Trump controversies create dilemma for GOP leaders, voters

Trump's campaign is negotiating with Sacred Heart University to hold a rally Saturday evening at the Pitt Center.

Trump's campaign is negotiating with Sacred Heart University to hold a rally Saturday evening at the Pitt Center. (8/5/16)

WOODBURY - Donald Trump's string of controversial statements has led some high-profile Republicans to back away from supporting his candidacy for president.

To Republican leaders and elected officials, Donald Trump presents a dilemma -- do they support his candidacy or condemn his more contentious comments?

Long Island's two Republican Congressmen, Peter King and Lee Zeldin, both criticized some of Trump's recent comments, especially those aimed at the parents of a slain Muslim-American soldier.

But both say he'd make a better president than Hillary Clinton.

"He's not my first or second or even my third choice, but he's my final choice. Considering the Supreme Court appointments coming up and rebuilding the military, I'm supporting Donald Trump," says King.

"Neither of those candidates are perfect candidates and I don't agree with either of them on everything," says Zeldin. "I disagree with them on both policy and statements that have been made. But between the two of them, he's a better option than she is."

Still, there's a fear not only among Republican leaders, but also among middle-class suburban Republican voters that Trump could lose the election and cause damage to their party.

"This particular candidate has the potential to drive away large amounts of swing voters from the party to the Democratic camp," says political analyst Michael Dawidziak.

Clinton has surged ahead in national polls since the Democratic National Convention. An NBC-Wall Street Journal poll released Thursday has her up 9 points, 47 percent to 38 percent.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

1 Rangers riding 3-game winning steak into 2nd round of playoffs
The judge gave Steven Romeo a conditional discharge, 2 Truck driver in fatal limo crash takes plea deal, avoids jail time
Amtrak says it plans to fix the aging 3 Plan to fix Penn Station problems could affect LIRR riders
Detectives say the driver of a white Jeep 4 Police release pictures of SUV involved in parkway flasher incident
Cesar Gonzalez-Mugaburu is accused in a 17-count indictment 5 Jurors deliberate for 3rd day in foster father sex abuse trial

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

The No. 1 priority on Day 3 of President Obama touts Clinton, slams Trump at DNC

News 12's Tara Rosenblum was in Philadelphia for Day 3 of the Democratic National Convention.

Donald Trump is facing backlash after attacking the Gold Star families to Trump: Apologize for comments to Khans

Donald Trump is facing backlash after attacking the family of a slain American Muslim soldier,

Donald Trump gave his official GOP nomination acceptance Trump officially accepts GOP nomination to cap off RNC

News 12's Rich Barrabi was in Cleveland for the fourth and final day of the

Trump is expected at the $5,000 dollar a Trump to attend private fundraiser in Nissequogue

Presidential candidate Donald Trump was expected in Nissequogue Thursday for a private fundraiser.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.