Judge Roy Moore’s loss to Doug Jones in Alabama’s special election this past week caused everyone to pay attention.
We knew all along that while the outcome could go either way, the result would be the same: a loss for the Republican party. Moore was a highly questionable candidate long before claims were made about his past. Conversely, Doug Jones, a pro-abort Democrat, was not someone who should have received even disgruntled Republican support.
Jones became victor on Tuesday night by only a small margin. Should his win concern the Republicans, a party under Trump power? Or should Moore’s near-win concern Democrats, a party eager to reclaim seats in Washington?
Time will tell.
For now, the midterm elections are fast approaching and reportedly, the White House is gearing up for a fight.
Trump’s political aides have met with 116 candidates for office in recent months, according to senior White House officials, seeking to become involved in Senate, House and gubernatorial races — and possibly contested Republican primaries as well.
The president has told advisers that he wants to travel extensively and hold rallies and that he is looking forward to spending much of 2018 campaigning. He has also told aides that the elections would largely determine what he can get done — and that he expects he would be blamed for losses…
White House political director, Bill Stepien, will be quite busy in the coming months…
Stepien meets with Trump weekly to talk about the 2018 slate, poll numbers, candidates, their issues and their level of agreement with Trump, and he also regularly convenes with Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and other senior aides on the midterm outlook, officials said. Trump, senior officials said, has shown particular interest in certain races, including Republican senatorial candidate Josh Hawley in Missouri and the possibilities of Senate bids by Gov. Rick Scott of Florida and Gov. Paul LePage of Maine.
And it looks as if nearly everyone will be receiving a survey to gauge the mood of a fractured party.
On Saturday, Trump’s campaign sent out a “2018 candidates” survey to supporters on issues including abortion, gun rights and Trump’s call for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The White House plans to send surveys to candidates across the country to complete — an audition of sorts for Trump’s endorsement gauging their views on issues such as immigration and health care.
A major issue for midterms is the president himself. Just how will his involvement affect certain races? Will a major endorsement and campaign appearances by President Trump actually help or hurt candidates seeking a win? If anything, the commander-in-chief is a polarizing figure. While he has a throng of MAGA supporters willing to support a candidate who may receive his blessing, he also drums up fevered action amongst those in the Democrat party.
The “resist” movement, aimed squarely at the president and his politics, may bring about the downfall of any candidate he endorses. They are mad given the failure of their girl Hillary, and they won’t be forgetting it.
President Trump’s often careless demeanor and use of social media are certainly issues that GOP leaders are forced to address on a weekly basis. Imagine the same behavior during the midterm campaign season? Suddenly, candidates must react to the president’s attitude and actions. Brushing them off will not go over very well as they stand in front of a restless electorate. But full-throated support of the president will most likely hurt a candidate, too. In MAGA-land, the president needs only say “jump” and the starry-eyed, red hat-wearing cheerleaders breathlessly ask “how high?”
Arguably, President Trump has not had a very successful first eleven months office. There is too much of a focus on the petty and limited accomplishments on the table. He is often at odds with other Republicans and is certainly hated by the Democrats.
Shifting focus on the midterm elections may not only help the GOP by way of securing support for candidates, but it may also distract the president into doing what he loves; campaigning.
Truly, Donald Trump enjoys the campaign spotlight and its many rallies, speeches, and applause. He seems most comfortable spouting off in front of an eager crowd filled with individuals who are looking for entertainment most of all.
And as the last presidential campaign cycle shows, he does it well.
For President Trump, plans for a big 2018 are right down his alley. All that remains to be seen is whether those plans will secure wins for the GOP or whether Trump being Trump will ultimately hurt the party and make way for Democrat gains.