Republicans have tried running Trump in other years, and each time it has motivated the Democrats more than the Republicans.
The strategy for Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy in 2022 is simple. They think the way back to Republican majorities in the House and Senate in 2022 is through Trump. The assumption is that Trumpism makes Republican voters while Democratic voters stay at home.
As EJ Dionne wrote, there are many reasons to doubt this plan:
The GOP numbers, which stay close to Trump, will get his supporters to the polls in 2022. But Republican pollster Whit Ayres cites the 2017 Virginia governor’s race as a cautionary note: voter turnout rose in rural counties that were Trump pro-Trump but “far more”. in anti-Trump suburbs and metropolitan areas, ”which led to the defeat of Republican Ed Gillespie by Democrat Ralph Northam.
Yes, outside of the presidential election years, Trump’s embrace can stimulate its opponents far more than its supporters. This was a factor in New Mexico Democrat Melanie Stansbury’s landslide victory in a special election for a seat in the US House of Representatives last week.
There are numerous other examples of this strategy failing. In Pennsylvania, the Republicans lost a seat in the House of Representatives to Conor Lamb because his opponent ran like a mini-Trump. The same story played out in the race for governor of Pennsylvania. Candidates across the country tried to run like one on Trump. If they haven’t been to a heavily Republican district or state, think of Ron DeSantis in Florida, who barely got elected governor, they failed.
The problem with a political party transforming into a one-person personality cult is that Republican supporters are only excited about Trump the most. After losing the presidency, Trump campaigned in the Georgia Senate special election when both Republican incumbents lost.
Trump is a stronger motivator for Democrats and anti-Trumpers than Republicans. Traditionally, the party in power has done well by turning the mid-term elections into a referendum on the incumbent president.
McCarthy and McConnell are abandoning that strategy by contesting again in 2020, and history suggests that the 2022 outcome could be another Democratic victory.
Mr. Easley is the Founder / Executive Director, White House Press Pool and Congressional Correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a bachelor’s degree in political science. His thesis focused on public policy with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and professional memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Political Science Association