If I'm right about people being fed up with the negativity and sheer dysfunction of the Republican Party, there really will be a wave in three weeks, nothing affirming about the almost-as-bad Democrats, but one that should send the GOP reeling. The party bosses will blame Trump– and the media and Democrats who “forced him” on their party– but the rejection I see coming is not just about Trump; it's about the Republican Party itself. A really shitty Trump-like candidate, a crooked billionaire who captured the West Virginia gubernatorial nomination, Jim Justice, is going to beat Bill Cole, the garden variety Republican president of the West Virginia state Senate. Indiana is almost as terminally red as West Virginia. Indiana is likely to replace Mike Pence with a Democratic governor, John Gregg, and replace Republican Senator Dan Coats (retiring) with crooked hack Democratic lobbyist Evan Bayh (over a mainstream conservative Republican congressman, Todd Young). The winner of the Colorado Republican Senate primary, Darryl Glenn, may well lose to an unpopular and unaccomplished Democratic hack, Michael Bennet, in a jaw-dropping landslide. The most recent poll, by Quinnipiac, shows Glenn unable to even break 40%. Bennet leads among independents, among women, among men, among white and among non-whites. Even the least talented, least accomplished and least appetizing Democratic Senate candidate anywhere in the country, Florida doofus Patrick Murphy (who the DSCC has already written off), may wind up beating Rubio, simply because Rubio is a Republican in a year when people have had enough of that party of crackpots.
Mike Shields, president Ryan's Congressional Leadership Fund, said this week that “Trump has his own brand. He’s not running as a Republican.” That's certainly what they're all hoping the voters believe. Blue America, having looked closely at races all over the country, decided pointing out Republican incumbents' closeness to Trump, was the best way to defeat them. We have mobile billboard trucks deployed against Trump allies Peter King (Long Island), Lamar Smith (central Texas), Cresent Hardy (North Las Vegas) and Frank Guinta (New Hampshire) each featuring a picture of the Republican with a little Trump sitting on his shoulder. This is the one that was on the Long Island Expressway at 9:18 this morning, and in Amityville, Babylon, Lindenhurst, Islip all day.
Our truck for Carol Shea-Porter in southeast New Hampshire started today off in Manchester and will be spending all day tomorrow in and around Hookset. People aren't throwing flowers, but waving and smiling and honking in approval. They seem happy to see anything they associate with “not Trump” efforts.
Glenn Thrush and Andrew Sullivan both explained the debate in ways that help explain how sick voters are of Trump and Trumpism. Thrush (in Politico): “There were two candidates on the debate stage Wednesday night– and both were intent on demolishing Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency. Truly historic moments are rare in politics. But this was a thunderbolt that might have spelled the end for Trump’s dynamic, disorganized and self-destructive campaign and the elevation of the first female major party nominee, whose precision and preparedness has often been overshadowed by her flashier opponent… Trump made the biggest mistake of his life. Like most gaffes, this one wasn’t actually a mistake but an honest statement of suicidal sentiment. Trump has been telling overflow crowds he believes the election is “rigged,” even though he’s the most unpopular candidate in modern memory and recent studies show that the actual rate of voter fraud is about as common as a lightning strike. Trump was undone by a simple question, one that wouldn’t have been a speed-bump for a nominally prepped candidate. Instead, he crashed and burned– a fatal one-car crash by a driver parking in his own garage. Asked moderator Chris Wallace: Would he support the results of the election, as every other presidential candidate has done since time immemorial? 'I will look at it at the time,' Trump said, to audible gasps in the debate hall at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. 'I will keep you in suspense.' … Every single sentient being in the press watching the debate, and not currently on the payroll of the Trump Organization, knew instantly that his refusal to accept the results of the election (foreshadowed by a similar feint during the primaries) was the moment of the debate, and quite possibly the most important moment of the campaign.”
Sullivan (for New York) noted that even Trump seems to have “internalized that he has lost this election… [and that] this was easily the most decisive debate. She devastated him. He melted down. His refusal to accept the results of this election disqualifies him automatically from any office in the United States. There were several areas where he was utterly incoherent, grasping at 'facts', without any understanding of policy. His personal foulness emerged.”
Even Maureen Dowd noticed it is all over for The Donald. “Continuing to deploy lethal darts from her team of shrinks, Hillary Clinton baited Trump into a series of damaging nails-in-the-coffin statements. And it was so easy. The one-time litigator prosecuted the case against Trump, sparking another temperamental spiral, as effectively as Chris Christie once broke down Marco Rubio.”
There are no serious GOP leaders who think Trump can win November 8.The debate made it worse. How much worse? That we'll know when we see how many House and Senate seats fall to the Democrats in 3 weeks. They hoped he would perform well enough ti at least not make the party's down-ballot results worse. Their hopes were for naught. She crushed him– and with him, Republican hopes for several seats they had hoped to hang onto. As Alex Isenstadt put it in Politico right after the debate, “Trump’s rocky performance on the final debate stage did little to allay his party’s concerns that the GOP is headed for an electoral catastrophe up and down the ticket.
“The biggest loser tonight was not Trump, the presidential race is over,” said Robert Blizzard, a GOP pollster who is working on a number of congressional races. “Instead, down-ticket Republicans lost tonight– they needed some help and got absolutely none.”
…“Trump was already behind,” said Bill Kristol, a Trump critic and the editor-in-chief of the conservative publication the Weekly Standard. “He didn't help himself tonight, indeed he hurt himself. He's very likely to lose, and to lose badly. He'll drag the Senate and House down with him unless Senate and House candidates can make the case they're needed to check and balance Hillary.”
Take a look at some of the brand new ads that just went up on TV, like the one above. Notice what they all have in common?
This would be a pretty good time to help with progressive candidates' get out the vote efforts by contributing. The thermometer below includes the House and Senate candidates Blue America has endorsed and who have won their primaries and are facing conservatives in November.
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” — Sinclair Lewis