Let’s start this little chat out on the right foot, shall we? All on the same page. Let’s take for granted that Trump’s vaunted “base” is actually as rock solid as we think they are. They ain’t going nowhere friends. Which begs the obvious question, “Why does Trump keep doing insanely self destructive shit to keep them happy?”
In a recent article, I opined that he kept up with these verbal and policy obscenities because it is who Trump really is, and he loved surrounding himself with dark, twisted, kindred souls to make him feel more normal. I still believe that, but I think there’s also an ancillary reason he keeps feeding the beast. He wants to keep them as highly motivated as possible for the November election, when his dumpy self isn’t on the ballot.
Because basically, the GOP is in a world of hurt. Traditionally, an administration loses seats in the first midterm election of a new President. And no incumbent President has gone to the lengths that His Lowness has to piss off as much of the sane voting population of the United States as he possibly can. The Republican incumbents are going to need every single Trump voter they can scrape up.
You’ve all heard the phrase, they’re called “coattails.” A popular President can lift the candidates down ballot to victory. In the Chicago of my youth, Richard J Dley ot only elevated city candidates beneath him, county officers like Assessor, and Recorder and DA were able to ride the wave. In a year like this, where Trump is not on the ballot, he has to campaign like hell as a proxy to generate enthusiasm from his base to go out and vote for his candidates.
Which is gonna be one helluva stunt to pull off, because I’ve seen panda bears with longer tails than Trump is wandering around with right now. And it’s not just because of the fallout from his crime against humanity in separating children from their parents at the southern border. This has been a consistent problem for Trump and the GOP since day one.
Let’s look at his record since taking office. Trump gave a late, half assed endorsement to Luther Strange in his special election primary in Alabama, mostly because Mitch McConnel badgered him to death to do it. Strange lost to a guy who was twice removed from the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore. Moore was who Trump always wanted anyway, and he went in deep for Moore. When it became politically unwise for Trump to campaign directly for, or with Moore, Trump threw a rally in the corner of Florida that broadcast heavily in the Alabama market. Noore lost to a Democrat for God’s sake.
The Democrats flipped 15 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates in the 2017 off year election. Trump endorsed GOP gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie, who promptly got swamped by Democrat Ralph Northam. Trump again went half assed in for Rick Saccone in the PA-18 special election, in a supposedly invincible gerrymandered district. Democrat Conor Lamb cuffed him around like a tetherball.
And we’re nowhere near rock bottom here. In 2016, there were 26 congressional districts that Hillary carries that reelected GOP incumbents. Simple math and logic should suffice here. If Hillary carried the district, that means that there couldn’t have been enough Trombies to reelect the incumbents. There were either Democratic crossover votes, or voters who voted for the incumbent, and then voted for a third party candidate for President. And Trump has done everything he can to tar these vulnerable candidates so that those fuzzy voters either vote for the Democrat, or stay home and watch Mork and Mindy reruns instead.The idea of Trump campaigning with these candidates should drive them to join a monastery,
But, wait! Because we’re talking about Trump, there’s always worse to come. Nationwide, there are more than 100 House districts that Trump won by less than 10 points. And since November 9, 2016, in special elections, including elections Republicans have won in deep red states, Democrats are almost universally over performing by 11+ points. In some state elections, Democrats have flipped seats that they haven’t held sine before I was old enough to vote. In Illinois in 2017, Democrats flipped a couple of seats that had never had a Democratic ass sitting in the chair. And the beauty of it is, that all of these stunning events took place long before this GOP nightmare scenatio on the southern border.
Two weeks ago, Trump’s popularity among Republicans was 78%, the nighest number ever for a President in his own party at that time. Gallup’s most recent poll showed Trump at 73%, a loss of 5 points, and the full impact of the child separation issue hasn’t been felt yet. Trump may be at 73%, but the approval for congress is in the teens. The percentage of independent’s and millennials has grown since 2014, and as Chuck Todd pointed out last week, their motto is usually “Throw the bums out!” And considering the fact that the Republicans have the most seats in the House, this would tend to put them in a very precarious position. Because frankly, right now? I don’t think that Trump’s coattails could pull a newborn around in a stroller. And who knows what new outrages he will come up tihe next 4.5 months. Don’t touch that dial.