Republican Senate candidate brags he isn’t backed by Donald Trump

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Joe O’Dea, the Republican nominee in the Colorado Senate race, bragged that he has not been endorsed by former President Donald Trump during an appearance on NBC News.

Despite numerous legal investigations, Trump remains an influential figure within the GOP. He endorsed several Republican candidates ahead of the November midterm elections and used his rule among the party’s voters to boost candidates who embrace his style of politics and baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.

He has endorsed and held rallies for Republicans in many major Senate races, with O’Dea being the exception. O’Dea has tried to distance himself from the ex-president in the state where President Joe Biden won by double digits in 2020.

On Sunday on Meet the press, host Chuck Todd pressed O’Dea whether he would like the former president to campaign for him. O’Dea responded by pointing out that he has not received Trump’s endorsement.

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Above, former President Donald Trump speaks Saturday at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio. Joe O’Dea, the Republican nominee in the Colorado Senate race, bragged that he has not been endorsed by Trump during an appearance on NBC News on Sunday.
Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

“I’m the only Senate candidate in the Republican Party who hasn’t been endorsed by Donald Trump. He probably won’t send me a Christmas card,” O’Dea said, although other candidates have also not received approval from Trump.

He added that he does not want Trump or Biden, who have both indicated they intend to run for president in 2024, running again.

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“I think that’s tearing our country apart, and I think I’m where most Americans are,” he said. “We need to move this country forward. There are some great Republican candidates out there, and I’m going to help campaign for them.”

Michael Bennet favorite to beat O’Dea

As Republicans hope to regain a majority in the Senate, Colorado probably won’t be their top priority. While they once hoped that Biden’s lagging approval rating would boost their candidates in some states that lean towards democracy, presidential approval is on the rise along with the overthrow of the Supreme Court. Roe to Wade, has had them floundering in important Senate races.

While O’Dea, a centrist, is considered one of their stronger recruits, polls have found him behind incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet. A total of polls by FiveThirtyEight shows him about 8.6 points behind Bennet. The most recent public opinion poll, conducted August 30-31 by Public Policy Polling, showed Bennet leading by 11 points.

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Still, that would be an improvement over Trump, who lost the state by 13.5 points in 2020 and received just 41.9 percent of the vote. Colorado was once considered one of the closest swing states, as President Barack Obama only narrowly wore it in 2008 and 2012. But it has shifted to the Democrats in recent years due to growth in Denver and its suburbs.

During the primary, O’Dea defeated Ron Hanks, who sided with Trump and was present in the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol building, when a group of Trump supporters, motivated by baseless claims of voter fraud, rioted in a failed attempt to force Congress to block Biden’s electoral college victory.

News week contacted the O’Dea campaign for comment.