As Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden continues to maintain his national lead over President Donald Trump, some Senate Republicans have indicated that they’re willing to work with Democrats if he wins the election.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll and YouGov poll released Wednesday both showed Biden with a nine point lead over Trump nationally. Most recent polling has also suggested a win for the Democratic candidate. Fox News’ latest poll placed Biden five percentage points ahead of Trump and Monmouth showed the former vice president with a seven point lead.
Prominent Republicans publicly expressed willingness this week to work on reaching deals with a potential Biden administration if he defeats their Republican leader and the GOP holds onto the Senate in November. None of these lawmakers are supporting Biden’s campaign, but their openness to working with Democrats signals a possible move toward diluting the legislative filibuster.
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said he would « try to help » Biden pass legislation through the upper house. « It’s hard to project what the attitudes would be in the House, but I would try to help him, » he said, according to The Hill.
The latest Quinnipiac poll, released Wednesday, showed Graham tied with his Democratic challenger Jamie Harrison 48-48. Although that race has been considered a longshot for Democrats, the new data suggests that Graham could be losing support from likely voters and at risk of losing his seat.
Senator John Thune of South Dakota said there « would be opportunities » for compromises to be negotiated. « The one thing about having a divided government, it forces people to come together and some of the best and biggest accomplishments in our history have been accomplished during a time of divided government, » he said, according to The Hill.
Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa pointed to trade and agriculture as policy areas where deals could be cut if a divided government is voted into power. « I would imagine, on the next farm bill… I imagine that Biden will pursue a U.K. free trade agreement, maybe some other free trade agreements, » he told The Hill. « If he’s for [the Trade Promotion Authority] we could surely work together on that. »
However, not all Senate Republicans are optimistic about the chances that both sides could work together if Biden wins. Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota said « it’s going to be very difficult » based on the Democrat’s policy positions.
Several Republican figures have expressed their support for moderate candidate Biden over Trump at the Democratic National Convention this year in a segment called « We the People Putting Country Over Party. » More than 35 former Republican politicians also threw their support behind the Democrat as the Republican National Convention took place late last month.
In a USA Today op-ed, former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said that while he will « continue to support and stand up for Republican policies and values, » he will not be supporting Trump because he « ignores the truth. »
Biden « has shown the desire to heal a deeply divided nation, » Snyder added, and he « seems willing to listen to people who have different perspectives from his own. »
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