On Friday, Fred Barnes (a very good journalist) posted, "Republican Panic Recedes. Senate prospects improve, as do Trump's."
The two are not the same, as I explained the how. But Barnes is showing the can, which is important because you cannot pull off the how if people believe the mission is futile.
In nearly every state where incumbents face stiff challenges—Arizona, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire—polls found Republican incumbents doing as well as or better than expected. The same was true in Nevada, where Rep. Joe Heck is running for the open Senate seat. In Wisconsin, Sen. Ron Johnson polled slightly below the other Republicans but still in a competitive position.
All but Johnson were within the margin of error in the poll. And this was before the chamber spent $10 million in May on ads in the contested races.
One surprise was how well Trump was doing. In Arizona, a state Republican strategists thought might be lost because of its large bloc of Hispanic voters, he was running five points ahead of Clinton. Rather than threatened, Senator John McCain looks to be in good shape. He has endorsed Trump.
The polls showed unusual ticket-splitting: 10 to 15 percent of Trump voters weren't backing the Republican Senate candidates. "I took this to be a good sign," Reed says. "It showed they had room to grow. We want to make sure [Trump voters] vote down ballot."
In other words, Republicans have been over-thinking this.
Trump just beat the best Republican field since Reagan ran alone in 1984.
And now he is up against the worst Democratic presidential nominee since Mike Dukakis. Hillary is so low energy that she makes Jeb Bush look like he's on speed.
Now for the how. Repeating last Saturday's post so people don't have to click it:Donald Trump is expanding the base as Republicans drew a record number of voters in the primaries and caucuses this year -- with five more states to go. The party meanwhile already is pouring staff and resources into 11 battleground states. Obama won 10 of them four years ago.
From the Hill:
The Republican National Committee (RNC) will double its staff in battleground states in the coming weeks in an effort to deliver the White House to Donald Trump and protect a slim majority in the Senate.
According to a memo from RNC political director Chris Carr, viewed first by The Hill, the organization will send additional 250 staffers to the 11 states likely to play the biggest role in determining the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
The new hires will more than double the RNC’s presence in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
President Obama won all of those states except for North Carolina in 2012.
In addition to the race for the White House, eight of those state also have competitive Senate races.
The RNC is increasing its battleground state presence from 216 paid staffers to 466. It also says it has nearly 3,600 trained organizers in those states as it gears up to face likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the fall.
In the memo, Carr said the expansion was the culmination of a 1,000-day initiative launched by Chairman Reince Priebus with the aim of surpassing the Democrats’ long-standing advantage in electoral data and ground support.What this means is this election is more like 1932 than 1964. Barack Obama's Ivy League blend of arrogance and incompetence has not only made him the nation's leading gun salesman, but has led to a down-ticket revival of the Republican Party.
Far from hurting the party, Trump's nomination is a godsend. He has brought millions of voters to the party without raising a lot of money. He can continue on that path, meaning donors will have money left over to give to Senate races. The RNC also does not have to compete with Trump for donors.
Going into 2016, Republicans had to defend 24 Senate seats, while Democrats had top defend only 10. Even winning a close presidential election could mean Republicans lose the Senate.
However, Republicans will get to play the Trump card. I doubt he wins by less than 5, which means the party would keep the Senate. In fact, it's a long shot now, but they could pick up seats.
Eight of those states that the RNC will pour resources in have Senate races. Six are held by Republicans, and two (Colorado and Nevada) are Democratic. In addition, Trump wants Rubio to seek a second term, which would flip a state that is now considered a toss-up into a likely Republican situation,
Meanwhile the spin from a clueless media in Washington is spectacularly wrong again. From David Drucker:
Trump's shoestring operation was good enough to win a primary, succeeding on his ability overwhelm opponents by dominating the new cycle. But Trump Tower is woefully unprepared to take on Hillary Clinton, lacking any semblance of a sophisticated field or digital program.Last summer, they said he could not win the nomination. They learned nothing in the last 11 months. Not one damned thing. Trump already has tied her in the national polls. And he is not even warmed up yet.
Look for Trump critics to call him and the party lucky in November -- and look for the Never Trumpers to call in December for a rebellion in Congress against Trump and his crazy idea that we should put America First ahead of the Chamber of Commerce and Rupert Murdoch.
But we shall see.
In the meantime, I am rolling out the book that is a must read for every Trumpkin.