How Republicans Gain Seats This Year

Daily reports by the media express the likelihood that the Republicans will lose seats in both Houses of Congress.  They point to losses in Alabama, Virginia, and Wisconsin by Republicans as proof that Donald Trump is dragging down the party.  Trump's poll numbers are offered to demonstrate his unpopularity.  These numbers are questionable, to be sure, as Democrats are often over-represented. 

Clearly, these polls demonstrate how Trump's personal style rattles many.  They reflect the constant negative press reports, which do not recognize his impact upon our national economy.   Routinely, the off-year elections will cost the party that occupies the White House seats in the Congress.  Yet there is a way to ensure that this effect is minimized or reversed.

The Republicans must draw a stark contrast with the Democrats.  The best way to do this is to put together legislation that makes the reduction in the personal tax rates (just enacted at the end of 2017) permanent.  Bringing this legislation forward will draw a direct line that any Republican can support and run on.  The public will gladly support this in most states.  The few exceptions, such as New York and California, are already a lost cause for gaining any seats.

Many Republicans from these states are planning on retiring (so far, a total of 30 have indicated this desire), which will likely put pressure on Republicans to hold their numbers.  They need good and thoughtful candidates to run for office.

In the Senate, it is possible to gain seats, as more Democrats are up for re-election.  Many are in states that supported Trump.

The best way for Republican candidates to gain victories is to align themselves with Trump's economic policies.  The economy is booming, and with sustained growth due to the new tax law, this benefit will accrue to the administration.  If the primaries give candidates like Judge Moore, then the outcome is problematic. 

Further, the Republicans must place long-term funding for the military within the continuing resolutions, taking this issue off the table.  Let the Democrats decide if they want to stop funding national priorities over ensuring that the military is funded sufficiently.  Today, most voters will not support this, as the military is now viewed positively.  As the economy improves, the pressure to support social welfare programs diminishes among most citizens.

If the House were to bring forth an immigration bill that the White House could support, then that would also put the Senate Democrats on the line to decide which priorities are critical for them.  The compromise offered by the Gang of Six senators gave a clear negotiated victory to the Democrats on chain migration, the wall, and the visa lottery.  The outrage by Democrats over Trump's language is proof that the change in message was necessary to thwart a clear understanding by the public of how the Democrats rolled the Republicans.

Repatriation of companies' foreign assets, as Apple has announced, will occur quietly among most businesses.  Growth of factory jobs will ensure that the forgotten blue-collar middle Americans support the administration.  These voters will continue to support Trump despite the press reports.

Despite a year of nonstop negative reports, Trump has managed to govern.  His supporters do not miss this.  Moderates will slowly see his bombast as distinct form his policies over time. 

As the DOJ begins to unravel the corruption in the previous administration, the Democrats will find it harder to scream about Trump collusion.  Robert Mueller and his investigators will not go away quickly, but as time marches on, the public will forget the details.  Unless they can find some direct illegality by Trump or his family, the damage will be limited.

The Democrats have one strategy to stop Trump's policies.  Stalling and opposition can be a great defense, but the Republicans must be on the offense.  This is the reason Trump tweets daily.  Perhaps the Republican legislators can learn this technique.  Effective communications have not been the hallmark of Republicans.  If they learn how to press the issues, they will prevail in the off-year elections of 2018.

If you experience technical problems, please write to