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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, September 10, 2018

GOP's Midterm Problems


At NYT, Alexander Burns and Kenneth P. Vogel report on OMB Director Mick Mulvaney's comments at a closed-door NYC fundraiser:
“You may hate the president, and there’s a lot of people who do, but they certainly like the way the country is going,” Mr. Mulvaney said, adding of voters: “If you figure out a way to subtract from that equation how they feel about the president, the numbers go up dramatically.”
...
Even as Mr. Mulvaney conceded that Mr. Trump’s personal unpopularity was a problem for the party, he predicted it would not ultimately be a decisive factor for most voters. He also alluded to Mr. Cruz, without mentioning his name, as a lawmaker who might lack the charm to win a contested race this year.
...
Mr. Mulvaney, a former member of Congress from South Carolina, who was elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010, said Democrats had not marshaled a broad movement of opposition to Washington the way Republicans did that year. He argued that they lacked an issue to unify their cause, unlike Republicans eight years ago, who rallied in opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

Instead, Mr. Mulvaney said, Democrats were putting forward a “movement of hate,” and asked rhetorically: “What is the signature piece of legislation they’re against? The tax bill?”

Nancy Cook and Bernie Becker at Politico:
The White House and top congressional Republicans want to push for a House vote on a second round of tax cuts ahead of the midterms in hopes of bolstering their economic pitch to voters — but they’re running into opposition within their own party.
GOP leaders conceived of the second tax bill as a messaging win that would put Democrats on their heels ahead of the midterms, forcing them to vote against tax relief for the middle class. But the concerns over the bill are largely flowing from the Republican side, mainly from members fighting to keep hold of seats in suburban districts where President Donald Trump is most unpopular — and that are key to the GOP’s hopes of keeping their majority.

A dozen House Republicans, all but one of them from the high-tax states of California, New Jersey and New York, voted against the tax law in December because it capped state and local tax deductions, which they said would lead to tax increases on too many of their constituents.
Some of those GOP lawmakers have openly said they would prefer to leave the tax issue alone as Congress also grapples with how to fund the government and the House potentially votes on health care measures that might be more politically beneficial to vulnerable incumbents. “If we were to pass that here in the House, it would be an exercise in futility, because it could never pass in the Senate,” Rep. Leonard Lance of New Jersey, who opposed the first bill, said Friday on CNBC.