Donald Trump's public spat with his party will shift even more focus to already expensive Senate races as the Republicans try to hang on to control of Capitol Hill.
House Speaker Paul Ryan told fellow lawmakers this week he will focus the election's final weeks on keeping GOP majorities in Congress rather than defending his party's presidential nominee. While the Republican National Committee and Trump's campaign insist their relationship has not changed, the party and its major donors could follow Ryan's lead in refocusing down ballot.
Prior spending indicates cash could trickle down to several crucial races in the Senate. Many of those feature Republican incumbents trying to hold off Democratic challenges as they walk a tightrope between distancing themselves from an increasingly toxic Trump and holding on to the businessman's most fervent supporters.
Candidate committees and outside groups like super PACs on both sides have spent at least $320 million on just five Senate races — in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Ohio, Florida and Nevada — according to the Center for Responsive Politics. All of those races accept Nevada feature an incumbent Republican senator, and pro-GOP forces have heavily outspent pro-Democrat groups in the contests with Republican senators.