Saccone tried to talk like Trump. That cost him a seat in Congress.
Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election based on a number of factors — chief among them being his power of personality, particularly among his supporters. And in the White House, Trump’s personal brand has propelled him to an 87 percent approval rating within the GOP, even amid turmoil and chaos taking place both within and without the Oval Office.
The problem for Republicans is that the Trump approach isn’t a replicable model for success. Trump’s scandals are, instead, dragging down the popularity of just about every other figure within the Republican orbit — making it less likely voters would vote for any Republican at all. Republicans in Virginia and Alabama have attempted to take on the Trumpist mantle this year but lost, even in deep-red districts.
That is back in focus once again Wednesday: Republican candidate Rick Saccone, who described himself in November as “Trump before Trump was Trump,” officially lost to Democrat Conor Lamb in a district the previous Republican representative had run unopposed in twice. Trump carried the district by 19 points in 2016.
It’s a general rule of politics that the parties of first-term presidents typically lose seats in Congress during midterms — in 2006, 2010, and 2014, massive “wave” elections have punished the president’s party. And Congress is already deeply unpopular, currently boasting a 15 percent approval rating after attempting (and failing) to repeal Obamacare, coupled with the tax bill’s stagnating popularity.
In Pennsylvania, Saccone was heavily disliked even by his own party (and reportedly also by Trump, who viewed him as “weak”).
Still, if Republicans could harness the kind of enthusiasm the party’s base has for Trump, they’d have a …read more
Source:: Vox – All