November is drawing near. And it’s gonna be a fight.
Republicans are determined to do what it takes to not only stay in power, but gain it. People like Marco Rubio are doing their best (which, sometimes, may be their worst, such as here) in hopes of getting the Big Nod from their constituents.
Though the elections are fast approaching, it’s tough to say what will be the defining issues on the day ballots are cast. After all, as I covered a few days ago, we live in the grips of a 17-minute news cycle.
Peering into the future, The Hill spoke with more than three dozen officeholders, pollsters, and strategists to get a clearer view.
Those in both parties agree on the advantage: that goes to Democrats. Why? Because history tells us a president’s first term stinks up the joint to some people, which facilitates America’s political ebb and flow — the following congressional election usually swings the other way.
Remember all the weeping and gnashing of teeth that followed Trump’s election? Well, some of those people are literally still crying — like a bunch of dorks. And those people are ready to make a move, Jack!
Democratic Washington Governor Jay Inslee put it this way:
“The incredible energy we saw the week after Trump’s inauguration has continued or increased, and those thousands of people in the streets are now thousands of people who are out volunteering. You’re seeing this all across the country. It’s not isolated, it’s not limited.”
Inslee’s right — during the primaries, Democrats turned out in unprecedented numbers.
We may wanna hold on to our seats. Both figuratively and literally. Or would that be figuratively as well?
Josh Holmes, who used to be Mitch McConnell’s chief of staff and is now a Republican strategist, confirmed the electrification of the party of Clinton and Obama:
“Whatever model you have about Democratic turnout, add another fraction of possible turnout to it because we’re dealing with an electorate on the left that is exceedingly motivated.”
Indeed, they will be tough to beat. The intraparty approval rating for one Donald J. Trump is astronomical: 88% — his personal best. However, among average Americans, it sits somewhere around 38-45%.
Not quite as good.
Gallup polling suggests that when a president’s number is less than 50%, Congress swings to the other side during the midterm to the tune of around 36 seats in the House. That could put Democrats in charge of Congress.
Of course, history has never before seen a President Donald Trump.
Actually, let me break down Trump for a second: DJT is really two people:
1. The one who tweets from the hip and says semi-reckless things. The guy who announces everything he does as awesome, everyone he knows as a great friend, and every enemy as a defeated pipsqueak. A guy who, to some, is periodically incendiary and full of hot air.
2. The Trump which, to my way of thinking, actually matters: the head of an administration implementing solidly conservative policy. The guy whose White House is like a kick in the face to the policies of the previous presidency.
Those are two very different Trumps, and #2 is doubtlessly a reason for the ol’ 88% high score. Way to go, DJ.
However, #1 has got a lot of people rarin’ to vote for people like Nancy Pelosi.
As Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin noted, “People are really focused on the fact that they want to have someone balance the extreme positions being taken by Trump.”
Trump’s rhetoric is much more extreme than are his policies, and sometimes, it’s even the opposite of them. For example, the President will talk a bromance with Putin while demanding an end to Russia’s occupation of Crimea. But does the average MSNBC viewer know that?
I suppose Trump’s style has worked for him in business. But it’s scaring Democratic voters who don’t understand that the President’s bark is, at times, disconnected from his policies.
[I bet you thought I was gonna say “bite.”]
Republicans aren’t without their upper hand, though. We’re currently bathing in record-low unemployment, and the economy is cooler than the Fonz riverdancing.
And despite the media’s constant claim to the contrary, the sky isn’t falling. Trump hasn’t done anything crazy, and things are actually pretty great. Although not as great as the Fonz doing the Kazotsky Kick:
One thing of particular interest to me is whether the media’s strategy has worked: for the last year and a half, they’ve cried foul every time Trump’s moved a muscle. And he moves a lot. Therefore, each time the media’s hysteria peaked over one phony crisis, they shifted to another. I suspect they’ve created a dulled sense over a blur of horror; they may have lessened the emotional intensity of the Democratic voters.
One can only hope. As November nears, excitement and anticipation grow. We have a lot of time left for really good things, or really bad.
Let’s cross our fingers that a boatload of “good” fills the remainder. And that the election sends Democrats a firm message: you can’t have a congressional seat, but still:
How do you expect November to go? Please let us all know in the Comments section below.
For something (sorta) different, please check out my coverage of the NFL reversing its policy on kneeling, Adam Schiff’s goofy and out-of-place attempt to subpoena the Helsinki interpreter, and the Left’s response to Bret Kavanaugh.
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