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Reblogged:Donald Trump vs. the Midterm Wave?

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At The Hill, Bill Press argues that Donald Trump will likely announce his 2024 presidential campaign in September, just ahead of the midterm congressional elections. Press, who acknowledges that Biden won the last election on the basis of Not Being Trump, sees this, as an early Christmas present to the unpopular Democrat:
punchbowl.jpg
Donald Trump plans to make a splash this September. (Image by Shawn Lea, via Wikimedia Commons, license.)
Biden himself admitted that to The New York Times, as Mark Leibovich reports in his rollicking new book, Thank You for Your Servitude. Asked by Leibovich early in the 2020 primary why he was running again, Biden didn't list his own qualifications for office. Instead, he said simply: "I think it's really, really, really important that Donald Trump not be reelected."

Now Biden and every Democratic candidate can make that argument all over again. They don't even have to wait till 2024. They can make it now, starting in 2022. Before anything else, every Republican candidate will have to answer one question: Will you support Donald Trump in 2024?

Once he announces, the midterms will become a national referendum on Trump. That's the last thing Republicans want, but it's great news for Biden. [bold added]
Press isn't off his rocker here, but he's ignoring the small matter of how the 2020 election went down-ticket: Despite Trump's national rebuke, the Republicans gained 14 seats in the House, and might have ended up with a majority in the Senate had Georgia not elected two Democrats thanks in part to Trump's bellyaching there after his loss and the weak candidate he backed in David Perdue. (More on weak, Trump-backed Senate candidates later.)

In other words, voters were rejecting Trump, and not necessarily his party. And the 2020 election was certainly anything but an enthusiastic buy-in by voters to the far-left agenda Biden has tried to govern on ever since.

Indeed, the fact that everyone, Press included, is talking about a wave election in 2022 is due to this agenda, whose consequences voters will have felt not just when Trump announces, but every time they have bought gas or paid bills for months before.

And, barring a remarkable change on Biden's part -- I'm not holding my breath. -- they will keep feeling those consequences all day, every day until November.

I think it's safe to say that the election will remain largely a referendum on the Democrats' tone-deaf and destructive "climate" (read: anti-energy) and fiscal policies. I don't see even abortion rights mattering as much as they should, because I cannot see the Democrats campaigning effectively on that issue -- which, frankly, should have been Christmas in June for the Democrats.

So I don't think Trump's announcement will help the Democrats, although I think lots of them will imagine it to, and take the excuse to avoid reconsidering their priorities on merit or even popularity.

But has Trump already given the Democrats a 2020-like assist with the Senate? I have lately seen several pieces like this one regarding about a handful of terrible GOP Senate candidates, which include three Trump-backed oddities and another MAGA type Republican. These four are already weak enough in my view that they might not need Trump's hovering around to lose. With Trump around to remind everyone what his brand of dumpster fire is like, they might become easy pickings.

My verdict on a September Trump announcement is that it probably won't help the Democrats that much in the House, but it could stop the GOP from taking the Senate.

That said, I find this news very unwelcome for a number of reasons, but here are two this piece brings up for me. First, the Democrats will feel like they have a Get Out of Jail Free card (as noted above), so no soul-searching by them. Second, many Republicans will indulge in the same kind of wishful thinking in reverse: They'll win despite Trump, and whatever waning of his toxic influence over that party there has been will end for the time being.

So Trump probably won't affect electoral results much more than he already has by announcing, but he will stop a lot of much-overdue rethinking by both parties.

-- CAV

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