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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Nero on the Potomac

In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional races as well as the presidential election.

On Sunday, Axios reported that Republican leaders believe that a loss of the House is unavoidably “baked in." According to the last round of polls, the Democrats continue to hold a double-digit lead on the generic congressional ballot, with a Quinnipiac Poll released last week pegging that number at 17 points, and a majority of Americans giving Trump a grade of “D” or “F,” not exactly the kind of marks that one associates with a self-described “very stable genius.”
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Indeed, for now, only white men without a four-year degree are staying true to Trump. In contrast, white working class women seem to be slowly heading toward the exits. Nowadays, where “porn star NDAs are now a commonplace in American politics,” according to the New York Times’ Tom Edsall, this shift cannot be called a complete surprise.
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Election Day 2018 is more than 11 months away, and as 2016 taught us, never count Trump out. Yes, it is too soon to say that a GOP wipeout is assured. But with Trump evidencing no signs of self-control, and the Republican congressional leadership being forced to play cleanup, the odds of a Democratic takeover rise by the day. 
And this WP story posted on the evening of Martin Luther King Day:
Last Thursday was a critical moment in the stalled negotiations, revealing the president’s priorities even as the discussion fell apart.
Trump complained that there wasn’t enough money included in the deal for his promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. He also objected that Democratic proposals to adjust the visa lottery and federal policy for immigrants with temporary protected status were going to drive more people from countries he deemed undesirable into the United States instead of attracting immigrants from places like Norway and Asia, people familiar with the meeting said.

Attendees who were alarmed by the racial undertones of Trump’s remarks were further disturbed when the topic of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) came up, these people said.
At one point, Durbin told the president that members of that caucus — an influential House group — would be more likely to agree to a deal if certain countries were included in the proposed protections, according to people familiar with the meeting.

Trump was curt and dismissive, saying he was not making immigration policy to cater to the CBC and did not particularly care about that bloc’s demands, according to people briefed on the meeting. “You’ve got to be joking,” one adviser said, describing Trump’s reaction.