The economy hums while storm clouds darken the White House. Welcome to the final 100 days before the 2018 midterms. Even as the economy is experiencing is highest rate of growth since 2014, the electorate is angry. Donald Trump has taken command of center stage, and the public is not thrilled with what it sees. When Trump is underwater in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota, it is time for Republicans to worry.
Still, it remains to be seen whether the Democrats can stick to the cultural script. Recent Democratic calls for the abolition of ICE may make the party’s activist base giddy, but in most of the country the position has few takers. Only a quarter of voters support ditching ICE, while a majority favor retaining the agency. Most Americans oppose separating children from their parent at the border. At the same time, however, they favor border security.
Already, 2020 Democratic hopefuls, such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand and Bernie Sanders have embraced the siren song of abolishing or reexamining ICE. If their views become dominant between now and November, the Republicans may yet snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.At The Washington Examiner, Byron York speaks to a GOP strategist:
And now: "The last 30 days have been really bad. I really wouldn't want to have the election today."
Looking back, each change in the strategist's mood has been the result of whatever President Trump was doing at that particular moment. His current anguish is the product of what he called "30 days of sh-t." By that, he meant the period of time beginning with Trump's decision to separate families crossing illegally into the United States and ending with his performance at the Helsinki summit.
Both hurt Republicans, the strategist said, but probably the Trump-Putin summit hurt more. When the president met with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, he said, many Republican-targeted voters saw a certain method in the madness. It actually helped GOP candidates. But when Trump met Vladimir Putin, those voters didn't see the method part.
If the past is any lesson, memories will fade. But the problem going forward is that as future Trumpian incidents occur, Republicans will have less and less time to recover before Nov. 6.
"The next couple of weeks/months are critical in that we have had peaks and valleys before, but they always got fixed," the strategist said. "The fear is that we're running out of time and maybe they won't get fixed."