After months in which President Trump has told the Republican voters that they don’t need to fear a “blue wave” during the 2018 midterms, his own party is confronting a huge problem: many Republican voters have believed the president’s lies, leaving them complacent regarding the results of the midterm elections.
Several focus groups like America First Action, which is a political committee supporting Trump, and a polling report created by the Republican National Committee all came to the exact same conclusion: Republican leaders are much more concerned about the upcoming midterms than their own party’s voters, in part because they have received dubious assurances from the stupid president.
But that isn’t all the RNC polling memo discovered. Bloomberg News reported:
The study says GOP fortunes will hinge on the party’s ability to activate “soft” supporters: “Those voters who ‘somewhat approve’ of Trump and those who support the President’s policies but not his leadership style are the ones posing a challenge to the party.”
Motivating these voters could be tricky. One hurdle is Trump’s chaotic style, which shows no sign of changing. Another is that the issues soft Republicans care about most are ones involving government spending and are typically associated with Democrats. The survey found that increasing funding for veterans’ mental health services, strengthening and preserving Medicare and Social Security, and reforming the student loan system all scored higher than Trump’s favored subjects of tax cuts, border security, and preserving the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
The RNC’s report also said, “Special attention should be paid to the messaging regarding Social Security and Medicare…. [T]he challenge for GOP candidates is that most voters believe that the GOP wants to cut back on these programs in order to provide tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy.”
Well, voters think that Republicans want to cut down on Social Security and Medicare in order to finance tax cuts for the rich because it’s true and they’ve said so themselves.
But besides that, it’s quite striking that the RNC’s polling found that many of their key supporters sound Democratic in their primary preferences: we’re talking about voters who want increased government spending, support big social-insurance programs such as Medicare and Social Security, and they are unmoved by the incompetent White House’s terrible top priorities.
Election Day is just seven weeks from today. It is safe to say that Republicans are not feeling very confident about their midterm prospects.