Republicans Go All In for Trump Ahead of Midterms

Ron Brownstein: “On both of those fronts—reaching swing voters and energizing Democrats—Trump’s personal behavior creates bigger headwinds for the GOP than his specific policies do. Though Trump supporters often say voters already weighed their personal doubts about him when they backed him in 2016, according to Quinnipiac University polls, he has suffered significant declines since Election Day in the share of Americans who say he’s honest, a strong leader, intelligent, shares their values, and cares about people like them.”

“Yet congressional Republicans have responded to these rising doubts by aligning themselves more closely with Trump—the third key 2018 dynamic evident in the State of the Union. It was most visible in congressional Republicans’ repeated standing ovations during his remarks. But even more telling were comments before the speech from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell—who insisted he saw no need for legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller—and House Speaker Paul Ryan, who offered support for the release of a highly controversial memo intended to discredit Mueller’s investigation.”

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