Top Trump advisers including the federal budget director, Mick Mulvaney, provided a raw assessment of GOP’s chances in the midterms in a closed-door meeting with party officials and donors, saying the Republican Party could do well but voters would have to “subtract” Trump’s divisive persona from their minds, according to the New York Times.
Mulvaney also said that Texas incumbent Senator Ted Cruz faced a fierce battle against Beto O’Rourke and could end up losing the race despite Donald Trump’s glowing endorsement.
Mulvaney was speaking along with Ronna McDaniel, the Republican National Committee chairwoman, about GOP’s chances against the purported “blue wave” that could be unleashed later this year in the midterms. He said that although Democrats were greatly energized by their opposition to Trump, it was not going to matter if Republican voters could somehow “subtract” the “hate” that Trump’s divisive personality generates.
“You may hate the president, and there’s a lot of people who do, but they certainly like the way the country is going. If you figure out a way to subtract from that equation how they feel about the president, the numbers go up dramatically.”
Without naming Ted Cruz, Mulvaney also hinted that he could lose because he lacked the “charm” to win the Senate race. Cruz responded to this assessment dismissively, saying Mulvaney was just “some political guy in Washington.”
In chat with donors, top Trump aide Mick Mulvaney indicates Sen. Ted Cruz might lose because candidate likability matters. https://t.co/9WdE00nyBU
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) September 8, 2018
Mulvaney claimed that Democrats, despite their energy, did not have a single piece of legislation to mobilize voters. He said the “movement of hate” against Trump was not going to be enough for Democrats to clinch a majority in Congress.
“What is the signature piece of legislation they’re against? The tax bill?” Mulvaney said rhetorically.
Ronna McDaniel, on the other hand, seemed to point out the tangible advantages that GOP had at its disposal compared to the Democrats. For all their opposition to Trump, McDaniel said, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had precarious finances. Compared to the Democrats, who have raised $116 million through the end of July, Republicans have managed to raise nearly double of that amount, $227 million, which makes it the single largest haul by a party ahead of the midterms.
“It does cost, right now, more money to engage our voters, to get them knowledge of the election. They have their energy. We have our infrastructure.”
“That is why this ground game and this money is making such a huge difference,”
Despite admitting that Donald Trump’s public persona had to be negated, Republicans appear confident about their chances in the midterms. We can only wait to see if the Republican confidence is justified, but as of now, there seems to be a general sense of optimism within the GOP camp despite Trump’s horrendous week in office.