Sunday, July 29, 2018

If You Were Running For Congress Would You Want Trump Coming To Your District To Campaign?


Bad campaign message

The albatross is on the way! Republican incumbents got some really bad news Friday evening on Hannity's show. Down deep, Trump knows he's really bad at being president. He would never admit it but he knows the 38% job approval is silly. It should be 8%, not 38%. He's terrible at his job. Everything he touches turns to shit. The only thing he's been "good" at is stirring up racist and xenophobic sentiments and dividing the country for partisan goals. And Julie Davis reported for the NY Times that he "plans to spend almost all of his time this fall campaigning for the most vulnerable Republican congressional candidates in the midterm elections, a strategy that would have him in many districts where endangered lawmakers in his own party regard him as a liability." He may be good at turning out the base in swing districts but those aren't the districts the midterms are being fought in. He's poison in districts where moderates and independents decide who wins election.

Trump told Hannity that he's "going to work very hard. I’ll go six or seven days a week when we’re 60 days out, and I will be campaigning for all of these great people that do have a difficult race, and we think we’re going to bring them over the line." Ted Lieu is the DCCC vice chair for California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Alaska and Nevada. He couldn't be more enthusiastic about Trump spending time on the West Coast. "I would pay the permit fees for Donald Trump to come to California and do one of his toxic rallies," he told us yesterday. "Can't wait for him to explain how the GOP tax scam increases taxes on millions of Californians; the random Trump tariffs hurt Californian farmers: and the rollbacks to environmental laws hurt our air and water. Trump's presence in California would help all Democratic candidates."

Trump said he had instructed John F. Kelly, his chief of staff, and others on his team to compile a list of about two dozen of the most hotly contested races in the country so he could use the bully pulpit to promote the Republicans running in them.

“Give me the top 25 congresspeople that are, you know, could go either way, and I want to go out and campaign for those people,” Trump said.

But many if not most of the most competitive races are in districts where Trump is unpopular and more centrist Republican incumbents are toiling to distance themselves from him, as well as where Democrats are most motivated to turn out to vote against the president’s party.
Goal ThermometerThe Midwest is a battle ground whereTrump hopes to con people. Strong Democratic candidates aren't going to lie down and roll over for him. Iowa progressive J.D. Scholten won his primary and is facing down racist and Trumpist Steve King in November. "Trump," he told us "needs to focus on regaining and finding markets for our farmers rather than campaigning. I would be shocked if he came to campaign for King because King is a coward and doesn’t have public events"

Kara Eastman also won her primary, this won in Nebraska. She told us she firmly believes that "the policies of Donald Trump and Don Bacon do not represent Nebraskans’ values. We are all aware that their tax bill is for the very wealthy and large corporations. We know that they have no plan to provide healthcare to Americans. We also know that they are beholden to interest groups like the NRA, instead of to voters who want common sense gun safety regulations to protect our children. The President’s proposed trip to Nebraska is another example of Washington trying to influence Nebraskans. It is also a campaign stop for his personal gain. We need solutions to complex problems rather than scripted and choreographed political rallies." 
Hannity seemed to allude to the phenomenon in a question, in which he asked what the president would say to motivate supporters of his “who may not like their RINO congressman,” using the derisive shorthand that conservatives use for “Republican in name only.”

Trump has confined his campaigning in recent months almost entirely to red states he won handily in 2016 that have competitive Senate races, including Tennessee, Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana.

His strategy, according to advisers, has been to capitalize on his outsize popularity among core Republican supporters to try to motivate them to turn out to help oust or defeat vulnerable Democrats. He has mostly steered clear of competitive races where he is a polarizing presence and could turn out Democrats, independents and moderate Republicans who consider him toxic.

Next week, though, the president will hold rallies in Florida and Pennsylvania, a sign he is beginning to aim for battleground states.
"It’s our responsibility to continue highlighting Trump’s disastrous policies and remind constituents if a candidate running for office accepts his support and endorsement, you’re supporting his racist, xenophobic, anti-American agenda," said Matt Haggman, congressional candidate for Florida's 27th district, a district with a Republican congresswoman but that rejected Trump 58.5% to 38.9%.

"Trump created a national crisis by first allowing border enforcement agents to rip children from the arms of their parents and separate them, He continued. "Now, his administration cannot answer questions regarding reunifying these families and what the plan is now that the  deadline has passed. If you’re a congressional candidate who is okay with keeping families apart and can live with knowing that these children may never see their parents again, then receiving support from Trump clearly aligns with your agenda, as well. The upcoming midterm elections is the first opportunity for Americans across the country to loudly renounce what Trump has stood for these past two years and to begin bringing communities together so that everyone, regardless of immigration status, social class or race, can prosper in America." 
Trump said he was undaunted by the decades of history that has shown that a president’s party typically loses seats in midterm congressional elections. He insisted he would buck the trend.

“The economy may be the strongest it’s ever been in the history of our country,” Trump said, harking back to a phrase Bill Clinton’s aides used to capture a pivotal issue of his campaign: “It’s the economy, stupid.”

“If it’s the economy, then we should do very well,” he said in the Hannity interview, which was broadcast hours after Trump made a hastily arranged appearance on the South Lawn of the White House to claim credit for newly released data showing a 4.1 per cent growth rate in the last quarter, the strongest since 2014. “I just don’t know any reason why we shouldn’t do well.”

But he also previewed a negative message against Democrats, asserting to Hannity that they “want to raise people’s taxes, they want to open up borders, they want to get rid of ICE-- I mean, the things they’re doing are so destructive, we won’t have a country.” Trump was referring to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which has become a symbol of efforts to round up unauthorized workers and migrant family separations at the border with Mexico. Some Democratic candidates say it should be abolished.

And taking a cue from Hannity, who said Democrats would shut down investigations into “deep corruption” if they took power on Capitol Hill, Trump-- facing new questions about whether his campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 race-- declared that his political rivals were guilty of doing just that.

“If you talk about collusion, the collusion is there-- there’s no question about it, but it’s with the Democrats and Russia,” Trump said, offering no evidence. “All you have to do is look at what they did and how they participated with Russia. It’s a disgraceful situation.”
One Democratic incumbent told me the only thing she would like better than Trump showing up in her district to campaign would be Trump showing up in her district with McConnell and Ryan to campaign. "This administration and their congressional allies has failed the American people. Voters in my district know it... Trump out on the stump will just fire up the Democratic base and persuade independent voters and moderate Republicans how important it is to put a check on his excesses... Most of my colleagues are saying 'bring it on!' He's toxic."

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