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The GOP’s real down ballot problem.

August 17, 2016

The GOP is mightily concerned that thanks to Donald Trump they may well lose their majority in the Senate and possibly even the House this fall.

They are right to be worried, but not for the reason they think.

The dislike and distrust of Congress may be far more destructive as a voter issue than either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

Almost without exception, voters see Congress as the main instrument of the lackluster recovery, economic paralysis, and corruption in government. They feel that if they had wanted to, Republicans could have blocked many of President Obama’s policies and overridden his veto.

They are not blind to the fact that no matter who occupies the White House, policy is legislated and perpetuated by senators and representatives.

GOP voters in particular are ticked off that their party’s standard bearers have almost never been able to stop the liberal agenda, even after they got the majority in both houses of Congress.

Many people who might otherwise have not given Donald Trump a second look are supporting him because they expect him to be the river that washes out the Aegean stable of filth in Washington.

The public was already poised to take out their anger on Republicans in this election.

One man put it this way:

“None of them are worth keeping. If it was up to me, I’d vote for almost anybody who is new, maybe even a Democrat. And then I’d vote them out again in the next  election.”

The thing is, he said that before Donald Trump ever threw his hat into the ring.

None of those people care as much about party loyalty as they do about seeing fresh faces in the halls of Congress.

Add to that general disgust over the GOP’s willingness to sacrifice a chance at retaking the White House in favor of keeping their own power intact, and you’ve got the makings of total revolt.

Another independent turned temporarily Republican so he could vote for Mr. Trump said:

“I’d vote for Barney Fife if I thought I could break the backs of the two parties. Platforms? Screw their platforms. The only thing a platform does is let you look down on the rest of the world.”

Right.  Next time, don’t be afraid to tell us what you really think.

Most disaffected voters feel that the only way a Republican majority matters is if Mr. Trump is elected.

Pundits might feel that is shortsighted, in view of the fact that a solid majority would allow them to override a Clinton veto.

Asking if they had thought about that aspect elicited this observation:

“There aren’t going to be many Clinton vetoes. She will follow President Obama’s  executive order path, and Congress won’t be relevant anyway. Once she packs the Supreme Court with her appointees, she’ll get away with it too.”

Follow that line of reasoning, and it becomes clear that at least in some quarters the Conservative wing of the GOP may have looked past the real issue in their desperate attempts to stop Trump.

Trump may be the only thing that could save their majority. Given that between his flaws and their animosity his chances are looking less certain post-convention,  it doesn’t bode well for down ballot candidates from any viewpoint.

Mr. Trump’s expansion of his campaign talent pool, coupled with more revelations that highlight Mrs. Clinton’s “politician for sale” signage,  may put him back on track.

If that materializes, his coattails could look a lot more attractive.

From → op-ed

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