There are a number of cynics within the anti-Trump resistance who are certain that the Republican-controlled Congress will never impeach and remove Donald Trump no matter how ugly things get for him. What they’re overlooking is that if the Republicans conclude they have to throw Trump overboard in order to avoid getting blown out in the midterms, they’ll selfishly do it in a heartbeat. Tonight, the odds of Trump getting impeached before the midterm just became a whole lot more realistic.
Democratic candidate Ralph Northam won the Virginia race for Governor tonight, even after Donald Trump had thrown the full weight of his endorsement behind Republican candidate Ed Gillespie. Trump is so toxically unpopular, Gillespie largely tried to pretend the endorsement never happened. In the end Gillespie lost by what might end up being a five point final margin, with the votes still being counted, which represents a stunning defeat for the Republican Party and for Trump. It’s also a harbinger of things to come.
The Virginia race should have been winnable for either party. Yet the Republican Party, even with the full weight of Donald Trump, couldn’t come close to pulling it off. This isn’t a one-off aberration, either. The Democrats are on track to pick up a dozen or more seats in the Virginia legislature tonight. The Democrats also won today’s New Jersey race for Governor in a blowout. Democrats have been quietly winning lower profile races throughout 2017, including a number of races in strongly Republican-leaning districts. This is now what the GOP can expect in the 2018 midterm races – unless it makes a major change.
It’s clear that the Republican Party is on this ugly losing streak because Donald Trump’s unpopularity is dragging down the entire party. Tonight was proof to the Republicans in Congress that many of them will lose their own jobs in November 2018 if they don’t get rid of Trump in the meantime. Tomorrow’s internal discussion within the GOP leadership will be whether or not to strategically impeach Donald Trump. They care far more about saving themselves than they do about the fate of Trump.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report