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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, November 5, 2018

A Very Madisonian Election


At Politico, Rachel Bade, Carla Marinucci and Elana Schor report that GOP operatives initially welcomed Trump's focus on immigration, but now realize that it it firing up red state Republicans at the cost of alienating suburban voters. In the short term at least, the economy is about as good as any president has ever enjoyed in a midterm -- but Trump goes for the red meat instead of the bread and butter.
Trump has even publicly scoffed at GOP suggestions that he focus on the economy in the final days, though he did talk about the latest jobs report at rallies this weekend.
“We can talk about the economy, but the fact is, we know how well we're doing with the economy and we have to solve problems,” Trump said at an event in Florida on Friday, hitting back at criticism that he’s ignoring his party’s biggest asset.
He promptly latched onto his topic du jour: “Democrats are openly encouraging millions of illegal aliens to break our laws, violate our sovereignty, overrun our borders and destroy our nation. In so many ways. We can't let it happen."The heightened concerns foreshadow the blame game that will undoubtedly commence if Republicans lose the House on Tuesday. Trump has made clear he’ll take little to no responsibility, insisting in recent days that he “can’t go everywhere” to save House candidates.
Indeed, some House Republicans say privately that they feel abandoned, as if Trump has given up on them — the likely losers — in order to focus on the Senate. Rubbing salt in the wound, they feel Trump's message to help Senate Republicans in rural, red states is a direct threat to the House GOP's cause in suburban areas.
“His honing in on this message is going to cost us seats,” said one senior House GOP campaign source. “The people we need to win in these swing districts that will determine the majority, it’s not the Trump base; it’s suburban women, or people who voted for [Hillary] Clinton or people who are not hard Trump voters.”
And so Trump favors the Senate over the House.  As Madison intended, bicameralism and the separation of powers are hampering the accumulation of political power in any one institution.