What happens when you enable a misogynistic bigot with the competence of a drunk Orangutan to become president? The answer, it seems, is fairly straightforward: electoral disaster at every level of government.
The New York Times reported today that since Donald Trump was elected, Republicans have lost substantial support in every single special election:
Multiple forces are behind the swing: Republican voters appear demoralized while Democrats are fired up, and some voters who typically lean Republican have been shifting away from the party.
So far, Republicans have benefited greatly from being able to choose most of the spots they have been forced to compete in. Five of the eight special elections arose because Mr. Trump selected the sitting Republican lawmaker there for a position in his cabinet. (In the other three cases, Republicans resigned from Congress amid scandal or to join the private sector.)
But Mr. Trump’s party will have to compete in dozens of more closely divided districts in November. If Democrats enjoy the same enthusiasm gap in those races, Republicans’ control of the House and Senate could be in jeopardy.
The Banter's Jeremy Fassler reported today on the special election in Arizona that saw Republican Debbie Lesko beat Hiral Tipirneni by around 6 points to represent Arizona's 8th district. "Should Republicans celebrate this victory and write obituaries for the Blue Wave?" wrote Jeremy. "Not by a long shot. They may have won the battle, but the results show that Democrats are winning the war."
And indeed they are. As Jonathan Swan and Mike Allen note in Axios, the data is not just bad for Republicans, it is potentially catastrophic given they can't get anything done with Trump as president as it is:
Republicans are already sweating every nominee in the Senate they now control. They’re already finding it near impossible to legislate. They’re already fighting for every judge, every cabinet secretary, not to mention there’s likely to be one if not two Supreme Court openings in the next two years.
If they lose the Senate majority, they lose the capacity to implement anything resembling a conservative agenda.
I have spoken to Republicans in DC who did not vote for Donald Trump, and they have expressed similar worries. A friend told me recently that the party heads are privately panicking as the losses rack up, mostly because they are powerless to do anything about it. From a tactical point of view, they cannot stand up to Trump because he still has strong enough support amongst the Republican voting public, and there is little they can do to stop the rapidly disintegrating support from young people, women, minorities, and even blue collar white people who voted for him on the basis that he would bring back their jobs. Of course they could have prevented this from happening before Trump became president, but then the GOP isn't known for putting the country before party.
If the Democrats manage to take both houses in November, the political landscape in America will become a very, very different place, and the Republicans will finally feel the consequences of their despicably cowardly behavior.