Trump at Top of GOP Ticket: Dicey Decision for Republicans

For many Republicans, this is a time of political soul-searching.

Do they climb aboard the Trump Train? Sit on the sidelines? Or actually sign on to the Democrats' ticket?

California isn't a state where "None of the Above" is a ballot option.

Otherwise, it might be a refuge for Republicans who don't like to leave "ovals" empty.

So the idea of "hold your nose while you cast your vote" figures to be common approach for many.

"Well certainly this has been an election cycle like no other, and Donald Trump is a candidate like no other -- and that has pluses, and that has minuses,” says Ron Nehring, former spokesman for Ted Cruz’s primary campaign.

“Now he faces a new challenge of trying to unite this party,” Nehring continued in an interview Friday, “ in the wake of a primary campaign that was particularly divisive, and involved a lot of language and rhetoric that makes it a little harder to bring people back together afterward."

Nehring pointed out that with Republicans needing to win 17 of 18 battleground states in November, the head of the GOP ticket can't be a drag on "down-ballot" candidates running for Senate, Congress, state and local offices.

"And if there's ever been a time that we need to make sure that we have a Republican House and a Republican Senate, it's now -- given what the present political dynamic is," Nehring said.

While dealing the downsides of the present Republican strategists already are looking to the political landscape of the future.

As Ryan Clumpner told NBC 7: "The Reagan Era coalition that has held the Republican Party together is falling apart -- and Trump is the person who had drawn attention to that, although you could say that's been happening for quite a while now. So if Trump is destroying the current paradigm, the question is, what comes next?

“There is a deep introspection that is happening in the Republican Party about how we got to this point, and what we want to look like when this is done and over. I think that most Republicans do not want the party to look like what it looks like right now."

On Friday, NBC 7 reached out to a number of prominent local Republicans, asking how they'll approach Trump on the ballot.

Only Mayor Kevin Faulconer responded.

"I am not endorsing Mr. Trump. I reject his divisive rhetoric, including that toward women and Latinos,” Faulconer said in a statement issued by his re-election campaign manager. “We need to be building bridges and bringing people together. That's how we do things in San Diego. Mr. Trump has not earned my vote."

To say the least, Team Clinton and the Democratic National Committee have to view all this as something they can work with.

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