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With Trump Campaign in Crisis, GOP Worried About Down-Ballot Candidates

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House Speaker Paul Ryan, under siege from fellow Republicans for his unwillingness to help Donald Trump, accused Democrat Hillary Clinton and liberals on Friday of seeking impose "a gloom and a grayness" on America and pursuing a government-heavy agenda for elites. One Republican official told Fox News that if Republicans lose 18 to 20 seats, Ryan will be voted out of his speaker job. Ryan hasn't withdrawn his endorsement of Trump but he did tell House Republicans Monday that he will no longer defend the nominee and will devote the remainder of the campaign season to helping Republicans in House and Senate races.

Speaking in NY today on behalf of Hillary Clinton, former Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell suggested Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan will ultimately cast his ballot for the Democratic nominee instead of Donald Trump.

Trump is also keep a watch on US Senator John McCain of Arizona, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee said he will not vote for Trump.

The congressman listened in on a conference call with Ryan on the other line. That means he can't afford to let the trickle of Republican lawmakers suggesting retaliation against him for dropping Trump grow much larger.

Well before Trump won the nomination, Republicans assumed their standard-bearer could start with a baseline of what Mitt Romney won four years ago (61 million votes), then pull in additional independents unsettled by the notion of a third consecutive Democratic term. In the days that have followed, a number of women have come forward accusing the nominee of assaulting them after Trump dismissed his comments as "just words". Republican Donald Trump campaigned here Thursday, while President Barack Obama and former president Bill Clinton followed Hillary Clinton's return to the state earlier in the week with two OH scheduled campaign stops each.

Bridenstine is a conservative and a member of the House Freedom Caucus, which often bucks leadership.

After backing Ryan in 2015, Bridenstine noted in a statement that his support came with conditions. "Don't talk about the latest Twitter storm from somebody", Ryan said in response to a question about how to communicate the GOP message on a largely liberal campus.

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"I never doubted he should be speaker".

Meanwhile, half Republican voters say that the party leaders do not want Trump to be elected president. Overall, Trump trailed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by 7 points in Wednesday's Marquette Law School Poll.

AshLee Strong, Ryan's spokeswoman, said Wednesday that he is "fighting to ensure we hold a strong majority next Congress, and he is always working to earn the respect and support of his colleagues". "It is government for the elites", Ryan said Friday in Madison, a power center for Wisconsin Democrats.

Speaker Ryan has also caught flack from members in Congress.

Republicans could well skip the top of the ticket and vote on down-ballot candidates, making the hard decision that, to save themselves, and their congressional majorities, they'll have to kiss the White House good bye. It was a sharp contrast to Saturday, when Ryan was heckled at a Republican rally in his district after he canceled Trump's appearance at the event.

Ryan did not mention Trump during his speech, or receive any questions about Trump for the college students, which were submitted and selected by conservative radio host Vicki McKenna.

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