NBC's Chuck Todd warned the Republican party could "publicly split" if Donald Trump has a poor performance at the second presidential debate Sunday night. Todd reported anonymous sources that there may be a "down-ballot exodus" of candidates "proactively running away" from Trump after the debate. From Friday's Morning Joe:
WILLIE GEIST, 'MORNING JOE' CO-HOST: We have a huge moment coming up on Sunday in the decision of who will be next president of the United States. What are the campaigns feeling right now? What do they feel like will change the dynamic of the race especially if you're Donald Trump?
CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: I think if you're Donald Trump any normalized debate is going to at least stop Clinton's momentum a little bit. But I think -- listen to subtle signals that Congressional Republicans were sending yesterday. A few blind quotes here or there. If Donald Trump doesn't have a good night on Sunday and it's similar to the first debate, then you may start seeing the down-ballot exodus in some form. Is it just candidates proactively running away, whatever it is.
You now have the sense that Trump -- and we've been here before with him -- but one of these do or die moments with the Republican party, with the McConnell[s] where if it's a debate performance like the first night, it may be unrecoverable and you may see the party publicly split.