Donald Trump is delivering on his promises and voters are noticing

Donald Trump is delivering on his promises and voters are noticing
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Rep. Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiTrump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada Lawmakers consider easing costs on drug companies as part of opioids deal New grounds for impeachment? House Dem says Trump deserves it for making society worse MORE (D-Calif.) and former Sen. Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidKavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow Dems can’t ‘Bork’ Kavanaugh, and have only themselves to blame Dem senator: Confidential documents would 'strongly bolster' argument against Kavanaugh's nomination MORE (D-Nev.) have told their fellow Democrats to stop talking about impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE because they have come to understand the talk is not helping them with independents and is doing nothing to separate the president from his enthusiastic base of support.

Yes, among Democrats, 71 percent want to see the president impeached if Democrats win control of the House. But among independents — the key swing votes Democrats must attract to retake either house of Congress — 54 percent say they oppose impeachment.

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But the most ignored figure in that poll is perhaps the most important. Among Republicans, 92 percent oppose impeachment — an indication of the enduring, unflagging support the president has enjoyed from those in his party.

 

They have stuck with him throughout. In October 2017, when Trump’s job approval rating was at 35 percent, the lowest of his presidency, 82 percent of those who voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election said they would vote for him again.

Neither the Stormy Daniels saga, buoyed by $175 million in free media for her attorney, nor the Russia collusion investigation has done anything to harm Trump’s standing with his supporters, according to a recent USA TODAY Trump voter panel.

Trump’s supporters see him as a man who keeps his promises and disrupts the swamp.

They like that he has put in place a conservative Supreme Court Justice and a record number of federal appeals judges in his first year. They love that he pulled out of the Paris climate accord, the Iran nuclear deal and the Trans-Pacific Partnership and that he has cut nearly twice as many regulations as promised — all despite unprecedented obstruction and resistance from Democrats and a handful of recalcitrant Republicans in Washington and beyond.

Midterms are base elections. About 130 million vote in presidential elections, but only 80 million-95 million vote in midterms. That means it’s important to turn out the base.

We’re told repeatedly Democrats are beyond fired up to vote in November. But there is little evidence those who don’t generally vote in midterms are angry enough about Trump to make the extra effort this year, and there is growing evidence Trump is in the right place on the right issues to hold or perhaps even expand his base. In fact, after 500 days in office, President Trump has the second highest “own party” approval rating since World War II.

Based on recent polling, immigration is, as Gallup put it, the “strongest countervailing issue determining Republican turnout,” and Trump’s proposal — amnesty for 1.8 million illegal aliens in exchange for funding the wall on the Mexican border and ending chain migration and the diversity visa program — “encompasses the popular position on every major immigration issue,” as a National Review report stated.

Then there is the subject that touches every American — the economy — and Trump is doing so well on that front that even the New York Times had to admit it “ran out of words to describe how good the job numbers are.”

Since Trump took office, nearly 3 million jobs have been created, and wage growth is at the highest point since President Bush left office. Unemployment has dipped to its lowest level since 2000 and to record lows for African Americans and Asians. Manufacturing jobs are increasing across the country, and two-thirds of Americans say the economy is “good.”

On top of that, efforts by Obama supporters to give their man credit for the economic numbers have crumbled in recent months.

Republican congressional candidates are right to worry whether Trump’s coattails and loyal supporters are enough to keep them in control of Congress beyond this year. The Senate seems safe for now. But the battle for control of the House remains a toss-up, Democrats continue to hold a small-but-stubborn lead in the generic ballot question, and there is no guarantee, particularly as political turmoil in Italy threatens the European Union economy, the economy still will be a political plus come November.

There is no-one-size-fits-all solution for Republicans to win in 2018. But all Republicans have to hope the Trump economic renaissance continues and that no external event, such as Trump’s dealings with North Korea, becomes a problem. So far, those meetings have been a net plus for the president.

In the meantime, Republicans should focus on the Democratic “impeachment fetish” and the left’s radical views on immigration, because it fires up the Republican base and captures independent support.

And although Republicans can’t be sure if the economic atmospherics will hold, they should continue to remind voters that, as of now, they have rarely, if ever, seen an economy like this.

Ford O'Connell is the chairman of CivicForumPAC, an adjunct professor at The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management, worked on John McCainJohn Sidney McCainArizona race becomes Senate GOP’s ‘firewall’ Trump administration weakens methane pollution standards for drilling on public lands Another recession could hit US in 2019, says credit union association chief MORE's 2008 presidential campaign, and authored the book "Hail Mary: The 10-Step Playbook for Republican Recovery." Follow him on Twitter @FordOConnell.