Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Going Into The Midterms, How Toxic Is Trump For Congressional Republicans?


Yesterday, Adam Smith quoted a Florida political insiders and operatives in a piece he did for the Tampa Bay Times about Señor Trumpanzee's impact on the Republican Party in the state. Democrats were jubilant and independents sounded like Democrats. One said, "The question is how has the Republican Party's silence on Donald Trump changed the party? Absolutely for the worse, unless you are his 30% base." But Republicans were split between glorying Trump and bemoaning his existence. Generally Smith found comments like these from Republicans:
He has pushed the party right and into the position of nominating candidates who appear to be unelectable in the General Elections
Energized the base…. alienated the moderates.
 it's the party of trump
split the party
He has ruined it.
But one GOP insider was especially cruel: "We've gone from being the party of Jeb Bush Republicans who can win everywhere and over perform in Democratic areas to the party of red hat Cletus the Slack-jawed Yokel and QAnon. Who thinks this is going to end well?"

Yesterday Trumpanzee was blithely tweeting away that "Tariffs are the greatest" while more and more Americans are feeling them in their pocketbooks in ways that are hardly "the greatest." And if that wasn't bad enough, vulnerable Republican congressman, Mike Coffman, who represents a ring of suburbs that surround Denver from the west to the south and up the east, told the media that Trump "absolutely" got played by Putin. "I think the first summit was a terrible mistake. The second summit would be equally as bad... I think he was strong in talking to our allies and weak when it came to Putin." More congressional Republicans are opening their eyes and seeing Trump as an albatross hung around their necks going into the midterms.

Of course, some GOP congressmen are their own albatrosses-- photo by Chip Proser

Around the same time that Trump was tweeting his nonsense, Chuck Todd and the crew at NBC's First Read were checking in with swing voters-- the 18% of voters who dislike both parties in the new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. 55% are breaking for Democrats and 25% for Republicans, significantly up from lat month when 50% were breaking for Democrats and 36% for Republicans. "What’s more in our current poll," wrote the authors, "these voters disproportionately are down on Trump (68 percent disapprove of his job, versus 52 percent of all voters), and they are enthusiastic about the upcoming midterms (63 percent of them have high interest, versus 55 percent of all voters who say this)." This isn't going to hurt Republicans in deep red districts in, say, Alabama where they don't need independent voters to win. But look at Arkansas, as a different kind of example. All 4 districts are held by Republicans:
AR-01- R+17- east
AR-02- R+7- Little Rock
AR-03- R+19- northwest
AR-04- R+17 west and south
An anti-red wave isn't going to hurt Rick Crawford, Steve Womack or Buce Westerman. But French Hill is in real trouble and could lose his seat to Blue Dog Democrat Clarke Tucker. Overly cautious--very overly cautious-- Larry Sabato just moved AR-02 from "likely Republican" to "leans Republican." Judging by how Sabato rates races, that means Tucker is close to winning. It'sworth noting that Hill, an especially corrupt member of the House Financial Services Committee and a complete Wall Street puppet, had raised $1,954,935 by the June 30 FEC reporting deadline, compared to Tucker's $975,268. It a swing year that difference doesn't matter. Tucker has enough to get his message out, build name recognition and operate a field campaign. So long as he isn't wasting his money on consultants the DCCC is directing him to, he has what he needs too beat Hill.

And Arkansas is far from unique when it comes to this dynamic. Pennsylvania's new 17th congressional district has a PVI of R+1. Under the new boundaries, Trump would have beaten Hillary there 49.4% to 46.8%. But the incumbent, Keith Rothfus, is in big trouble. Conor Lamb lives within the new boundaries and he decided to run there instead of in the red hellhole he now represents-- and has become even redder under the newly redrawn congressional boundaries. In a newly released Monmouth poll he's leading Rothfus 51-39% in the Beaver and Allegheny counties district northwest of Pittsburgh. Arkansas, Pennsylvania... where else? Short answer: everywhere that Trump is.

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At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's maybe just a bit more toxic to the Nazis than the democrap leadershit is to the democraps. But it's probably close.


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