Trump Wages Political Warfare On Two Different Fronts

What President Trump did for his summer vacation: tweet, campaign, confer with supporters at his Bedminster golf club, tout a new Space Force, threaten government shutdowns — and hunker down for a challenging fall.

Trump faces a two-front war that could determine the fate of his presidency. Democrats are trying to take control of Congress in the midterm elections this November. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation proceeds apace, with the president’s former campaign chairman already in the dock.

It’s a combination that could ultimately remove Trump from office under the right set of circumstances, even if most Democrats are swearing off impeachment talk for now. “The president knows he needs to fight and I can tell you he is ready,” said a source close to the White House.

The president also took a big risk by campaigning for Republican Troy Balderson in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District special election despite the possibility it would rile up suburban anti-Trump sentiment as much as the base.

Publicly, at least, Trump doesn’t concede that he is living on the edge by stumping in competitive districts. “As long as I campaign and/or support Senate and House candidates (within reason), they will win!” Trump tweeted last week, later adding, “If I find the time, in between China, Iran, the Economy and much more, which I must, we will have a giant Red Wave!”

“There is no one who energizes the Republican base like Donald Trump. He is literally the greatest show on the campaign trail,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “And if Republicans are going to hold the House and make gains in the Senate in 2018, Trump will literally need to pull a rabbit out of a hat.”

“If the recent slew of House special elections has taught Republicans anything, it is that they need to find a way to match the Democrats’ voter intensity,” O’Connell said. “For Democrats, 2018 is personal and as such many Republicans are facing gale-force headwinds, particularly in the House.”

Trump will be able to help in some places, but not everywhere. “President Trump will be most effective at boosting rural voters, male and senior turnout in endangered House districts and historically red Senate races,” O’Connell added. “Suburban House Republicans and some GOP Senate candidates may choose to hold Trump at arm’s length and call in less divisive allies, but running away from the president entirely is a fool’s errand.”

Read more from W. James Antle III at the Washington Examiner

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Analysis & Political Strategy