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What Will Get Congressional Republicans to Act?



I know, you are saying the answer is nothing. But that isn’t quite true. The answer is making them scared for their jobs. If they fear that repealing the ACA and not standing up to Trump will lead to them losing their next election, many of them will respond. And don’t think that isn’t possible in many districts.

A district going from 29 points to 6 points is a real swing. Mind you, these are the types of elections where Democrats supposedly never vote and of course they haven’t for at the last 8 years. If you were to see a 23 point swing in every district in the country, you have a Democratic-controlled House and Senate in 2019. And while it makes no sense to extrapolate much from a single election, there are real possibilities here. You have very angry and motivated Democrats and increasingly despondent Republicans. So where to turn next? Obviously, people are focusing on the Virginia and New Jersey governor elections. And we should be recruiting candidates for 2018 but Bernie and Hillary partisans have to hurt the nation through their civil war over DNC Chair. Thanks jerks.

But there is a right now election you should be paying very close attention to:

That’s Tom Price’s seat. Trump won this district by 1 point. If Democrats have any chance of winning the House in 2018, it starts right here. This is a must-win district. It’s precisely the type of place that underperforms for Trump–a wealthy suburban district. Luckily, there is a solid candidate and the whole thing should be a referendum on Trump and the ACA, again, given that it’s Price’s seat. Jon Ossoff is the main Democratic running against a boatload of Republicans. Daily Kos is funneling a bunch of money his way. You can too. He’s running explicitly against Trump. Help him out if you can.

And if Ossoff wins, watch Republicans begin to freak out about 2018. Which of course might just mean more voter suppression.

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  • DamnYankees

    Unfortunately, Trump is not remotely unpopular enough to make the GOP abandon him. New Gallup poll this morning shows he’s at 40/53 – which is bad, but not bad enough to cause your party to ditch you. It’s also actually better than he was in the last Gallup poll, believe it or not (though still within the margin of error).

    The GOP will not actively abandon Trump unless and until something tangible comes out that he either (i) is genuinely compromised/colluded with Russia personally or (ii) something is caught on tape of him insulting his own base (e.g. “can you believe these hillbillies voted for me”, something like that).

    The GOP will not save us. Our only goal should be to reduce the power the GOP has.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      if they couldn’t keep Donny from getting the nomination they can’t get him out of the job. he’ll either quit of his own accord or his health will blow up

      • humanoid.panda

        Unfortunately, Trump is not remotely unpopular enough to make the GOP abandon him. New Gallup poll this morning shows he’s at 40/53 – which is bad, but not bad enough to cause your party to ditch you. It’s also actually better than he was in the last Gallup poll, believe it or not (though still within the margin of error).

        Then again, its only 24 days in. If Trump gets into the 35 points and less territory, all sorts of calculations start to change.

    • Joe Bob the III

      If the question is: How unpopular would Trump have to be to get his own party to impeach him? The answer is: Popularity doesn’t appear to have much to do with it.

      It’s educational to revisit GWB’s approval ratings. The lowest approval I ever saw for him was a CSB poll at 22%. The lowest Gallup poll for him was 25%. In spite of two wars and a global financial crisis, the idea of impeaching him never got any mainstream traction. Of course, that may have been due in part to Dick Cheney being even less popular.

      Partisan polarization being what it is, I don’t think Trump will drift below 35% just by continuing to be his narcissistic hate-Tweeting self. He’s going to have to do something to earn lower numbers.

      Being unpopular just means Republicans would run away from Trump in 2018 or primary him in 2020. To get impeached, Trump will have to both be very unpopular and have done something so egregiously horrible that even Republicans feel compelled to act.

      • djw

        He was hitting those lows in year 8, though. The strategy was to just pretend he didn’t exist and move on (and he was more or less cool with that; he was pretty much letting Rice run foreign policy and marking time at that point.) The calculation might be different if he tanks badly enough in the first term.

    • bs

      Wasn’t his first “victory tour” a series of speeches saying, “I lied my ass off & you ate it up”? And the clueless hillbillies ate that up, too.

  • Abbey Bartlet

    What does “act” mean here?

  • DamnYankees

    Also – I think you have a typo. You wrote the district swung from 19 to 6. It’s actually 29 to 6.

  • Rob in CT

    Thanks for this, Erik. I’ll send some $$.

    • The Lorax


  • wengler

    Which of course might just mean more voter suppression.

    Voters are a clear and present danger to our system of government.

  • Colin Day

    A district going from 19 points to 6 points is a real swing.

    To go all mathy on you, isn’t a 61-32 decision a 29-point win rather than a 19-point win?

  • West

    Thanks for this link, Eric, I’ll send some $$.

    All politician understand fear, we need to seize on every opportunity to make the Republicans afraid for their personal political futures. Just as every Republican politician cares more about Party than about country, they also care about their own sorry asses more than they do either the Party or Der Trumpenfuhrer.

    This looks like a good opportunity – I appreciate seeing it recommended here, I hadn’t seen it elsewhere yet.

  • I will have to throw some money Ossoff’s way. It would definitely be nice to take that seat out of GOP control.

  • Aaron Morrow

    Just FYI, it appears that Ossoff has to win a runoff if he doesn’t clear 50% the first time.

  • Thom

    Also sent some bucks to Ossoff. Thanks for alerting us.

  • timb

    Gee, golly, I hope we get more squabbling from the Bernie/Hillary partisans. That was fun. Maybe they can tell us whether Ossoff is really a fan of the neo-liberal or non-Democrat wing of the Party.

    Maybe no more alt center can tell us that he’s really the People’s Front of Judea #Splitters

    • The only issue that matters on whether I support a given Democrat is whether said candidate agrees that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is Satan incarnate.

      • Jordan

        nah you fucker. not *satan incarnate*, just one of the lesser demons. Clearly.

  • humanoid.panda

    Very pertinent: Morning Joe blacklists St. Kellyanne. If that gaggle of morons had enough with her, maybe not all is lost..

    • Jordan

      good. Miller should also be on that list, and this hopefully will propagate to the sunday shows.

  • junker

    I think it’s important to fight for seats like this, but also I think Yglesias is wrong to say that winning or not winning this seat represents a huge referendum on Trump.

    • humanoid.panda

      Someone mentioned on twitter yesterday that Dems won a bunch of special elections in 2009, leading to speculation that they might get to 66 Senate seats in 2010. We know how that ended..

  • Jordan

    good stuff, will make a (small) donation.

  • Simeon

    Minnesota’s state House District 32B, the one mentioned at the beginning here, in 2012 went 51-49 for then-incumbent Republican Bob Barrett (and better in 2014).

  • chmatl

    I am in Tom Price’s district. I have lived in my neighborhood for almost 19 years. In all that time, I’ve never once been visited by a representative of either party. Then, lo and behold, on Saturday a Democratic canvasser knocked on my door. I am now signed up to help with phone calls/canvassing myself.

    New local leadership and energized Democratic voters are working wonders here. We Cobb County Democrats are going to win this seat or die trying!

  • Chris Mealy

    I gave $30. I hope he wins!

    I feel like netroots fundraising was way bigger in the 2006-2008 period. I’d like that to come back.

  • kvs

    It’s worth contesting the seats but specials don’t really indicate overall trends. Dems won a bunch of red-district specials ahead of the 2010 mid-terms and the wave went the other way.

  • Gretchen

    Another to watch is Mike Pompeo’s seat in Kansas. The Democrats have a good candidate. The Republicans chose the State Treasurer, a Brownback ally who has presided over the budget disaster that has made Brownback deeply unpopular and which caused voters to throw out a bunch of Brownback allies in November and vote in moderates who will fund the schools. People here are angry and motivated. I got calls from Statehouse candidates last fall for the first time in the 28 years I’ve lived here. http://www.ketv.com/article/democrats-hope-to-flip-republican-house-seat-vacated-by-pompeo/8732586

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