Karl Rove Says Trump’s Legal Troubles Are Damaging Republicans’ Enthusiasm. He’s Wrong

AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Former White House senior advisor and deputy chief of staff Karl Rove seems to have lost his ability to read the political landscape. He recently made remarks about the upcoming midterm elections that might make one question whether or not he is reading the news after drinking his breakfast.

On Monday, Rove said former President Donald Trump’s current legal situation “dampens the Republican enthusiasm” when it comes to the midterm races. He pointed to polls showing that Democrats are shrinking the gap between its candidates and the GOP. Rove also noted that the news cycle over the last two weeks has been dominated by the FBI’s raid of Trump’s home, instead of on inflation, the economy, and other issues about which most Americans are concerned.

“The more we talk about that and the less we talk about the problems that we face as a country here and now, the better off the Democrats are,” Rove explained. “It raises their enthusiasm, dampens the Republican enthusiasm.”

Admittedly, Trump’s legal situation is troubling at the moment. The activist media has taken full advantage by focusing on these issues in an attempt to distract from America’s economic problems and others that Democrats are mishandling at the moment. It has allowed Democratic candidates to enjoy less scrutiny, as reports abound regarding the raid, Jan. 6, and New York’s investigation into the former president’s business dealings.

Some polls have shown that Democrats, while still behind, are closing the gap. In the most recent RealClearPolitics average, both parties were tied at 43.9 percent. Last Tuesday, FiveThirtyEight had Democrats ahead by one percentage point. The Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade might account for at least part of this shift. Some have expressed doubts that a red wave is in the future.

However, other surveys still show the GOP maintaining a healthy lead over their opponents. It is also worth noting that 74 percent of voters believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, according to an NBC News poll.

But there is another metric that Rove missed, and it relates directly to GOP voter enthusiasm. Last week, a Trafalgar Group/Convention of States Action poll revealed that the FBI’s raid on Trump’s home has only galvanized conservative voters. The survey asked respondents if the raid increased their motivation to vote in the midterms. About 70.4 percent of Republicans indicated it increased their motivation to show up to the polls, while 55.2 percent said the same.

Even further, the primary elections are seeing a massive increase in Republican voters turning out to vote. Interactive Polls posted a tweet showing the results of a study showing that primary turnout among Republican voters so far increased by 19 percent from 2018’s elections.

This doesn’t exactly sound like conservative voters are much discouraged by the legal issues Trump is facing. In fact, they are even more inspired to turn out at the polls. It was a scenario most of us could see coming. Instead of believing the narrative spun by the FBI and activist media, most view the raid as a politically-motivated effort to weaponize the Justice Department against the former president. Many have raised questions about how the agents and officials planned and conducted the search of his home, and also the propriety of investigating him for violations of the Espionage Act.

Of course, anything can happen between now and November 8. It’s possible the FBI might have found something politically damaging enough to hurt the GOP’s chances in the elections. However, as time goes on, this seems less and less likely. The Republicans will at least retake the House. The Senate isn’t quite as certain. But we will know what happens soon enough.



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