Instead of helping the Republican Senate candidates, as Trump claims, his rallies actually hurt a number of them according to a new analysis.
Trump tweeted on Thursday evening:
Does the Fake News Media ever mention the fact that Republicans, with the very important help of my campaign Rallies, WON THE UNITED STATES SENATE, 53 to 47? All I hear is that the Open Border Dems won the House. Senate alone approves judges & others. Big Republican Win!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2018
Alan I. Abramowitz of Sabato’s Crystal Ball found that the results were at best mixed. Six candidates overperformed. Six candidates underperformed, and one did exactly as expected.
The kicker comes when Abramowitz writes that all of the GOP Senate candidates underperformed, “The bigger picture here is that Republican candidates actually underperformed in the 2018 Senate elections. Given a map in which Democrats were defending 26 seats, including 10 in states carried by Donald Trump in 2016, Republicans might well have picked up six or seven seats in 2018 in a neutral political environment. But the political environment in 2018 was far from neutral, as can be seen in the results of the House and gubernatorial elections where the map did not give Republicans the same sort of advantage. And the fact that the overall political environment was toxic for Republicans in 2018 was due largely to the unpopularity of President Trump. That reality was far more important than the effects of the president’s campaigning for GOP candidates.”
Trump is claiming that his rallies saved the Senate and are the reason why Republicans added two seats in the midterm. The truth is that Trump’s rallies were a drag on the performance of Republicans who had a huge advantage both in geography and the number of seats being defended on the Senate map.
Trump rallies are a bad sign for Republicans in 2020
It is not difficult to see a situation unfolding where Trump is toxic in 2020, and some Republicans don’t want to campaign with him. The problem for Republican candidates when it comes to Trump is that they need his base to turn out and vote, but Trump damages any candidate he touches with non-Trump supporting voters.
The Republican base is shrinking by the day, and instead of saving the Republican Party, Trump is planting the seeds of its destruction.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association