Privately, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is confiding in friends and aides that he believes Republicans could lose their majorities in both houses of Congress in the 2018 midterm elections.
His secret concerns stem from a recent poll presented to the White House by Mitt Romney’s niece, Ronna Romney McDaniel, the new chairperson of the Republican National Committee, which reveals the GOP’s plummeting numbers among women, thanks to the 19 Trump accusers who have confirmed the current president’s own boasts about sexual assault, and to the RNC funding and endorsing a credibly accused child molester for the Alabama Senate seat that Republicans just lost.
Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan has echoed McConnell’s fears, noting how many Republican lawmakers have announced their imminent retirement and how many more may soon join them.
Leading Senate Republicans like Arizona’s Jeff Flake and Tennessee’s Bob Corker have cited their disgust with president Trump and the soulless state of the party as their main reasons for stepping down at the end of their respective terms.
Party members hope that their newly passed kleptocratic tax scam and heavy Trump campaigning will save them from midterm oblivion. But the party that serves only the rich is woefully out of touch with the suffering of working Americans who feel betrayed by the bill that gives 83% of its revenue to the wealthiest 1% of the country and balloons the debt by up to $2.7 trillion.
They also don’t seem to recognize how profoundly the vast majority of the country hates the president, with more voters demanding impeachment than saying they would vote for Trump again. His endorsement will only serve as a liability to most candidates, except in the districts where Trump’s base holds strong.
Even those districts, however, are starting to slip from his grasp.
Meanwhile, despite Republicans’ best efforts at obstructing justice, Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s Russian investigation in narrowing in on the president himself.
All of this spells terrible news for Republican elected officials and prospective candidates. McConnell sees the writing on the wall.
The question is, will he be able to do anything about it in time to reverse his party’s fortunes?
Not if we, the people, march to the midterms as if they were a presidential election. Between now and November of next year, we must beat the drum, without ever letting up.