Donald Trump’s most recent campaign rally was held in Missouri on Friday night, and the president’s pitch was mostly unfamiliar: the president said to his Springfield audience that the November midterm elections are a referendum on his terrible presidency. From that speech’s transcript:
“You’ve got to get out. Can’t be complacent. It’s fragile. You’ve got to get out. You know, a poll came out, they said, ‘Everybody’s going out in 2020, because they want to vote for you, they want to vote for the president. But they’re not maybe coming out in 2018.’
“Get out in 2018, because you’re voting for me in 2018. You’re voting for me. You’re voting for me.”
Trump the explained why he prefers the term “Democrat Party” over “Democratic Party” – which is the grammatically correct way of saying it, the president explained, sounds much “sweeter” – before telling his stupid supporters, “To me, it’s the Democrat Party, and they aren’t just extreme. They are, frankly, dangerous, and they are crazy. They’re crazy.”
Republican officials definitely do want this to be the Republican president’s message just six weeks from Election Day on November 8th.
For one thing, Donald Trump is plainly unpopular. So, if a vote for any Republican candidate counts as a vote for the terrible president, the Republicans will have a historically bad midterm. (A Fox News poll recently asked Americans, “Do you think President Trump should be impeached and removed from office, or not?” The reality that 43% of Americans already support impeachment is not a very good sign.)
I wonder how the many vulnerable Republican incumbents in highly competitive areas would reply if asked if they agree with Donald Trump’s “You’re voting for me” strategy.
For another, if the midterm cycle comes down to a debate over which national leader the American mainstream considers “crazy,” the president is setting his party up for failure.