Staffers assigned to preparing for a 2020 re-election bid by Donald Trump fear that the president is making their job impossible by staking his political future on getting a border wall funded that seems doomed to failure.
According to a report from Politico, White House insiders are concerned that Trump's singular obsession with his wall is, in part, because he has nothing else to offer his rabid base -- but that base alone won't get him a second term.
The reports states, "polling turns increasingly against the president, and White House officials try to find a solution to what some consider a pointless standoff, Trump aides and advisers are worried that the president is doing his 2020 Democratic challengers an early favor."
One insider said that Trump is only looking at short-term gains and not seeing the big picture as the government shutdown over the wall is increasingly blamed upon his intransigence.
"This is a really bad spot for him,” the aide said. “He may just be fighting because he doesn’t know what the hell else to do.”
According to Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, his internal polling shows Trump is striking a chord with the people who aren't fans of the president but like the idea of a wall
“If you look at the people who are kind of these swing voters, who possibly may not like him for personality or other reasons, the No. 1 reason they will vote for him is because of his stance on border security,” Parscale said in an interview with Fox News.
However, as Politico notes, "Parscale declined to offer hard numbers, and data from independent sources suggests the issue is mostly hurting the president."
According to the editor of a leading conservative periodical, Trump may come to rue continually staking everything on funding a wall that the Democratic House is dead set against.
"If it ends with some kind of capitulation, it could be the beginning of real fracturing in Trump’s core base of support. If it ends with a deal that can be plausibly sold as advancing the case for the wall, then Trump loses little but gains little. That’s a bad place to be,” said Yuval Levin, editor of National Affairs. “He’s fighting for something that voters outside his core coalition don’t value, so he has much more to lose than to win.”
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