Karl Rove: Trump should be lowering expectations ahead of midterms, not talking about 'red wave'

Karl Rove: Trump should be lowering expectations ahead of midterms, not talking about 'red wave'
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Republican strategist Karl Rove on Monday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoe Arpaio loses bid for his old position as sheriff Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' Trump tees up executive orders on economy but won't sign yet MORE should lower expectations ahead of November’s midterm elections, not predict a "red wave" of GOP victories.

Rove, appearing on Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom,” pointed out that the party that holds the White House historically has lost seats in a midterm election.

“In all likelihood, Republicans are going to lose seats in the House, they’re going to lose governorships, they’re going to lose state legislative seats,” Rove said. “I think the president would be well-advised to say we face an uphill fight, but he feels good about it, rather than set the expectation that somehow or another the Republicans are going to gain across the board with a red wave.”

Rove’s comments came a day after Trump predicted on Twitter that there “might be a Red Wave” in November.

Trump used the same phrase during a rally Saturday in Ohio, where he was campaigning for Republican Troy Balderson, who faces a special House election against Democrat Danny O’Connor on Tuesday.

“If the Democrats get in, they’re going to raise your taxes. You’re going to have crime all over the place. You’re going to have people all over the border,” Trump said. “So why would that be a blue wave? I think it could be a red wave.”

A RealClearPolitics average of major congressional polls shows that Democrats hold about a 7-point lead over Republicans.

Most political handicappers give Democrats a good chance of taking back the House, though Republicans are well-positioned to retain their Senate majority given a 2018 map that has Democrats defending 10 seats in states won by Trump in the 2016 presidential election. 

Rove, former President George W. Bush's political strategist, saw his old boss pick up House seats in 2002 — a remarkable achievement that came just more than a year after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.