116 days in and things look bad for the entire Republican Party, thanks to Trump. “Trump’s 39% job rating is a screaming alarm bell for the Republican Party when you think about the midterms,” NBC’s First Read warned in just one example.
Already pundits are warning Republicans about the 2018 midterms, with Donald Trump becoming a toxic brand even in some Republican leaning districts. As things stand right now, they warn the House is in play and the Senate is no lock up for McConnell either.
NBC First Read noted that while the NBC/WSJ poll showed not a lot of movement for Trump’s job approval numbers after the Comey firing, “But here’s the second way to view the poll: Trump’s 39% job rating is a screaming alarm bell for the Republican Party when you think about the midterms, which are still more than 500 days away. To put Trump’s 39% into perspective, George W. Bush didn’t reach that level in the NBC/WSJ poll until October 2005, so after the Social Security debacle, after the Iraq war turned south, and after Hurricane Katrina. And the GOP lost the House and Senate the following year. And Barack Obama NEVER reached 39% in our poll — his lowest approval rating was 40% in September 2014, right before Democrats lost the Senate (after losing the House in 2010).”
It’s Trumpcare that’s doing the damage, their poll shows. “48% say the health-care legislation that was recently passed by the House and supported by President Trump is a bad idea, versus 23% who call it a good idea. That 25-point gap between good idea and bad idea is larger than the NBC/WSJ poll ever found for Barack Obama’s health-care plan.”
The same poll showed that 78% want an independent commission or special prosecutor to look at Russia probe, which Republicans are obstructing in both chambers.
That is to say, Republicans are handing Democrats two huge issues to run on in 2018: The American flag and the healthcare they have become accustomed to per Obamacare.
The conservative National Journal warning, “If the political environment turns so ominous that Republicans decide not to stick around, it will be a warning sign of a significant wave election… But in the coming months, Re¬public¬an office holders and potential recruits will also be reading the tea leaves to decide whether to run in 2018. Their decisions will go a long way in set¬ting the stage for the midterms.”
It’s not just that Republicans are suffering from Trump toxicity, but also that Democrats are recruiting good candidates. A DCCC source told Axios ,”)T)he Democratic committee has already had serious conversations with more than 300 potential candidates in about 75 districts. ‘There are a great deal of veterans, small business owners and entrepreneurs, and women that are stepping up,’ the source said.” Axios listed Democratic candidates from a Bronze Star Iraq veteran to Captain in the Air Force Reserve to Navy SEAL to a private lawyer who does pro-bono work for abused children.
Although the Comey firing decision has not yet made a dent in Trump’s job approval numbers (I’d hold off on that as a definite as it’s a developing story that Saturday Night Live took to popular culture and the constant Watergate comparison is not going to help), a Gallup poll showed that the reaction to Trump’s firing of Comey “is far more negative than the one Americans had the last and only previous time a president fired his FBI director.”
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough is trying to warn Republicans to run from Trump to save the midterms:
Too many Capitol Hill Republicans mistakenly believe they can survive standing by Trump. They are wrong. https://t.co/FSs35iT6kl
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) May 14, 2017
ATTN GOP: Trump's approval rating in NBC/WSJ, Gallup & Quinnipiac polls this week are all lower than Mondale's in 1984. (He lost 49 states).
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) May 14, 2017
The problem for Trump and Republicans is not only that we are only 116 days in to his presidency, but also that Trump entered office with a historically low approval rating. He didn’t have a lot of room or political capital to start off with, and then Republicans jammed Trumpcare down the public’s throat adding an amendment that was given no real debate and several Republicans admitted not having even seen the night before the vote, let alone the public.
As we warned in these pages back when Democrats passed Obamacare, once people had the insurance and the security afforded in the regulations of Obamacare, they would not want to give it up. Much like Social Security, people are pretty attached to things that offer them a safety net. Republicans should understand this since they didn’t manage to get rid of the bit where they get to keep Obamacare while giving the public Trumpcare, though they told Vox they would pass another bill to close this loophole.
Of course it’s early yet and Republicans have plenty of time to spend oodles of dark money on fear-mongering messages to distract the public from their behavior, but they are taking on several straight to the gut issues: Republicans are seriously threatening our national security with their alarming lack of patriotism in regards to Russia and they are also threatening people’s ability to live and get healthcare.
So far the Republican effort to combat the Russia narrative is to pretend that Hillary Clinton has a Russia issue, but of course Russia didn’t intervene in the 2016 to help Clinton; they intervened to help Trump win because they knew he could do the most damage to the country, even if he didn’t win.
Russia wanted the Republican because their goal is to undermine democracy and destroy morale in the U.S. That sentence alone would kill any party that didn’t have stores of dark money and Russian help.
Republicans’ behavior is so atrocious that Chuck Todd (one of three authors of NBC’s First Read) and Joe Scarborough are warning them about 2018.
Republicans are learning the heard way that standing by your man doesn’t always pay off.