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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Trump, the House, the I-Word, and the MF-Word

In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race.  As we point out in the forthcoming update, the Democrats' victory in the 2018 House elections will shape politics for the next two years.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) told a cheering crowd: “We’re going to go in and impeach the [Samuel L. Jackson word]."  Lloyd Green at The Guardian:
As the Judiciary Committee’s new chair, it will be [NY Rep. Jerry] Nadler who will shoulder the burden once shared by the late [NJ Rep. Peter] Rodino. Tlaib did Nadler no favors.
Nixon’s impeachment shared the virtue of transcending party and region. Indeed, it was a living history and civics lesson. House Republicans demonstrated the capacity to vote with House Democrats, including Larry Hogan, the father of Maryland’s incumbent governor. Southern Democrats managed to find common ground with the likes of Hamilton Fish, a New York Republican, whose namesake served as Ulysses S. Grant’s Secretary of State.
That world is gone. Instead, we can expect Republicans to rally around a president for whom loyalty is a one-way street, and whose fidelity to the Constitution is limited at best. As for the Democrats, Tlaib’s mf-bomb may be the first of many.
As the poem goes, “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”
Harry Enten at CNN reports that Trump is more disliked than Pelosi:
A Gallup poll out this week finds that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a favorable rating of 38% and an unfavorable rating of 48%. That's bad enough for a net favorability rating of -10 points.
The same poll also showed that President Donald Trump's favorable rating is 40% to unfavorable rating of 58%. That means his net favorability rating is -18 points.
...
Of course, it's not as if Pelosi is popular. A -10 point net favorability rating is still pretty bad. (Her net favorability rating of -12 points in the last CNN poll and -13 points in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll are even worse.)
Politics, though, are rarely a referendum on congressional leaders. If anything, they're a referendum on the President. Trump continues to have poor ratings just like he had when his party lost control of the House in November.
Trump and his allies have tried to point the blame for the shutdown on Pelosi. I'm quite skeptical that is going to work out well for the GOP. They tried to make the midterms a choice between Pelosi and Trump when Pelosi was less popular than Trump. That clearly didn't turn out well for the Republicans. It's much more likely to fail now given that Pelosi is actually more popular than Trump.