When President Trump won the White House in 2016, he did it by hijacking the Republican Party. Now, after what happened in the midterm elections, it’s clearer than ever that the president’s fortunes and his party’s future are at odds.
During the final weeks of the fall campaign, Trump put the Republican Party on his back, ensuring that the elections would become even more of a referendum on his performance than the typical midterms in a president’s first term. As a result, Republicans paid a hefty price, with potentially longer-term implications.
Yes, Republicans added to their narrow majority in the Senate. But that came by reinforcing what already is the party’s greatest strength: Trump with his rallies maximized support in solid red states, especially among voters in rural areas and small-town communities.
But the Trump-centric strategy backfired spectacularly in the race for control of the House, as suburban voters revolted against the president, delivering a rebuke to his party’s candidates in district after district. Democrats have gained 39 seats in the House with the possibility of hitting 40 depending on the outcome of the still uncalled election in California’s 21st District.
If the enthusiasm for Trump in rural and small-town America constituted the story after 2016, the revolt against him in the suburbs, led by female voters, has become the story of the 2018 elections. The more you analyze the House results, the more the GOP’s suburban problem stands out.
– The Washington Post