In his column for the Daily Beast, conservative commentator -- and Never-Trumper -- Matt Lewis said Americans are likely to witness GOP lawmakers not only moving away from Donald Trump but also openly criticizing him because his influence is at an all-time low and he can't hurt them with voters as he could in the past.
With the president's poll numbers spiraling downward and the likelihood that he will be re-elected slipping away, Lewis claims that, while he doesn't expect Trump to quit the race, he does expect endangered Republicans to quit the president.
As Lewis, points out, the GOP under Donald Trump has not fared well, with a stunning 48 percent of House Republicans having "retired, resigned, been defeated, or are retiring in 2020.”
While many were replaced by more conservative Trump true believers, a substantial number lost to Democrats in the 2018 "Blue wave" that turned into a referendum on the president.
Using history as their guide, and with the president floundering under a tidal wave of scandals, Republicans running for re-election in 2020 are starting to see criticizing the president -- if not totally flipping on him -- as a winning strategy.
Pointing to a Reuters report that, "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may have to advise Republican Senate candidates to distance themselves from Trump if needed to win election and keep their majority,” Lewis suggested that where the is smoke, there is fire.
"To mitigate the damage, some Republicans might be forced to throw Trump under the bus. Others, seeing the writing on the wall, might simply feel liberated to do so by choice. Rep. Liz Cheney, a member of the latter group, has already begun speaking out against some of Trump’s actions and suffered no blowback," he wrote. "Once upon a time, this sort of betrayal would have been swiftly punished. But it has become increasingly clear that Trump’s ability to influence and intimidate Republicans has diminished."
Adding, "The danger for Trump is that he reaches a tipping point where he becomes politically a dead man walking—when he becomes a joke. It seems like we are rapidly approaching that point where the levee breaks.," Lewis suggested that Trump attacking a Republican who is critical of him would likely blow up in the party's face.
"Consider how this could play out if Trump reaches his breaking point and decides to seek revenge against his fellow Republicans who, having written him off, try to save their own skin. If he goes after them on Twitter, it would do nothing to attract liberal voters to their cause. But it definitely would depress the votes of Trump’s base. So this would only make their defeats more likely still," Lewis wrote before flatly proclaiming, "It’s looking increasingly like the GOP could be decimated come November."
As for the president's odds of staying in office, the conservative writer doesn't see it happening and admitted he is looking forward to the president's defeat.
"There is mounting evidence that Trump is not only a looming disaster, but also a regrettable mistake. A lot of these people are going to pretend they were never really in bed with Trump—that they didn’t do what everyone saw them do," he wrote before concluding, "Personally, I’m looking forward to watching the walk of shame."
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