As the country reels from the police killings of black Americans and thousands protest across the nation, lawmakers have been divided in their response. POLITICO examined how members of Congress facing tight reelection bids are responding.
Using POLITICO’s election forecast tool, we identified 78 lawmakers in the most competitive races — contests where it’s not clear whether having President Donald Trump at the top of the GOP ticket will be a boon or burden. Then, we combed through these lawmakers’ social media posts, websites and interviews and pulled their statements.
All but one — Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) — have publicly condemned George Floyd’s death or made calls to hold the police officers accountable. Twenty-nine lawmakers focused on the protests, and 42 assessed Trump’s response. Not surprisingly, party loyalty often determined reactions, with Democrats mostly condemning Trump’s response and Republicans more likely to denounce violence and looting.