For the better part of the past year, the Democrats and their media allies have spoken wistfully of a great “blue wave” in the 2018 midterm elections that will see the progressives regain control of the House and Senate.
That would set up the eventual Democrat nominee perfectly to challenge President Donald Trump for the White House in 2020, assuming he wasn’t already impeached and removed from office by the new Democrat-controlled Congress … or so the theory goes.
But the Washington Examiner just poured a big bucket of cold water on those feverish “blue wave” dreams, as Trump is reportedly “well-positioned” to not only hold the White House in 2020, but perhaps even to maintain Republican control of Congress in 2018.
That assessment came from two prominent pollsters who crunch the numbers for Republicans — Anne Sorock of Frontier Lab’s Ear to the Ground Listening Project and Trump’s 2016 pollster John McLaughlin — who both believe the president’s base of support is stronger than the liberal media thinks.
Setting aside that Trump is hovering at or below 50 percent in most approval rating polls, the president has nevertheless garnered enough agenda wins to keep his base solid, and could even expand it among independents and moderates with a few more key victories.
McLaughlin said Trump could even “pick up some Democrats with his populist message about draining the swamp, the same anti-Washington, same populist message that got him elected, then he could actually go above 50 percent.”
Factor in that Democrats will most likely nominate a radical progressive in 2020 and Trump is almost assured of a re-election, said McLaughlin. “He’s got an agenda, he’s got a message, and the Democrats are going to nominate somebody who’s radically opposed to him that he’ll be able to beat,” he said.
As for this year’s midterm elections, McLaughlin also believes Republicans are in good shape.
“This is the party of Trump,” McLaughlin said of midterm concerns for Republicans. “A lot of Republican insiders will tell you, ‘Oh, Trump is going to hurt us, Trump’s upside down (in polling.) I’m like, ‘Look at the approval/disapproval rating of the Republican majority in Congress. Trump’s holding you guys up.’”
Sorock had a similar assessment of the situation, saying she believed Trump “is in good shape” heading into the elections as he has come to be viewed as the undisputed “leader” of the conservative base and Republican Party. That will only get better if Trump actually makes progress in “draining the swamp” that is Washington D.C.
“The conservative base is Trump’s. And if you’re a Trump voter, you approve of the job he’s doing 86 percent,” Sorock said. “But, we’re losing moderates. Cleaning out the swamp is the perfect way to get them back — for Trump and for the GOP. Trump was elected because he fought the establishment.”
Sorock, who was one of the few early analysts to predict Trump’s 2016 victory, proceeded to compare Trump to former President Ronald Reagan in terms of his connection with voters and the perception that is fighting on their behalf against the Washington establishment.
“Trump is actually the emblem for all their issues more than their issues are, if that makes sense,” she said. “So because he is a leader, they will follow him as to what he defines as a win for their issue priorities. He is fulfilling the role of servant-leader more than Reagan.”
To be sure, a whole lot could change between now and the 2018 midterms, much less the 2020 presidential election, and establishment Republicans have a knack for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
That said, Democrats have also proven countless times in recent years that they have a self-defeating tendency of their own to overplay what they perceive to be a winning hand, only to find out otherwise when voters make their voices heard.
Trump has said numerous times that complacency will be the biggest obstacle for Republicans in the upcoming election, and he is absolutely right, as the Democrat base is fueled by intense hatred for all things Trump and some on the right are content to rest on the laurels of past victories.
If Trump can continue to drive home the message to his supporters of how important it is that they stay just as driven as the Democrats to show up at the polls on election day — and garners a few more significant agenda wins between now and then — he has an excellent chance of maintaining control of Congress in 2018 and winning re-election in 2020.
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