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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Trump Albatross

In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race.

A.B. Stoddard at RCP:
If there is one thing Senate Republicans trying hard to get reelected in November can count on, it’s that President Trump will make it even harder for them. From his gross mismanagement of a deadly pandemic to the nonstop, self-absorbed grievance parade he wants Senate Republicans to indulge during a deadly pandemic, Trump seems intent on making sure the out of control virus, the powerful issue of health care, and a tanking economy aren’t their only campaign headaches.

In just this past week Trump has threatened two states with extortion of federal funds, accused them of fictional crimes, continued firing inspectors general and publicly taunted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell -- himself a candidate who was outraised last quarter by his challenger -- to “get tough” on former President Obama. He descended on the Senate GOP lunch Tuesday on short notice to lecture them on party unity and earth-scorching.
Andrew O. Ballard  Hans J. G. Hassell  Michael Heseltine, "Be Careful What You Wish For: The Impacts of President Trump’s Midterm Endorsements," Legislative Studies Quarterly
First published:19 May 2020 https://doi.org/10.1111/lsq.12284. Abstract:
We analyze the effects of President Trump’s endorsements on House and Senate elections in 2018. Previous work has argued that presidential endorsements are usually positive or, at worst, neutral for the recipient candidates. We find that President Trump was more likely to endorse candidates with a higher pre‐endorsement likelihood of winning and to endorse candidates in more competitive races, suggesting the president used endorsements strategically both to try and help Republican candidates win and to boost his reputation for helping candidates win. However, while President Trump’s public endorsements provided a financial boost to endorsed candidates, they also increased donor support of opposing candidates and were ultimately detrimental to candidates’ vote shares and likelihood of winning. This work provides evidence for potential backlash effects among opposition voters in response to presidential endorsement in a nationalized political environment and expands our understanding of the impact of presidential campaigning in congressional midterm elections.