Republican Candidates Can’t Keep Trump Out of Their Districts

When Donald Trump told Sean Hannity not long ago that he’s tanned, rested, and ready for the midterm campaign trail—“I’ll go six or seven days a week when we’re 60 days out, and I will be campaigning for all of these great people that do have a difficult race”—the response from virtually all those candidates was silence.

And who can blame them? A president saddled with a 39 percent approval rating is not a guaranteed asset, especially in the dozens of competitive House districts where Republicans risk being drowned in a blue wave. Party strategists worry that Trump will do more harm than good, ginning up his foes more than his friends, and that his presence or endorsement may well have negligible value even in reliably red enclaves—as most recently evidenced in Ohio’s special House election and the Kansas GOP gubernatorial primary.

But Trump may not care, because, as nonpartisan political analyst Stuart Rothenberg points out, “he is simply incapable of receding into the background or allowing the midterms to be about anyone other them himself.” Indeed, Trump brings to mind a character that John Belushi played on “Saturday Night Live.” He’d show up for a party, create a mess, eat all the food in sight, overstay his welcome, and spurn every hint from his exhausted hosts that it was time for him to go. The character’s name was The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave.

With diplomatic delicacy, Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak told me that Trump’s “highest and best use over the next 80 days should be fundraising,” especially “in the 10 red-state Senate races with vulnerable Democratic incumbents,” and maybe in the 15 or 20 House districts where the Trump base is more sizable than the opposition. That’s the standard formula for presidents with lousy poll numbers: …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Politics

The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Amorphous Tapes

Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)

Today in 5 Lines

President Trump escalated his attacks against former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman, calling her a “dog” on Twitter.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters she “can’t guarantee” that Trump has never used a racial slur after Manigault Newman claimed Trump is on tape using the N-word.

Defense lawyers for former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort rested without calling any witnesses in his fraud trial. Closing arguments for the trial are expected to begin on Wednesday morning.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court released a report listing more than 300 clergy members accused of sexual abuse, and identifying at least 1,000 child victims.

Two people were injured after a car plowed into the gates of the United Kingdom’s Parliament. London’s Metropolitan Police are investigating the incident as a possible act of terrorism.

The Races We’re Watching

Voters in Connecticut, Vermont, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are heading to the polls for their primary elections.

In Minnesota, Republicans see opportunities to take back several seats, including the governor’s mansion: Former Governor Tim Pawlenty and Jeff Johnson are vying for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. On the Democratic side, former Republican staffer and political pundit Richard Painter is challenging incumbent Senator Tina Smith. And three women—state Representative Ilhan Omar, state Senator Patricia Torres, and state House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher—are running against each other in Minnesota’s 5th district, which is strongly Democratic.

In Wisconsin, Tony Evers, the state’s public-schools chief, appears to be the clear favorite to win the Democratic gubernatorial primary and take on Governor Scott Walker in November. If he does, our own Adam Harris writes, the race will primarily be focused on education. Another key Democratic primary race to watch is in Speaker Paul Ryan’s district: Will Randy “Iron Stache” …read more

Source:: <a href= target="_blank" title="The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Amorphous Tapes” >The Atlantic – Politics