It wasn’t too long ago when the President told supporters at a campaign rally that if the GOP winds up losing the House and he gets impeached, “it will be your fault.” That raised a few eyebrows (as he so often does) but it’s looking more and more like he might be right. And worst of all, Trump may be feeding into the problem. We heard rumors of this earlier, specifically when Allahpundit wrote about some data coming out of America First Action. A series of focus groups they tested showed a lack of urgency among Trump’s base, with some referring to the blue wave as a myth.
Now the data is piling up and it’s disturbing. Bloomberg reports that a new internal survey commissioned by the RNC and conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, shows a majority of registered Republicans don’t think the Democrats can take back the House and an even larger majority who identify as “strong Trump supporters” indicate that the Democrats “don’t stand a chance.”
A private survey conducted for the Republican National Committee and obtained by Bloomberg Businessweek contains alarming news for Republicans hoping to hold on to control of Congress in November: Most Trump supporters don’t believe there’s a threat that Democrats will win back the House. President Trump’s boasts that a “red wave” could increase Republican majorities appear to have lulled GOP voters into complacency, raising the question of whether they’ll turn up at the polls.
While most election forecasters, as well as strategists in both parties, believe Democrats are likely to win the 23 seats necessary to take control of the House of Representatives, Republican voters aren’t convinced, the survey shows.
According to the RNC study, completed on Sept. 2 by the polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, most voters believe Democrats will win back the House—just not Republican voters. Fully half of self-identified Republicans don’t believe Democrats are likely to win back the House. And within that group, 57 percent of people who describe themselves as strong Trump supporters don’t believe Democrats have a chance (37 percent believe they do).
If the GOP loses the House (and there’s far more than a simple non-zero chance that they will), turnout will once again be the biggest factor. But isn’t that always the way in midterm elections?
We can talk about the President’s low approval numbers all you like or the simmering anger of the opposition. But historically, it’s the people who are most angry at the current state of affairs who show up on election day. You could leave Trump out of this formula entirely if you wished (though he’s certainly the prime driving factor for many Democrats). Conservatives and the GOP base turned out for Trump in 2016 mostly as a backlash against four more years of Obama in the form of Hillary Clinton. Many cited the slow economic recovery and sluggish growth in jobs and wages.
Bingo. The election came and went and those voters chalked up a win. And now employment is near historical lows, wages are slowly creeping upward, taxes have been cut… the list goes on. What’s to be worried about? In fact, things are coming up roses so there’s no need to pay that much attention to cable news or the major papers. Let’s see what’s on Sports Center!
The problem is, these “complacent” Trump voters may be very real. And if they stay home, I wouldn’t wager a plugged nickel on the GOP’s chances of holding the House. We may keep the Senate, but that’s no longer a 100% sure thing either. But look on the bright side. Come 2020 those same complacent voters will have plenty to complain about once again so maybe they’ll show up and vote for Trump’s reelection… assuming the Democrats havent’ impeached him by then.