In Defying the Odds, we discuss congressional elections as well as the presidential race.
President Trump is mobilizing the vast powers of the military and other parts of the federal government to help bolster Republican election efforts, using the office of the presidency in an attempt to dictate the campaigns’ closing themes and stoke the fears and anxieties of his supporters ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections.
Trump in recent days has made aggressive moves aimed at pushing policies that could boost Republicans next week — deploying thousands of troops to the U.S.-Mexico border in the largest such operation since the Mexican Revolution, floating the idea ending birthright citizenship and warning he intends to halt the caravan of Central American migrants.
The president has also moved to lower Medicare drug prices and suggested the idea of a 10 percent tax cut for the middle class, sending administration and congressional officials scrambling to assemble a new tax policy.
The cumulative acts reflect the extent to which Trump has transformed parts of the federal bureaucracy into a factory of threats, directives and actions — an outgrowth of a campaign strategy which the president and his political advisers settled on as their best chance to hold the Republican congressional majorities.
“This is the most focused and concerted effort to use all of the powers of the presidency to shape a midterm election that I have ever seen,” said William A. Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies Program and a former domestic policy adviser in the Clinton White House.
“President Trump is pushing every button on the console and he is mobilizing all of the power, including the communications power, of the federal government on behalf of his party’s campaign in this midterm,” Galston added.