Tuesday, May 22, 2018

How Toxic Would Trump Be Campaigning For House Republicans In Swing District?


Read any of that stuff about how most Democratic candidates don't want the Clintons campaigning for them? Reactionary Democrats like Andrew Cuomo (NY) and Dianne Feinstein (CA) are exceptions; they love the idea of Hillary. (New York scold Kirsten Gillibrand-- who had been proud to run racist advertising against Latinos when she was in the House, is telling the media that "Bill Clinton should have resigned the presidency after his inappropriate relationship with an intern came to light nearly 20 years ago." Democratic senators in tough campaigns Claire McCaskill (MO) and Heidi Heitkamp (ND) went out of their way to very publicly tell Hillary to stay away.

Democratic candidates would also appreciate Nancy Pelosi to not make any public appearances in their districts. Republicans-- especially Republicans in swing districts-- feel the same way about Paul Ryan. And when Ryan does show up to wrangle big checks out of multimillionaires and billionaires he does it quietly and away from the media. Same with McConnell. McConnell, in fact, is the most unpopular politician in America-- and not just among Democrats. Republican voters have him too.

Democrats want Bernie campaigning for them in their districts. And Elizabeth Warren. And Randy @IronStache Bryce. Others we hear Democrat candidates requesting are Keith Ellison and the members of Congress who are on MSNBC a lot, like Ted Lieu, Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell.

What about Trump? Of course swing district Democrats would do anything to get him campaigning in their districts with their opponents. Yesterday Bryce's sassy campaign manager, David Keith told me that "We welcome the day Trump comes, as it'll greatly help us engage with those working families who have been left behind and are ready to stand up and fight. Bernie came to talk about hope and lift the working people up. Trump will come-- and while he'll argue he's doing the same-- and simply lie on behalf of the big corporations looking to ship jobs oversees. It's a slap in the face to working people on behalf of Ryan's job-exporting driver and/or Paul Nehlen, the Nazi... and the working people will know it."

Sunday, McClatchey ran a piece by Katie Glueck about how House Republicans are refusing to even answer questions about Trump coming to their districts. Of course, in deep red districts, filled with low-IQ Republicans and few normal people-- like districts represented by fascists Mo Brooks (AL), Matt Gaetz (FL), Louie Gohmert (TX), Jim Jordan (OH) and Liz Cheney (WY)-- they'd roll out the red carpet for Señor Trumpanzee-- and any of the cast of characters around him. One Republican in a deep red district that Trump won with nearly 70% told me-- obviously on condition of anonymity that it would make his skin crawl to do a rally with Trump but that his constituents like Trump more than they like him, so he'd do it in a second. "I'd have to take a hot shower afterwards, of course," he said, giggling.

DuWayne Gregory is in a tough Long Island district where Trump beat Hillary 53.0% to 43.9%. But he knows a Trump visit is going to motivate Democrats and independent voters in a way that isn't going to help incumbent Peter King. "The people of the 2nd Congressional District, he told me, "are still recovering from Donald Trump’s last visit when he encouraged police officers to rough up suspects. This community doesn’t need anymore of his division. We are a community united to fight against his bigotry against immigrants and Paul Ryan and Peter King’s lack of leadership in standing up for what is right." Right now DuWayne is putting together a rally with a respected-- even beloved-- Democrat in his district. It's a surprise though, so I can't tell yet. Trump also won in the Oklahoma district Tom Guild is running in. Guild told us he "would enthusiastically welcome Bernie coming to Oklahoma to support our campaign. I’ll leave it up to Mr. Russell to decide if he wants Mr. Trump to appear on his behalf in 2018." Levi Tillemann is the progressive Democrat running in the Denver suburbs against GOP stooge Mike Coffman. "According to the polling we’ve done," he told me, "Trump is actually more popular than Coffman in the district. So I guess Coffman would probably embrace the opportunity. If there’s one thing we learned over the years it’s that Mike Coffman flows like water towards political expediency."
The question of whether endangered GOP candidates want President Donald Trump to campaign with them sparked dodges, lengthy pauses and a cascade of caveats in interviews with about two dozen GOP House members who are facing varying degrees of competition in races this fall.

But the answer several Republicans from tough districts have settled on is, sure-- if Trump will campaign on their terms.

“It depends,” said Fitzpatrick, a Republican from a suburban Philadelphia district that Democrats are targeting. “On what issue is he campaigning for me? If he campaigns on term limits-- I just met with him on that. If he’s able to get public support behind it, absolutely.”

But would a campaign rally be helpful? “We’ll see, we’ll see what our schedule is looking like,” he said, getting into an elevator at the Capitol.

Rep. David Valadao of California, whose district Hillary Clinton won by nearly 16 percentage points, offered a similar calculation: “If it’s a topic like water or something positive on immigration that actually benefits us-- I think if the president of the United States wants to come to the district to highlight something that’s actually helpful to the district, I think it would make sense, but it depends on the topic.”

And Miami-area Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who represents the most Democratic-leaning district in the country held by a Republican running for reelection this year, suggested he would welcome Trump's help-- if he "supports my work."

"I’m not asking nor have I ever asked anyone to come down and campaign, I don’t need it from anyone,” said Curbelo, who is leading an effort to force votes on immigration-related bills, rankling House conservatives. “The conditions for anyone to support me, to campaign for me, is that they support my work and are helping me achieve it for the benefit of the country."

Midterm elections are often challenging for the president’s party, and the question of where polarizing presidents can campaign tends to be a fraught one. It’s a reality that has applied to a range of leaders including Presidents George W. Bush in 2006 and Barack Obama in 2010 and 2014, when beleaguered candidates from their respective parties were loathe to make joint appearances or offer public praise.

...“It might help get out the base who might not be as fervently for a candidate such as myself,” said retiring GOP Rep. Ryan Costello, who currently represents another Philadelphia-area suburban district Clinton won. “I think, though, it would be a reminder, negatively, to swing voters who view him unfavorably but who I would want to have respond to my message of being an independent check-and-balance.”

...Still, the majority of candidates McClatchy interviewed said they would be open to Trump on their trail-- though their enthusiasm in answering that question, and the level of detail they provided in their responses, swung wildly.

“Yeah, I've encouraged every president, every president, to come to my district,” Rep. Jeff Denham of California said after pausing for a few seconds. Like Valadao, who also represents the Central Valley, Denham then turned back to local issues, referencing a water controversy. “To have our president come to take a look at our water being shut off, at our communities being devastated, that is something I would definitely support."
Westside Congressman Ted Lieu, the regional vice chair of the DCCC-- and the only competent person working for the organization-- cut right to the chase when I asked him how he'd feel about Trump coming to Orange County or the Central Valley to campaign for the embattled and vulnerable Republican incumbents in those two areas. This is what he told me: "I sincerely hope Trump shows up in California to campaign for Republican congressional candidates here. The DCCC is going to spend a lot of money tying Trump to these candidates, and this would make the job that much easier. I would gladly pay the permit fee for Trump to show up in California to do one of his toxic rallies. It would be super awesome for Democrats if Californians can see Trump unleashed. It would be even better if Trump brought Scot Pruitt and Ted Nugent with him and went full MAGA. Trump's xenophobic and bigoted rallies will jack up Democratic turnout and horrify independents in California."

...Doug Heye, a former communications director for the Republican National Committee, said it was one thing for candidates in competitive seats to voice enthusiasm for a Trump visit. It’s another thing entirely to actually pursue one.

“They’ve got to take care of their base,” he said. “If you’re telling your base, ‘I don’t want Trump to come,’ you run the risk of being judged by that, and having people unhappy and everything that comes along with that. … I think it’s a different issue when it comes to actual campaigning. I think we’ll see Trump in really red places more than anywhere else.”

But Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, who represents a district Clinton won, beamed when asked if he would want Trump to show up in his suburban Dallas district. He answered in the affirmative before a reporter finished asking the question.

"Awesome, I welcome him with open arms," Sessions said. "Can you invite him for me?"
The progressive running for the Dallas-area seat, TX-32, Sessions is occupying, Lillian Salerno, told me yesterday that she "would not be surprised if the President campaigned for one of the most reliable yes men. After all, Congressman Sessions was instrumental in helping the President nearly get away with taking health care coverage from 22 million Americans. That's devotion. The reason I ran was precisely because we need to win this seat in order to help hold Trump accountable. Trump and the rigged  system know that they must remain in power to continue the fraud on the American people. This means control of Congress. I am in this race to make sure the corporate Democrat doesn’t win and I am on the ballot to beat Sessions."

Ron Brownstein, reporting for CNN, noted this morning that as Trump's daily "bombshells detonate, sometimes within hours of each other, congressional Republican leaders then react with little more than a shrug. Even more important, the vast majority of the Republican electoral coalition increasingly responds the same way... The elimination of any distance between Trump and the conventional Republican interests that controlled the party before him has happened so incrementally it can be difficult to discern from day to day. But it remains one of the central political dynamics of 2018. Over the long term, Trump's success at stamping his polarizing brand on the GOP remains a huge electoral gamble for the party because it risks alienating the young, well-educated and diverse groups growing, rather than shrinking, in the electorate. But in the near-term, the GOP's choice to ally so unequivocally with such a unique president may have the paradoxical effect of producing a much more conventional midterm election than seemed possible earlier this year."

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At 8:54 PM, Blogger edmondo said...

LOL. If you think Trump is toxic what do you call Nancy Pelosi?


At 4:51 AM, Blogger leu2500 said...

You write “of course, in deep red districts, filled with low IQ Republicans and few normal people — like districts represented by fascist Mo Brooks”

I find this characterization to be deeply offensive. I happen to live in Mo Brooks’s district. While I do not agree with the politics of my Republican voting friends, they are not “abnormal people.”

At 6:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The distinction depends upon the toxicity of the "democratic" Party entities in said district.

At 6:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

leu, you are correct. The average American voter is a moron who cannot spike an EEG even awake. This is clear by their propensity for voting for either R or D.

Among the right, they also have greed and hate in copious amounts.

Among the left, they typically have just a little less greed and hate, but have copious amounts of fear (of the Rs).

The most gifted of the lot are the Independents who don't vote or write-in.

It is more defensible to not vote or to write-in than to vote for either the R or D.

At 4:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At present (quite some time yet until November) trump is toxic in swing districts.
But also at present, which won't change by November, the DxCCs are also toxic. Sentient voters both in the party and as independents will view support by the 'crap money as extremely toxic.

The question should be: in November, which will be more toxic and what will that mean for the general? The 'craps are going to stick with the same losing tactics and strategy they've been employing for the last decade. The Nazis might just calculate that they can run real Nazi racist douchenozzles and win if the 'crap stink is worse than trump stink by then.

I could not bet that the trump stink will still be as pungent in November. I know how stupid and evil americans are and could never presume they can't get summarily worse in a few months.


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