Budowsky: Mega-landslide for Dems?

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It is now possible that in the 2018 midterm elections Democrats win a mega-landslide, take control of the House by larger than expected margins, take control of the Senate and win surprising upset victories in gubernatorial and state legislative elections.

In my view the odds of this mega-landslide Democratic victory, which would surpass in scope even the classic wave election and be comparable to the massive victory of Lyndon Johnson over Barry Goldwater in 1964, are about 30 percent. 

With President Trump at stratospheric levels of national unpopularity, but fervently supported by a base that is small compared to the general electorate, Republicans face a political death trap.  By pandering to the fervent but limited Trump base for primaries, they disastrously alienate and mobilize virtually everyone else against them for the general election.

{mosads}Republican leaders have made the Faustian bargain of binding their party in Congress to Trump. They are locked into Trump’s unpopularity, aligned with Trump’s behavior and tying their political fate to Trump’s unpopularity. They are branding themselves as Trump Republicans, which is political poison for nearly 60 percent of the nation.

Most Americans condemn words Trump recently spoke that were widely seen as racist at a meeting to discuss a bill to protect “Dreamers,” which a majority of Americans support. He broke his word to Democratic leaders because he fell under the spell of far-right members of his staff, who colluded with two nativist Republican senators who had trouble getting their story straight about the vulgar and bigoted words Trump spoke at the meeting.

Upon such unprincipled extremism, mega-landslides are built. A tidal wave of American voters are angry, alarmed and appalled by this. Smart Republicans would support the bipartisan compromise to protect the Dreamers proposed by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and others.

The possibility of a Democratic mega-landslide is dramatized by Trump’s disastrous poll ratings — and the degree his behavior hyper-motivates those who detest it to vote and hyper-alienates voters who have previously voted Republican but will not this year.

According to RealClearPolitics on Wednesday morning, Trump’s approval stands at 39 percent. His disapproval stands at 56 percent. Democrats have an 11 percent lead in generic polling.  These numbers could presage a Democratic mega-landslide.

Trump Republicans could wipe out blue state Republicans. By waging aggressive tax and spending wars against blue states they may politically destroy blue state Republicans for a generation.  

Democrats are making a bold bid in red states. Democrat Doug Jones won a landmark victory in the Alabama Senate race.  A major recent poll found Trump as unpopular in Georgia as he is nationally.

GOP members are retiring in large numbers. A new generation of dynamic Democrats, including dozens of veterans who served heroically in the military, have been inspired to run for Congress. Republicans face months of horrific news flow about indictments, plea bargains and criminal trials involving Trump Republicans and Russia. 

When Trump practices his politics of racism he appalls many voters of all races. Many suburban voters become new Democratic voters. Highly motivated young voters become a generation that largely despises the things Trump Republicans do.

Trump electrifies the surging power of women, from women in Hollywood to the stunning victory in Wisconsin of Democrat Patty Schachtner, who won a special state senate election Tuesday by 9 percent in a district Trump carried by 17 percent.

America is a great family that includes people who are white, black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, gay, straight, men, women and all who share the great American family in this country we love.

Trump rejects and attacks this core value of Americanism. 

Every time Trump insults, berates or humiliates members of the vast American family they become scared to death, or madder than hell, and powerfully motivated to vote. Trump has done this so many times, to so many members of the American family, with such hostility and deceit, that a Democratic mega-landslide may well be coming.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.

Tags 2018 midterms Dick Durbin Donald Trump Lindsey Graham

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