To hear President Donald Trump tell it, Republicans are in great shape ahead of November’s midterms, despite poll after poll after poll favoring the Democrats. In fact, he’s predicting a “red wave” that will keep the GOP in power. And now, much to the Republican National Committee’s dismay, the president’s most diehard supporters are starting to believe him.
While most voters expect Democrats to take control of at least the House this fall, half of Republicans—57 percent of whom are self-described “strong” Trump supporters—don’t see any threat to their control of Congress and aren’t hugely motivated to vote in November, according to a leaked internal RNC memo obtained by Bloomberg.
“While a significant part of that lack of intensity is undoubtedly due to these voters’ sentiments toward the President, it may also be partly because they don’t believe there is anything at stake in this election,” the memo reportedly states. “Put simply, they don’t believe that Democrats will win the House. (Why should they believe the same prognosticators who told them that Hillary was going to be elected President?).”
Generic ballot polling over the past two weeks shows Democrats with anywhere from a five to a 12 point lead over Republicans for the midterm election—enthused, in no small part, by the prospect of wresting back control of Congress from a Republican party that’s shown zero ability or interest in holding President Trump in check.
The RNC’s internal memo, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and completed on September 2, concludes that “We need to make real the threat that Democrats have a good shot of winning control of Congress.”
To do so puts the RNC in the unenviable position of having to ring the alarm bells loud enough to drown out the president’s seemingly baseless bravado—an impossible task given that the memo itself confirms that Trump’s cult of personality has essentially subsumed the Republican party.
“Republicans don’t have a ‘base problem,’” the memo reportedly says. “Those voters who strongly approve of the President and those who support both his policies and leadership style are genuinely passionate about voting in the election and are voting GOP lock, stock and barrel.”
Have fun with that in November. I have reached out to the RNC for comment and will update if I hear back.