In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race. The update -- recently published -- looks at political and demographic trends through the 2018 midterm.
Pelosi believes there is a ceiling on how much the party can shift public opinion on Trump, the aides say, noting that his approval rating has remained steady over the last several months.
Details: Over the next few months, Pelosi will be hyper-focused on McConnell and "his refusal to pass meaningful legislation," per the Democratic leadership aides. The Senate's inaction on gun violence is a particularly effective example, they add.
- But demonizing McConnell "is something even the more moderate Democrats can glom onto," one aide said. "He's seen as the face of obstruction and Trump’s enabler in the Senate. It's easy to message against him."
- Another benefit of the strategy, in their view, is that it creates a fresher way for the caucus to pivot to their own legislative achievements: "Their message of ‘look at all the things we’re passing' was falling flat," a Democratic congressional aide said.
- By focusing on McConnell and Senate Republicans' blocking tactics, the aide said, House Democrats can "tout the good they’ve done and also helps show the importance of Dems taking back the Senate.”