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©2018 by Think Outside Politics.

Get Ready for a Trump Popularity Surge

November 6, 2018

 

Tonight, millions of Americans will have their eyes glued to their television sets as poll results for the Midterm Elections pour in, across the country. Political partisans will be wringing their hands, waiting anxiously to see whether there are enough Democrat victories to label this midterm election a "blue wave." That label is what pundits are primarily concerned about, because it will determine the future media narrative.

 

A "blue wave" will be interpreted as a repudiation of Trump. Democrats will get the opportunity to put forward a particular policy as the focal point of resistance ("this is what we were elected to do!"). Given the enormous migrant caravan nearing our nation's border, it is a good bet that Democrats will turn their focus to immigration policy and craft their message around that.

 

While a "blue wave" would be a set-back for Republicans and conservatives, it won't necessarily hurt Trump. In fact, it might increase his popularity over the next year. As we have already seen, Trump is not afraid to pass spending bills (which are always popular), and a Democrat Congress would surely pressure him to do so. This will put Trump in the position he is most comfortable with—negotiator. He will regularly appear on national television with Schumer and Pelosi, striking deals (just like Reagan did with Tip O'Neill). Through Twitter, Donald Trump will set the national narrative regarding these negotiations, and will receive praise from Democrats when he inevitably compromises—most likely on Medicare or Social Security spending.

 

Trump would also likely see a boost in his popularity if there is no "blue wave." Such a result would immediately put the "resistance" on the ash-heap of history, legitimizing his presidency. And, only a month later, Robert Mueller will make public the results of his investigation, exonerating Trump of both criminal behavior and "Russian collusion." In hindsight, the whole "resistance" movement could look like an utterly unnecessary shadow cast on Trump's first two years in office. And moderate Americans might be excited to see what Trump can do with a little bit of goodwill. 

 

Whichever way the election results go, Trump will get a winning position on immigration. A Republican victory would give Trump the moral legitimacy he needs to build the wall and complete a campaign promise. A Democrat victory would put Trump in the position of resisting radical Democratic proposals for amnesty and citizenship for illegal immigrants. Both situations will likely increase Trump's popularity among working Americans.

 

Trump is not on the ballot, today, and this election does not threaten his political future. The country is merely deciding which political party will most often have Trump's ear during the next two legislative sessions. And, as a side-effect, Americans are also deciding whether the media will be able to credibly continue an all-out assault against this presidency for two more years.

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