Two top Republicans put it simply: A wave of political "hate" for President Trump is driving the midterm elections and could even unseat Sen. Ted Cruz, the New York Times reports. Speaking at a closed-door GOP event in New York City, the two conservatives—Mick Mulvaney, federal budget director, and Ronna McDaniel, RNC chairwoman—said the GOP has the money and infrastructure to repel a November "blue wave" but admitted that enthusiasm is high among Democrats. "There’s a very real possibility we will win a race for Senate in Florida and lose a race in Texas for Senate, OK?" said Mulvaney in a recording obtained by the Times. "I don't think it's likely, but it's a possibility. How likable is a candidate? That still counts."
He criticized Democrats for fueling a "movement of hate" against Trump and lacking a "signature piece of legislation." And when McDaniel spoke, she derided the DNC for raising only $116 million compared to $227 million by the GOP. But they did note high Democratic turnout in the midterm primaries and conceded a widespread dislike for Trump. Their warning echoed recent comments by Republican strategists who say the GOP has offered weak nominees for races in the House, where Democrats need 23 seats to take over. As for Cruz—who is holding a 4.4% polling lead over rival Beto O'Rourke, per Real Clear Politics—he dismissed the budget chief's words: "I don't worry about what some political guy in Washington says," said the senator. "I worry about what the people of Texas say." (Read more midterm elections stories.)