Weighed down a by wildly unpopular president and tax bill, even the Senate Majority Leader admits that the Republican Party faces peril in 2018.
More than 250 Republicans in the House and Senate are up for re-election next year. And as of right now, you can probably count on two hands how many of them are eager for Donald Trump to campaign for them in 2018.
As Trump’s first year comes to close, Republicans are bracing for the consequences in the midterms. And many already fear the worse.
Politico reports that Ronna Romney McDaniel, the head of the Republican National Committee, recently briefed the White House on the party’s cratering support among women voters. But the advice went unheeded when Trump decided to double down his support on accused child molester Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race.
Nonetheless, Politico notes, the “backstage talks provide a window into how those closest to Trump are bracing for a possible bloodbath in the 2018 midterms, which could obliterate the Republican congressional majorities and paralyze the president’s legislative agenda.”
“The potential for a Democratic wave has grown after Republican losses this fall in Virginia, New Jersey and Alabama, and as the president’s approval ratings have plummeted to the 30s,” the report continues.
Twelve months ago, Republicans were counting how many Senate Democrats they could knock off in 2018, with the Democratic Party forced to defend nearly three times as many Senate seats.
But all that has changed with the failed presidency of Trump, who remains a widely unpopular and despised figure in America. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell even conceded that it’s going to be a “fight” for the GOP to simply retain control of the Senate — a stunning reversal of fortune for the party.
Jaws are still on being picked up off the ground all after a recent CNN poll showed Democrats with an astonishing 18-point advantage over Republicans when a generic ballot is offered to voters for 2018.
The last time Democrats enjoyed a double-digit advantage was just ahead of the 2008 election, when the party picked up eight Senate seats and 21 House seats.
Heading into 2018, Democrats need to pick up 24 seats in the House and just two seats in the Senate to gain control of each chamber. There are already 23 vulnerable Republicans in the House who won districts carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Meanwhile, recent results in statewide elections in Virginia and Alabama indicate that Republican candidates took a beating among suburban voters — the same people who helped fuel Trump’s victory in 2016.
Increasingly, this is a party with no good options for 2018. According to Politico, during one brainstorm session at the White House, aides suggesting “underscoring the administration’s efforts to curb the opioid crisis” as a way to boost Trump’s dismal approval rating.
Slight problem with that strategy: Trump has done nothing to curb the raging opioid crisis.
Meanwhile, the GOP’s electoral chances actually seemed to have dimmed with the passage of the widely despised tax scheme. Public Policy Polling recently found that “by a 23 point margin voters say they’re less likely to vote for a member of Congress next year who supports it.”
Note to Republicans: You built this.