The 2018 midterms were tough. Yes, the GOP increased its Senate majority by two seats, but we lost the House. It was a combination of history, a deluge of GOP retirements, and suburban Republicans fled the party. Maybe it was a tall order. The party in power usually loses in the midterms. Only George W. Bush has defied that trend in recent memory. Yet, this was the most important check—and Democrats knew that. Not wasting any time, they waited like Alligators in the swamp to strike the Trump administration. The pet project was now in motion: impeachment. It hasn’t worked out too well. It’s not popular in battleground states. Swing state voters don’t care. It hasn’t moved the needle—and it probably never was going to in the first place. It’s a wasteful exercise, but the Democrats promised their base that they would do this if they retook the House.
It’s tempting to think of 2018 as an across-the-board “Blue Wave.”— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 22, 2019
But a fact that seems quite relevant now: Republicans *gained* two Senate seats.
And, the Trump Loyalist count has risen even more (no McCain, Flake, Corker, etc.)
Yet, there’s also another sliver of the electorate that was critical in netting key Democratic gains in 2018. The Trump voters who jumped ship last cycle. The Trump coalition isn’t made up of die-hard Republicans. They’re right-leaning populists who will vote for Democrats if their messaging is right. Other pollsters have noted that this group is more akin to the Ross Perot coalition. Millions of Trump supporters were Obama voters. Some had voted for Obama twice. In 2018, they backed Democrats, but with Trump at the top of the ticket—they’re going to be loyal Republicans. After all, you have Democrats running on the destruction of private health insurance but have no fear; there will be a government-run plan that will only cost $50+ trillion over the next decade and no one’s taxes but the rich will go up. No one believes that garbage. In all, The New York Times’ data crunchers at the Upshot, who produce some pretty good content unlike their political staff that’s spinning the Department Of Justice’s Inspector General report on alleged FISA abuses before its released, noted that two-thirds of these Trump-Democrat midterm defectors are all in on Trump next year:
Midterm victories in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin gave Democrats hope of retaking the Rust Belt battleground states that handed the presidency to Donald J. Trump in 2016.
Yet success in the midterms might not mean as much for Democratic presidential candidates as the party might think. Nearly two-thirds of voters in six battleground states who voted for President Trump in 2016 — but for Democratic congressional candidates in 2018 — say they intend to back the president against each of his top rivals…
Many of the voters who said they voted Democratic but now intended to vote for Mr. Trump offered explanations that reflect longstanding theories about why the party out of power tends to excel in midterms.
Michelle Bassaro, 61, is a Trump supporter, but in the midterm election, she voted for the Democrat in her district to balance the administration’s power. She said she had voted for Republicans when Democrats were in the White House for the same reason, consistent with research that shows that some people intentionally vote for divided government.
Many of the white working-class voters in the Rust Belt who supported the president in 2016 were traditionally Democratic voters who backed President Obama in 2012 and even continued to vote Democratic down-ballot in 2016. Democrats generally held on to these voters in 2018, but the reasons many of them voted for Mr. Trump, like his promises on immigration or the economy, could still be relevant.
Other voters say they are preparing to take an even greater leap: vote for Mr. Trump after supporting Democratic congressional candidates in 2018 and Mrs. Clinton in 2016.
In the survey, 7 percent of those who supported Mrs. Clinton in 2016 said they now approved of the president’s performance — despite his personality and his Twitter account, many said.
“In 2016, I hated both” candidates, said Juli Anna California, 57, a nurse from Coral Springs, Fla. “I went with Hillary because Trump had no history as a politician.”
Mr. Trump has convinced her, though — not with his character, but with his policies.
“He’s not exactly the person I’d have as my best friend,” said Ms. California, who currently lives in Los Angeles as a traveling nurse. “But he’s a great president.
Many of the voters cited economic strength as a major reason to support Mr. Trump in 2020, even if they didn’t support him last time. Also, certain voters who support Trump said they had soured on Democrats because of partisan fighting, culminating in impeachment hearings.
Oh my, almost ten percent of 2016 Hillary supporters now back Trump. We’re veering into electoral death for Democrats in a general election, given that no one—and I mean no one in the 2020 crop seems capable of beating Donald Trump. Biden can’t deliver counterpunches, name the state’s he’s currently campaigning and has had an abysmal time neutralizing the story about himself, his son, and their ties to Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company. Liz Warren’s health care plan is going to be her undoing, and the fact that she’s now mulling a phase-in to her forced Medicare scheme has soured her brand with lefty progressives who want this health care overhaul now. If she gives a timetable, it signals that this could be an empty promise, an escape hatch to jettison Medicare for All altogether. These voters will find someone who will blow up the system—and right now that person is Bernie Sanders. And Sanders, well, he’s a crusty old communist peddling recycled 2016 lines that have yet to really push him ahead of the field. It’s a weak, weak, weak, field, which will only drive more Obama-Trump voters back into the Republican camp come 2020. And these are a key group of voters. Democrats may have nabbed them in the midterms, but it’s clear that it wasn’t due to their policies. Democrats are about to lose a good chunk of their “supporters” and they don’t even know it. It’s the Democrats’ Chancellorsville. The GOP is about to do a flank march that will put their entire 2020 standing in jeopardy.