One of the things amazing about this year's presidential election is that in some ways the GOP base has gotten the nominee it wanted as opposed to a more moderate candidate that would be more palatable with moderates and independent voters. The ugly elements of the GOP base, including the Christofascist and white supremacist elements, have blamed past GOP presidential loses on the fact that the so-called GOP establishment ultimately prevailed in putting forward moderate candidates. Now that the base got what it wanted, as the New York Times reports, even traditionally Republican areas may be lost to Democrats. Should Trump lose disastrously, the question will be whether or not the base will learn anything from it. I suspect not since so much of the GOP base is utterly detached from objective reality. Here are article highlights:
LEESBURG, Va. — Emboldened by Donald J. Trump’s struggles in the presidential race, Democrats in Congress are laying the groundwork to expand the list of House Republicans they will target for defeat as part of an effort to slash the Republicans’ 30-seat majority and even reclaim control if Mr. Trump falls further.
Mr. Trump’s unpopularity, which has already undermined the party’s grip on the Senate, now threatens to imperil Republican lawmakers even in traditionally conservative districts, according to strategists and officials in both parties involved in the fight for control of the House.
Democrats are particularly enticed by Mr. Trump’s dwindling support in affluent suburban areas — including those near Kansas City, Kan.; San Diego; Orlando, Fla.; and Minneapolis — where Republicans ordinarily win with ease. Mr. Trump is so disliked among college-educated voters, especially white women, that he is at risk of losing by double digits in several districts that the 2012 Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, carried comfortably.
Representative Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, whose district includes both suburbs and small cities [said] “Because of the nature of the nominee, it’s going to be a lot more competitive than it ought to be.”
Republicans are also bracing to take more forceful steps if Mr. Trump continues to drag down their candidates. Multiple strategists involved in the campaign for control of Congress said Republican outside groups were prepared to run ads treating Mr. Trump as a certain-to-lose candidate and urging voters to elect Republicans as a check on Hillary Clinton.
The stakes are high: Should Mr. Trump lose the presidential race and take the Republicans’ Senate majority with him, handing Democrats the power to break the deadlock over appointees to the Supreme Court, the House could become the party’s last line of defense in Washington.
Republicans fear that Mr. Trump has tainted the party’s brand for any prospective successor in areas without a well-known lawmaker already in place. . . . . At their own donor retreat last week in Jackson Hole, Wyo., House Republicans were frank about the difficulties Mr. Trump had created for their candidates.
Still, strategists for the National Republican Congressional Committee told donors that private polling showed voters were not yet equating vulnerable Republican lawmakers with Mr. Trump directly
What worries Republican strategists is not that suburban voters turned off by Mr. Trump would migrate en masse to Democrats, but that many might not show up on Election Day at all.
Mr. Trump has long faced resistance in suburban areas; during the Republican primaries, he often lost upscale suburbs even in states he carried, like Virginia and Georgia.