“You dance with the one who brung you to the dance.”
The wisdom of that old political adage might seem outdated in this age of expensive consultants, focus groups with instantaneous tracking of reactions, and micro-targeting of voters. But the McLaughlin & Associates poll released this week reinforces the wisdom of that adage for any Republican who wants to avoid defeat in the 2018 primary season and in the general election that follows.
The message of that McLaughlin poll could not be clearer or simpler for Republicans as they choose in the coming weeks between the agenda of President Trump and the agenda of the Beltway insiders: The base that brought you to the dance supports the Trump agenda.Dance with your base and win.Dance with the Beltway and lose.
To be fair, elected Republicans face many practical pressures inside the Washington Beltway. There are always K Street lobbyists for various special interests and for large corporations wanting special favors, all offering generous campaign contributions.
And there are the Alinskyite Democrats and their leftist media threatening personal attacks, smears, and ruin for anyone who crosses their socialist agenda.
And then there are some old hands who have learned to thrive in that environment, whose advice is to tell the folks back home anything they want to hear but do the bidding of the Beltway insiders in order to survive.
Candidate Trump called all of that a swamp, promised to drain it, and stunned most of the political experts with a victory those experts said was impossible. And now Republican officials are doubtless hearing from those same experts that the Trump phenomenon is a fluke, an aberration, and that the smart move is to wait it out.Maintain your distance from the Trump agenda and it will all go away
But the McLaughlin poll of likely voters tells a different story. Here are just a few highlights:
- Voting to increase the debt ceiling…