As of the close of business on the last full week before Election Day, nearly all handicappers believe the Democrats are favored to retake the House. FiveThirtyEight, for instance, gives the Democrats a nearly 85 percent chance of retaking the chamber, with an average pickup of 38 seats. The biggest reason the Democrats are so heavily favored–suburban voters are deserting the Republicans in droves.
How bad do things look for the red team? FiveThirtyEight currently projects that the Republicans are in danger of losing every seat based in Orange County, long the quintessential affluent suburban Republican county. They are also piling up the sandbags in two other seats long considered Republican sinecures–a wealthy area west of Houston that was once represented by George H. W. Bush, and a seat west of Richmond that was once held by former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. The Democrats are poised to take the last Republican-held seat in the Washington suburbs, as well as longstanding Republican bastions in the suburbs of the Twin Cities, Kansas City, Seattle and Denver.
On Thursday, The New York Times became the latest to confirm what we already know–suburbanites who have voted Republican for all or nearly all of their lives want nothing to do with Donald Trump’s blatant dog whistling. Indeed, Trump doesn’t seem to be making even a cursory effort to win them over. His final argument before Tuesday’s midterm elections is focused almost entirely on matters like immigration–a line that many suburban voters find too divisive and too alarmist for comfort.
That didn’t sit well with one of Trump’s loudest cheerleaders in the media, Lou Dobbs.
Cliff Notes version: If Republican suburbanites don’t fall in line and vote for Republican candidates on Tuesday, it’s a sign they really don’t love their country. But doesn’t it seem strange that Dobbs is kneecapping suburban Republicans for this display of insolence when his fellow conservatives stand up and applaud whenever Democrats break ranks?
It was already no secret that for a certain element of the GOP–including the Fox News base to which Dobbs caters–Democratic presidents and Democratic majorities in either house of Congress are never legitimate. That’s the case whenever a Democratic president, House Speaker or Senate Majority Leader is white, black or polka-dotted. But to suggest that Republicans who dare to break ranks don’t really love their country? Even for a Trump diehard like Dobbs, this is hitting well below the belt.
Has it occurred to Dobbs that maybe, just maybe, these suburban Republicans who are deserting Trump are doing so because they love their country more than they love their party? And has it occurred to Dobbs that maybe, just maybe, these suburban Republicans expect their leaders to uphold minimum standards of acceptable behavior? Apparently not, judging by this Trumpian screed.
But then again, in the era of Trump, such little things as basic decency and basic standards no longer matter. As the nation’s most vocal conservative teenager, CJ Pearson, put it, all that matters to Trump supporters is “WINNING.” It’s truly a sad day when declaring that line is unacceptable is deemed to be a sign that you really don’t love your country.
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