One of the narratives the political Establishment and the media are trying to push as the election draws closer is that Republicans further down the ballot may be harmed by Trump's appearance at the top. In the propaganda view, their failure would be due to guilt by association party-wise, rather than refusing to support the populist and anti-globalist zeitgeist.
We see this dynamic playing out in a very close race for Senator in Ohio, where the incumbent Republican Rob Portman is doing almost nothing to support Trump or the Trump movement.
Judging from the issues section on his website, he's pretending it's still the Romney-Ryan ticket setting the agenda -- entitlement reform, deregulating to empower small businesses (no discussion of trade), gun rights, and pro life. All that appears from the Trump era is his branding as a "common-sense conservative".
He's hardly spoken out in favor of Trump (whether or not he uses a meaningless word "endorse"), and didn't speak at the Convention -- he should have replaced the worthless traitor Kasich as the highest-ranking Republican from Ohio to welcome everyone and lead the cheer for Trump. Not that he's openly rebelling against Trump either, but he's clearly trying to run a separate campaign, divorced from current reality and stuck back in 2012.
His Democrat opponent, Ted Strickland, is seizing the moment and making a play for both the Bernie and Trump voters on the all-important issue of trade. The issues section on his website uses phrases like "jobs-killing trade deals". He pledges to kill TPP, and voted against NAFTA back in the '90s, while Portman voted for it, when both were in Congress.
He makes a further play for both Trump and Bernie voters by talking about the "rigged system" that allows concentrated wealth to control politicians and steer elections.
On defeating ISIS, he wants the locals including Saudi Barbaria to take on more of their own responsibility. There's no neo-con warmongering a la Crooked Hillary or the other Republicans in the primary, aligning with the Trump and Bernie crowd on non-interventionism.
Being a Democrat, he does want more gun control and mouths empty words about climate change, but I can live with that -- he's pitching himself as just a gluten-free version of a Trump supporter. (Other suggested synonyms to disarm Bernie sympathizers: "just a gun-grabbing version of a Trump supporter," "just a tree-hugging version of a Trump supporter".)
At least Strickland is showing that he's on board with the zeitgeist (Trump / Bernie), as opposed to Portman who is still running the failed cuckservative agenda of the culture war era -- distract with red meat about guns and abortion, while TPP sucks out more good-paying jobs and Social Security is handed over to Wall Street.
There's still plenty of time for either candidate to come to populist Jesus or turn their back, but at least so far it's the Democrat challenger who is more in tune with the zeitgeist. The polls have been neck-and-neck the whole time, with 10-20% still undecided. This will be an interesting race to watch for sure.