Donald Trump is revered among Republicans:
Yet Paul Ryan is underwater among his peeps:
And nevermind Mitch McConnell, who is downright despised by Republicans:
And Republican favorability of their own party is 58-20, compared to the 79-10 Democratic Party favorability among Democrats.
Our side is unified and motivated, and election results over the past year have consistently shown Democrats dramatically overperforming at the ballot box, by 13 points since the 2016 elections, and a whopping 22 points in 2018 special elections. Our candidates don’t need to talk about impeachment because with an already-unified base, we can run on more substantive issues like health care, taxes, trade, ethics, and an unpopular, do-nothing (or do-harm) Congress.
But if you’re a congressional Republican, with a demoralized and dejected base and nothing of substance to run on, what do you do? You can’t really talk about a tax law that has done nothing for rank-and-file voters. You can’t talk about repealing Obamacare, because oh yeah, that didn’t happen. You can’t talk about reining in deficits, because unified Republican control of Congress has now delivered trillion-dollar deficits through Trump’s entire term. You can’t even talk about competent governance, because every budget in the Trump era has needed Democratic votes to pass, hence giving the minority party outsized power!
So once again, look at those charts above.
If you’re a Republican, the only chance you have of getting your people to the polls is to put Donald Trump on the ballot. He’s the only thing that rallies the base, at least to some extent. Now, his campaigning (and millions of dollars) didn’t save Republicans in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District special election, where votes swung 20-points in the Democrats’ favor. But this isn’t about gaining seats. It’s about minimizing the damage they will face in November. It’s about not losing control of the House and maybe even the Senate.
Democratic candidates have certainly got the message. They’re sticking to non-scandal topics, letting the news cycle percolate stories about corruption and Stormy Daniels and Trump mental instability and whatnot. And yes, among ourselves we can dream about impeachment after Nancy Pelosi retakes the speaker’s gavel next year.
But there’s no reason for Democrats to give Republicans an assist on the one thing that can get their voters to the polls—putting Trump on the ballot.
Republicans will scream about Trump’s impeachment because it’s the only thing they got. It’s a tactic born out of weakness and desperation.
We’ve got more effective things to run on.