Republicans meeting in San Diego are worried that their career prospects could suffer collateral damage if Donald Trump’s administration continues to meltdown, leading to possible impeachment proceedings against the president before the 2018 midterms.
According to Politico, the Republican National Committee’s spring meeting in Coronado is tense affair, following Trump’s stunning firing of FBI Director James Comey which caught not only congressional leaders by surprise, but also members of the Trump White House.
Equally alarming are GOP worries that previously solid GOP seats in Montana and Georgia could be lost in special elections before the 2018 midterms — a harbinger of the struggles that lie ahead with an unpredictable and increasingly unpopular president at the top of the party.
According to one Republican National Committeeman, Trump has changed the game in ways that are making conventional election wisdom obsolete and incumbents nervous.
“I don’t think there is anything to compare it to. You have a non-politician who’s the president, so he doesn’t do things in a political way and that completely drives insiders of both parties bonkers because they don’t understand it,” said former Newt Gingrich adviser Randy Evans. “Right now, we’re just in a completely different and foreign political environment where pollsters and pundits and focus groups don’t matter.”
“Anybody that tells you they have a feel for what’s going to happen next year is just delusional,” he added.
A sign that Republicans are worried about their prospects was an National Republican Congressional Committee fundraising email that raised the prospect of a Democratic-led Trump impeachment that could find favor with a public grown weary of daily outbursts from the president and a White House in constant disarray and chaos.
The bigger concern is at the House level, where GOP incumbents have cancelled town halls due to voter dissatisfaction with Trump’s performance as president and the House shooting itself in the foot as it attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare.
According to the report, NRCC executive director John Rogers pointed out that there are more vulnerable Republican incumbents representing districts that Hillary Clinton won in 2016 than Democratic incumbents in districts that Trump carried, with Rogers noting that midterm elections are rarely favor the party controlling the White House.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulkner — a moderate Republican — said that for the GOP to be successful, they are going to have to reach out to voters they have previously alienated.
“You have to have Democrats, you have to have independents, you have to have Republicans. That message of bringing people together is incredibly important,” Faulkner explained.
Montana Republican Party Chairman Jeff Essmann said Republicans better strap in and be prepared to work hard to save their seats.
“The bottom line is that we’ve got to recruit well, we’re going to have to raise a bunch of money,” he said. “Democrats are upset that they lost, they didn’t think that was going to happen. They’re motivated, and we’re going to have to redouble our efforts.”