Charlie Sykes at TheBulwark asks Should the GOP Be Bracing For a Wipeout?
There have been a lot of overheated pre-mortems about the possibility of a Democratic landslide this fall, but this one by Henry Olsen in the WaPo, This year’s Senate races spell disaster for the Republican Party, is worth your time.
Olsen has been, shall we say, at least Trump-curious, so his latest analysis doesn’t reflect any sort of pro-resistance wishful thinking. Although I’ve disagreed with his willingness to rationalize Trumpism, there’s no question about his mastery of the data of polling.
So this is really something coming from Olsen:
Republicans are beginning to gird themselves for a landslide defeat for President Trump that drags the entire party down. It could be even worse than they think.
Elections in both the House and Senate are increasingly syncing with broader presidential races. In 2016, every Senate race was won by the same party that won that state in the presidential contest. In 2018, House races largely correlated with Trump’s approval rating, with even the most popular GOP incumbents unable to run more than a few points ahead of the president. Polls for Senate races this year show the same trend, with Republican incumbents’ totals closely matched with Trump’s.
This spells disaster for the party. Public polls show incumbent Senate Republicans trailing in five states: Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Maine and North Carolina. One recent poll from Georgia shows Sen. David Perdue leading his Democratic opponent, Jon Ossoff, 45 percent to 42 percent, but that same poll also shows Trump trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the state by two percentage points, 47 percent to 45 percent. The clear implication is that Georgia is also in play if Trump’s ratings stay down, which would spell disaster for Republicans since the second Senate seat in Georgia, held by appointed Sen. Kelly Loeffler, is also on the November ballot. That’s seven GOP-held Senate seats at a high risk of switching parties, with only the Democratic-held seat in Alabama that is seen as a likely Republican pickup to offset those losses.
It could get even worse.
[Another must read is] Tim Miller’s piece in Rolling Stone about the mood/attitude among GOP campaign consultants and why they won’t distance themselves from Trump.What 9 GOP Campaign Consultants Really Think About Republicans’ Chances in November. The mood in MAGA-land: “Every shred of evidence points to a likely ass kicking”
It’s an excellent analysis of the mindset of the Republicanus Hackicus circa 2020.
What I found in their answers was one part Stockholm Syndrome, one part survival instinct. They all may not love the president, but most share his loathing for his enemies on the left, in the media, and the apostate Never Trump Republicans with a passion that engenders an alliance with the president, if not a kinship. And even among those who don’t share the tribalistic hatreds, they perceive a political reality driven by base voters and the president’s shitposting that simply does not allow for dissent.
As one put it: “There are two options, you can be on this hell ship or you can be in the water drowning.”
So I give you the view from the U.S.S Hellship, first the political state of play, and then the psychological.
The impact of Trump’s disastrous 3 months on down ballot candidates was best summed up in the first text message I got back.
“Could you use a poop emoji for my comments?”