Budowsky: Senate's Trump Republicans on trial, in trouble

Budowsky: Senate's Trump Republicans on trial, in trouble
© Greg Nash

Based on recent polling, Democrats have a strong or even-money chance of gaining Senate seats in Colorado, Arizona, Maine, North Carolina, Iowa, Montana and potentially Georgia, South Carolina, Kansas and Alaska.

If Election Day brings a particularly strong Democratic year, other Senate races could bring shocking Democratic upsets. House Democrats have a good chance to increase their majority.

While I am not today making any calls on which party will control the White House or Senate, the campaign today favors former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMore than 300 military family members endorse Biden Five takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Biden: 'I would transition from the oil industry' MORE to win the presidency and Democrats to regain control of the Senate. Here is why.


The most important reason is the unpopularity of President TrumpDonald John TrumpMore than 300 military family members endorse Biden Five takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Biden: 'I would transition from the oil industry' MORE, who now dominates the actions and public perceptions of Republicans generally, and Senate Trump Republicans in particular.

Trump’s domination of Senate and House Republicans, and his unprecedented and extreme actions such as stating he might not accept a peaceful transition of power if he loses the election, is shifting the tectonic plate of American politics in 2020.

It is far from certain, but is a realistic possibility, that the backlash against Trump, coupled with profound demographic changes in key states including Georgia and Texas, could create a historic political alignment with long-term impact.

Months before the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, Trump had provoked a gigantic surge of activism and passion throughout the Democratic Party and progressive movement. He provoked a stunning surge in fundraising for Democrats at all levels.

Trump provoked an unprecedented number of lifetime Republicans who had served under or supported former Republican presidents and nationally respected Republicans such as the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMore than 300 military family members endorse Biden Jennifer Lawrence says until Trump she was 'a little Republican' Senate is leaning to the Democrats, big time, with a wave MORE (Ariz.), to support Biden for president and Democrats in critical Senate races. He provoked an extraordinary number of former Cabinet members and senior staff of his presidency warning the nation against him.


The attempt to force through the nomination of Barrett to the Supreme Court before the election has accelerated the negative trends endangering Senate Republicans.

Repeated polls show significant public opposition to this move and support for the widespread view that the president and Senate elected in November, not Trump who may well lose the coming election, should choose and confirm the replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden face off for last time on the debate stage Clean energy opportunities in a time of crisis Trump when asked if he'd be kinder in his second term: 'Yes, I think so' MORE.

To many millions of voters, the highly unpopular Trump and the highly unpopular Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell says 'no concerns' after questions about health Overnight Health Care: Trump says he hopes Supreme Court strikes down ObamaCare | FDA approves remdesivir as COVID-19 treatment | Dems threaten to subpoena HHS over allegations of political interference at CDC The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden face off for last time on the debate stage MORE (R-Ky.) are trying to pack the Supreme Court to steal the 2020 elections.

The plan is obvious. First Trump Republicans try to discount millions of votes by mail, a right many tens of millions of voters desperately want to exercise. Then the packed Supreme Court upholds this to steal the election, by party-line votes of justices.

This dramatically energizes Democratic and anti-Trump independent voters, increases their turnout, and creates an explosion of small donors. ActBlue alone has raised more than $300 million since Ginsburg passed away. Other progressive groups, Senate and House Democratic campaign committees, the Biden campaign and Democratic candidates will all report another explosion of donors in September.

Republican candidates have to comment on every offensive Trump comment such as the suggestion he believes troops who serve our country are “losers” and “suckers,” and every Trump move to undermine leading medical authorities as COVID-19 deaths mount every day.

Do Senate Republicans want to destroy the Affordable Care Act, as Trump does, during the worst and worsening disease crisis in a century? Do they want to overturn Roe v. Wade?

Do Trump Republicans praise Trump’s disastrous response to the deadly pandemic as cases rise, deaths continue to surge and appear destined to skyrocket with a second wave that has already begun?

How do they answer accurate Democratic charges that Trump’s failure on COVID-19 destroys jobs and creates massive joblessness and economic pain? What do Republicans say as stories mount about Trump’s taxes?

Trump owns Senate Republicans, who are now on trial by voters and risk ending up like the money-losing businesses revealed in his tax returns.

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 House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.