Republicans made their bed with the far-right and now they're being forced to snuggle up. In an interview with McClatchy, one Republican strategist confessed party members are in a "terrifying" situation as the 2018 midterms approach.
The president's job approval ratings have remained below 50 percent since he was inaugurated, but those who "strongly approve" in the president have significantly decreased to below 30 percent. According to Gallup's May survey, 4 in 10 Americans "strongly disapprove" of Trump. As of the end of August, that number hasn't budged.
While Trump might be one of the greatest motivational speakers to the base of the GOP, Republican members will need more than that to hold key offices.
Republicans "need Trump’s help mobilizing conservative voters but worry that embracing the president might destroy their standing with independents in the process," McClatchy reported Thursday.
“His support among the Republican base brings a level of intensity that is unrivaled, at least in recent history,” said Ken Spain, formerly of the National Republican Congressional Committee. “That’s the conundrum that many Republican candidates are facing across the country: how do you captivate and mobilize the Republican base while trying to win over independent voters? So far, that has been a very difficult balancing act.”
After a disastrous summer of primary races mixed with Trump scandals and flubs, the party is concerned that without the president at the top of the ticket, there will be a substantial enthusiasm gap.
“The ability to totally, single-handedly swing an election is kind of terrifying, but it’s reality,” said a GOP strategist involved in gubernatorial races. “It’s the president’s party, at least for the foreseeable future, and we’re all just attending.”