25:11-05

Donald Trump may lead in the Republican primary polls with support ranging in the area of 30 percent, but Ohio's Republican chair warns that which appeals to Republican primary voters will likely turn off general election voters if Trump were to become the nominee.

"I've been a veteran of many, many campaigns in this state," said Ohio Republican Chair Matt Borges. "We know what we're doing here and I'm trying to give not only Donald Trump but any of the candidates who wanted to bring that kind of message to the state the same advice, it's not going to help you here.

"It might get you a cheap applause at a rally or something like that but in the long run if we go forward with that same kind of divisive message and it's going to be impossible for us to win the White House," Borges said.

Ohio is a state, he reminds voters, where Democrats hold a voting registration edge. "On the one hand we have to be able to hold our Republican core together. If we're fractured badly [that] is exactly what the Democrats want to see happen. I don't know how we can come up with the numbers that we need.

"On top of that we have to come up with their advantage in terms of turnout," he said.

To do that the GOP has to win big among Independent voters, draw people in and execute a ground game in the months leading up to November.

"If those things aren't there, there is no path to winning this state and so the divisive rhetoric trying to divide Republicans, the divisive rhetoric trying to make us look more barbaric than we need to look I think ends up making a lot of people feel like they don't want to be part of our coalition," he said.

"We have to make sure we're advising all the presidential candidates that this anti-woman, anti-minority, anti-POW, whatever it is message he seems to be going with right now? That ain't going to work."

That's not what he says they need in a year where a presidential race at the top of the ticket could impact the races below. "The impact it would have for us is we would begin the process and we are beginning the process now of distancing ourselves from that kind of rhetoric."

"Divorce ourselves from that part of the process and then go try to make clear that our other candidates don't hold those same kinds of opinions and values and beliefs," he said.

"We'd much rather be doing this altogether as a family and pushing this forward with a uniting, central theme about who are party is, what we want to accomplish."

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