The GOP’s Misguided Midterm Optimism

Charlie Cook: “Republican hopes these days rest on two things. First, their deficit on the generic congressional ballot seems to have declined from 13 points in late December to about 5 points now… It’s plausible that passage of the tax-cut bill in December put a bit of starch in Republican voters’ shorts… The GOP’s second hope is that the economy will remain strong through the election and that at some point, President Trump and congressional Republicans will begin to get some credit for it.”

“But while these high hopes were emanating from last week’s Republican congressional retreat at The Greenbrier, data from individual races on both the district and statewide level reveal that the plight of Republicans actually appears to be even more difficult than it seemed last fall. This is particularly true with individual-race polling, but other indices such as candidate recruitment and campaign fundraising are sending ‘Danger, Will Robinson!’ messages. This is particularly true in the House, where there are quite a few GOP incumbents in competitive and potentially competitive races who are not raising the kind of money they will need if there is much of a Democratic wave at all.”

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