Opinion

Midterm Prospects Looking up for Republicans, Thanks to President Trump

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Posted: Feb 05, 2018 12:01 AM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent the views of Townhall.com.
Midterm Prospects Looking up for Republicans, Thanks to President Trump

Poor Democrats. Ever since Donald Trump stepped in to play the role of Lucy to their Charlie Brown in 2016, they just can’t seem to get a solid kick at the football.

And now, just when things were geared for a “blue wave” midterm election that promised to finally sweep the #Resistance into actual power, the tide has shifted in a yuge way as that dastardly Trump yet again threatens to jerk the football away from hapless Dems. Indeed, the man #Never-Trumpers call Drumpf, that (as Leftists and RINOs see him) hapless, bumbling, egotistical madman who wanders around the White House shouting at staffers, tweeting nonsense, eating Egg McMuffins, and binge-watching Fox News, is in actuality outsmarting them at every turn.

Because no matter how Americans may perceive the president as a person, odds are the things he is actually accomplishing are making their lives better, bit by bit.

And, who in their right mind is going to vote against making their life better?

During a speech last week at the RNC’s winter meeting, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich encouraged Republicans to “study Trump” when seeking victory, because whether it’s attacking open-borders by pointing out the obvious (hellooo, MS-13) or making the lives of ordinary Americans better through smarter government policy, the man clearly knows how to move the needle. 

“I would say to every candidate: study Trump,” said Gingrich. “Trump is one of the greatest articulators I have ever seen. He understands fighting. He likes to fight, and he is prepared to figure out how to go at you at an angle you can’t defend. And that’s what we have to do for this whole campaign starting now.”

Granted, as the president struggled to find his sea legs and Republicans struck out on repealing Obamacare, a December Monmouth poll showed Republicans facing a 15 point deficit versus Democrats in a generic Congressional ballot. Even with today’s ridiculous polling that basically asks Democrats and a token Republican or two how they plan to vote, it was a pretty deep hole that didn’t bode well for the GOP’s prospects. 

As February begins, however, things are looking up for Republicans. Buoyed by an increasingly popular tax bill, a massive PR win on the government shutdown, a well-received State of the Union Address and even the release of the Nunes memo which has to have reasonable people of any political persuasion at least questioning the motives and tactics of the anti-Trump forces within the Deep State, the same Monmouth poll now has Democrats leading Republicans by a slim 47 percent to 45 percent margin, well within the poll’s 3.5 percent margin of error. 

According to a recent Gallup poll, President Trump finished his first year in office with a hefty 58 percent of Americans feeling satisfied with the economy, compared to just 46 percent when Obama left office, and consumer confidence is at a 17-year high. Further, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows 37.6 percent trust Republicans to boost jobs and lower unemployment, compared to just 27.8 percent who trust Democrats.

With Americans to the tune of two-to-one believing that their country is “doing well economically” and two-thirds believing the economy is either “excellent” or “good,” according to recent polling, it’s hard to imagine a plurality of people up and deciding to hand the reins back over to the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Even a few of the more intellectually honest Trump-haters may not be as keen on listening to Ashley Judd and the marching ladies in vagina hats when their pay, job prospects, and 401k are all going in the right direction. 

In other words, hating Trump will only take Democrats so far. It’ll galvanize their base, which comprises around 20 to 25 percent of the electorate, but if the middle 50 percent of Americans are living better lives than before, it’s not likely to convince them to vote for whatever pajama-boy, latte-sipping candidate they’ve decided to trot out against the Republican who thinks a $1,000 pay increase is a bit more than “crumbs” (thanks, Nancy Pelosi, for a gift that will keep on giving all the way to November!).

Even CNN is concerned. In a Sunday article entitled “Trump may be making a comeback,” CNN Political Analyst Julian Zelizer writes, “Whether it's 42% or 49%, the fact remains that [Trump’s] approval rating is increasing. And Democrats are seeing some slippage in the generic ballot for November, which suggests that a ‘wave’ election is not as inevitable as it looked just a few weeks ago.”

CNN cites the issues listed above along with the fact that Trump still has the GOP’s support to acknowledge that Trump “has temporarily stopped the bleeding” and “might be in stronger position going into the next set of elections than most of his opponents expected.”

It’ll be a long campaign season and anything can happen, of course, but it’s hard to imagine open-borders, an ISIS-dominated Middle East, importing hordes of unskilled, Third-World labor, abortion on demand, and absurd, job-killing economic policies resonating with enough Americans to tip the scales in an otherwise strong economy ... yet. (Although yes, Dems are still working hard for that “permanent Democratic majority.”)

Meanwhile, in the tradition of the great P. T. Barnum, President Trump continues to put on a masterful performance that, despite all the distractions, actually seems to be making America great again. 

And thankfully for Republican candidates, you don’t have to like the showman to enjoy the show.