Sunday, May 14, 2017

How Toxic Will Trump Be For GOP Candidates in 2018-- AFTER The Honeymoon Is Over?


Friday afternoon, we mentioned that the RNC met last week in California and that Trump sent them a crackpot video about how he would campaign for their candidates in the 2018 midterms. That caused alarm-- a great deal of alarm. His base still loves him-- they're either profoundly stupid, profoundly racist or profoundly addicted to opioids (or, in many cases) all three-- but among normal Americans, Trump is the most unpopular and disliked president in history. There are virtually no vulnerable members of Congress who would want him in their districts campaigning for them. Congressional incumbents like Barbara Comstock, Carlos Curbelo, Martha McSally, Mimi Walters might be better off if Trump denounced them and campaigned against them! In fact, look how Trump did in these Republican-held districts and remember, he's much more unpopular now:
FL-27- Ileana Ros-Lehtinen- 38.9%
CA-21- David Valadao- 39.7%
FL-26- Carlos Curbelo- 40.6%
CO-06- Mike Coffman- 41.3%
MN-03- Erik Paulsen- 41.4%
VA-10- Barbara Comstock- 42.2%
CA-39- Ed Royce- 42.9%
IL-06- Pete Roskam- 43.2%
CA-49- Darrell Issa- 43.2%
CA-21- Steve Knight- 43.6%
CA-45- Mimi Walters- 44.4%
WA-08- Dave Reichert- 44.7%
AZ-02- Martha McSally- 44.7%
NY-24- John Katko- 45.3%
CA-10- Jeff Denham 45.5%
KS-03- Kevin Yoder- 46.0%
CA-48- Dana Rohrabacher- 46.2%
TX-23- Will Hurd- 46.4%
TX-32- Pete Sessions- 46.6%
PA-07- Pat Meehan- 47.0%
TX-07- John Culberson- 47.1%
NJ-07- Leonard Lance- 47.5%
PA-06- Ryan Costello- 47.6%
And even in districts Trump managed to win because of how much people loathed Hillary, his pathetic win numbers-- like 48.2 in NE-02 (Bacon) 48.7% in IA-01 (Blum), 49.7% in MI-11 (Trott), 46.5 in MN-02 (Lewis) and 48.5% in IA-03 (Young)-- are not likely to elicit invitations from embattled incumbents. Yesterday, I spoke with a staffer in Leonard Lance's office, a lifelong Republican true-believer. "If Trump makes his stays at Bedminster [a Trump golf resort in Lance's district where Trump has regularly met with his Mafia cronies] into campaign events for us, we'll lose the seat; period. Independents are the key to reelection here and independents in this part of New Jersey have developed a visceral dislike for him and don't believe a word he says. We're better off if he doesn't even endorse the Congressman or mention there's a race."

Kia Hamadanchy, a young Orange County attorney and former Sherrod Brown staffer is running for the Orange County seat Mimi Walters pretends to represent. Kia has his fingers crossed that Trump will show up in Irvine, Tustin, Lake Forest or Mission Viejo. "I'd love nothing more than to see Donald Trump out here in Orange County campaigning for Mimi Walters, one of his favorite members of Congress. She already put her loyalty to Donald Trump above the people of her district by voting for his disastrous healthcare plan. I can only hope he repays her loyalty by showing up time and time again for her between now and next November. That is of course in the unlikely event that Mimi Walters comes out of hiding and happens to do a public event ever again."

Katie Hill, the progressive candidate up in CA-25, is as eager to see Trump in Santa Clarita, Lancaster or Palmdale as Kia is to see him in Orange County. "Knight and the Republicans should be terrified of how angry and mobilized people are here in the 25th. Trump's and the Republicans' policies, quite simply, will hurt our people here and they know it. Knight's yes vote on the AHCA in particular was a betrayal of the promises he made to all of us, and that sense of betrayal is going to stick around. I truly hope they get scared enough to bring Trump here to campaign on behalf of Knight and against me. I know that will only seal Knight's fate and I am ready to take them both on."

And Randy Bryce is the independent-minded iron worker who's standing up to the DCCC to, in all likelihood, take on Paul Ryan in his southeast Wisconsin district. He can't wait for Ryan-- let alone Trump-- to show up on the campaign hustings in Kenosha, Janesville, Racine, Burlington, Elkhorn... or even in Muskego or somewhere else in beet red Waukesha County. "I would absolutely love to see Donald Trump come to Wisconsin in order to campaign on behalf of Paul Ryan. Not only would it mean that Ryan finally met with the voters of the 1st CD but it would be a fantastic opportunity for the thousands who have buyers' remorse to let it be known that 2018 will bring some badly needed changes."

Guess who

Over the weekend, Politico's Alex Isenstadt reported on the RNC meeting and how the top level Republican Party officials there have been grappling with a profoundly unstable White House. Trump sent a 5-minute video address in which he said "Your commitment will help us keep the House in 2018 and gain more seats in the Senate. I’ll be going around to different states, I’ll be working hard for the people running for Congress and the people running for the Senate. We can gain a lot of seats, especially if it all keeps going like it's going now." To which there were both groans and nervous laughs. "With the White House in meltdown mode," Isenstadt wrote, "top Republican Party officials and operatives gathered at a posh oceanside resort here and contemplated a 2018 midterm election that will test them in unimaginable ways. At the Republican National Committee’s spring meeting, strategists expressed alarm about a pair of upcoming special House elections and what they might portend for the battle for the lower chamber next year. One high-profile potential candidate outlined how he would distinguish himself from the embattled president."
“I don’t think there is anything to compare it to. You have a non-politician who’s the president, so he doesn’t do things in a political way and that completely drives insiders of both parties bonkers because they don’t understand it,” said Randy Evans, a Republican National Committeeman from Georgia who was a top adviser to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. “Right now, we’re just in a completely different and foreign political environment where pollsters and pundits and focus groups don’t matter.”

“Anybody that tells you they have a feel for what’s going to happen next year is just delusional,” he added.

The House elections took center stage at the meeting, since the Senate is seen as much less likely to change hands.

In one presentation on the GOP's challenges ahead, the National Republican Congressional Committee’s executive director, John Rogers, pointed out that far more vulnerable Republican incumbents represent districts that Hillary Clinton won than endangered Democratic incumbents in districts that Trump carried. Rogers reminded attendees that midterm elections are historically unkind to the party in the White House.

And he offered a surprisingly unvarnished forecast of looming special elections that the party has been favored to win. While the race for a Georgia House seat is a tossup, he said, one in Montana later this month is closer than public polling indicated... One of the attendees at that session was Jeff Essmann, who as Montana's Republican Party chairman is working to salvage the congressional seat. Republicans, Essmann said, face as volatile an environment as he could remember in his four decades in politics.

...[A]s party officials begin preparing for 2018, tensions are flaring. On Wednesday, as the besieged administration struggled to answer questions about the Comey dismissal, the NRCC released a fundraising email that raised the prospect of a Democratic-led Trump impeachment.

Several strategists close to the RNC and the White House, neither of which got a heads-up before the message was sent, said they were rankled by the move. The House GOP campaign arm and the administration have already been at odds over the early planning for 2018.

As word of the email raced through the hotel, NRCC officials, who had been watching NBA playoff games and holding meetings in a downstairs bar, scrambled to control the damage.

With the Comey firing and Russia investigation dominating the headlines, there were also moments of discomfort. During a welcome reception Wednesday, a national committeeman took the stage and, perhaps jokingly, referred to those assembled as “comrades," drawing grimaces.

At times, the RNC appeared to take pains to obscure any dissent about Trump. On Thursday, RNC members gathered for a closed-door breakfast meeting to discuss issues confronting the committee. Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, fearing leaks, implored attendees to turn off their phones and not record the proceedings. She also asked RNC and hotel staffers to leave the room.

McDaniel warned the group that reporters were covering the event and trying to eavesdrop in the hopes of writing negative stories.

McDaniel's aides insisted the move was typical. Yet some members felt she was going too far to project a united front.

For all of Trump’s difficulties, however, GOP leaders said his base of support-- among the conservative grassroots and party hierarchy-- was largely intact. At least for now.

“I think he’s still in a honeymoon period,” said Saul Anuzis, a former Michigan GOP chairman, “and he’s getting a pass on a lot of things that in another six months, eight months might become a bigger issue.”

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At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Won't get my hopes up, for the Democrats will bungle this opportunity like they always do. Better to be a Wall St-paid loser than to have to take control and clean up the mess of the GOP.

At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, two things to reflect on.

1) R voters are toxic monsters who would never vote a sane candidate ever.
2) The DxCCs and DNC **SHALL** fuck this up... they don't want progressive people polluting their corporatist neoliberal party (nor their donor's interests).


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