Trump puts moderate GOP governors in awkward spot

WASHINGTON (AP) — These should be heady times for Republicans as the nation’s governors prepare for their winter meeting in Washington, D.C.

But there’s a sense of unease for GOP governors in Democratic-leaning states.

They criticize President Donald Trump gently, picking their spots to appease the Democratic and independent voters they need to remain in office. At the same time, they don’t want to alienate Trump supporters.

For some, the best strategy is to avoid mentioning Trump at all.

Democrats sense an opening ahead of the 2018 elections and are taking any opportunity to link Republican governors to the president. Republicans will be defending 27 of the 38 governorships up for election this year and next.

Nine of the GOP governors are in states Hillary Clinton carried last year.