It is historically difficult for the party of any president to pick up seats in a midterm election, and that will especially be the case in 2018 when the country is so divided on President Trump’s performance. Democrats are already widely expected to capitalize on a wave of energy that could result in a takeover of one or both houses of Congress. Yet the steps Democrats must take to capitalize on their grassroots energy may provide Republicans the opportunity to remain in power.
In order to gin up their already excited base, Democrats will have to nationalize this election with a push for impeachment and obstruction of President Trump and his agenda. The insular base of the Democratic party that chooses their party’s primary candidates are energized by this talk of #RussiaGate and (literally) re-litigating the 2016 election. This effort provides an opportunity for Republicans to survive their races by exploiting the soft underbelly of their opponents’ narrative: Americans do not want impeachment and obstruction. They want a better future for themselves and their families.
Although it may be tempting to dismiss the reports of energy on the left as “fake news,” Republican candidates cannot simply rest on their laurels. Republican candidates must stay laser focused on their policy accomplishments, contrasting their records while exposing who their opponents are.
Some of the most prominent members of the Democratic party understand this reality, which is why former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, two pugnacious operators both known for relishing political brawls, recently advised their party against politicizing impeachment and the Russia investigation.
Sympathetic voices in the media have already caught on and have begun pumping the breaks also, as some fear that the calls for impeachment could backfire on the party. Indeed, they have already been a gift for…