Monday, October 17, 2016

Has Trump Put the House of Representatives in Play?

I try to not get over confident or cocky, but part of me cannot help by smile watching the growing terror in the Republican party as Donald Trump moves towards potential free fall and seemingly may lead the GOP in losing control both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. In some ways it would be fitting punishment for a political party that has put obstructing anything proposed by America's first black president ahead of the well-being of the nation. Indeed, even now, John McCain is insanely talking about the GOP opposing any nominee for the Supreme Court that might be nominated by a President Hillary Clinton. McCain, perhaps due to increasing senility or too much self-prostitution to extremists in the GOP base forgets that the Republicans may well lose control of the Senate.  But back to the House of Representatives.  A piece in Politico looks at the massive spending now being done by GOP affiliated PAC's to try hold control of the House.  Here are excerpts:
The top House Republican super PAC had always planned to spend big to protect GOP lawmakers in Democratic-friendly districts. But Donald Trump’s free fall is forcing American Action Network and its sister PAC, Congressional Leadership Fund, to also shell out millions in red-leaning districts that weren’t even in play until this month.
Their suddenly urgent mission: Build a firewall to prevent a Democratic takeover of the House.
With Trump fending off allegations of sexual harassment, and his tanking numbers threatening to pull down once-safe GOP lawmakers, this is what 2016 now looks like for the pair of related conservative outside groups: They're dropping $500,000 on TV ads in deep-red Utah to protect Rep. Mia Love, whose Mormon-heavy district has recoiled from Trump’s vulgar comments about women. They’re spending another $700,000 in Tucson, Arizona, to protect freshman Rep. Martha McSally, a retired Air Force colonel who’s comfortably led her Democratic challenger all year. And they're working to shore up conservative-leaning districts in the Central Valley of California, western Colorado, upstate New York and Michigan.
The vast majority of the groups' money is still being spent on competitive races. But the pair of groups is also now engaged in a a pre-emptive attempt to stanch the bleeding caused by Trump and preserve Speaker Paul Ryan’s historically large majority.
Republicans always knew they’d have trouble holding onto about half of the 20 GOP-held Democratic-leaning districts that President Barack Obama carried in 2012 — Republican pick-ups that Democrats still to this day dismiss as a fluke. But with signs of a potential wave building for Democrats, GOP fears have grown about the map expanding well beyond those seats.
Inside the GOP leadership there's also been a shift in thinking. Lawmakers and aides at the NRCC and atop the party's leadership structure predicted single-digit losses before they left for their election-season recess. Now, these aides and lawmakers say losses could be 10 to 20 seats, leaving the GOP with a slimmed-down majority. However, many of them concede that a 20-seat loss could easily become 30, and thus the majority.
Democrats counter that the outlays show how dramatically the House landscape has shifted in their favor. The GOP must see a serious threat to drop this amount of cash, they argue.
Republicans say they hope they have seen the end of Trump's slide and the race begins to stabilize. But a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll from the weekend showed Democrats up in the generic ballot test, 45 percent to 38 percent. If Trump continues to drop, AAN and CLF say they have the cash and bandwidth to fight back. The super PAC announced it has raised $31 million, nine times more than it raised in the third quarter of last election cycle.
GOP officials say they believe they'll have a better idea of the electoral landscape after Wednesday's presidential debate in Las Vegas.

The irony is that had the GOP nominated someone sane and responsible - Jon Huntsman would be one pic - they could be winning at the presidential level and elsewhere.  However, having empowered the Christofascists and white supremacists for years and then allowing them to hijack the party base, instead, we see narcissistic blowhard Donald Trump as the party standard bearer.  The GOP truly needs to pay a devastating price.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but I hope November 8th is very, very ugly for the GOP. 

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