With each passing day lately, Donald Trump’s presidency and future prospects continue to grow darker. His campaign chairman is under house arrest. His other campaign advisers are tripping over each other to try to find a way to avoid being next. His approval rating is at an all time low. Now he’s facing even worse news tonight: he’s become completely impotent, even when it comes to his own withering base – and so has his Vice President.
Donald Trump loudly and repeatedly tried to throw his weight behind Republican candidate Ed Gillespie in the Virginia race for Governor. Trump was almost desperate to prove that he could still motivate his base to turn out for an election, after having tried and failed to push Luther Strange to victory in Alabama two months ago. Gillespie didn’t seem to want to appear alongside the increasingly unpopular Trump, so instead he held a campaign rally with Mike Pence, which saw a very low turnout. This evening, Ed Gillespie lost to Democrat Ralph Northam, in a race that was called remarkably early by NBC News.
Demographically speaking, the Virginia race for Governor should have been winnable by either party. It’s a moderate purple state. Recent polling had been close. Turnout in odd-year races tends to be fairly low in general, meaning that the President and Vice President of the United States should have been able to have a sizable impact on this race just by weighing in on it. Yet it appears, with the final numbers still coming in, that Gillespie lost by roughly the same margin he was losing by when Trump and Pence first got involved with the race.
This is the clearest evidence yet that Donald Trump’s influence is at an all-time low. It’s also enough to scare the living crap out of the Republican Party leadership. If they head into the 2018 midterms with Trump still in office, his toxic unpopularity will get them blown out. The GOP will now have to consider strategically removing Trump ahead of the midterms, in the hope of saving itself. Then again, Mike Pence appears to be just as toxically unpopular. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report