How Much Influence Does Trump Have in the Midterm Elections?

In my consultant days, the first thing I would tell candidate clients is that the election will turn on what the voters decided to decide upon.  Campaign strategies, therefore, are geared to convince voters to decide on those issues most favorable to the candidate.  Saying that is easier than implementing it.

Today, we have one of the clearest examples of that political reality.  Democrat strategy for the upcoming midterm elections is to ignore the economic issues, crime, border security and wokeness.  They want voters to be thinking about insurrection, racism and Republican “craziness.”  They want voters to have President Trump in mind when they consider voting for a Republican candidate.

For that strategy to work, Democrats have to extend their vision of Trump to all GOP candidates and voters. Their concocted marketing term is “Trumpism.”  Several of the far-left media personalities have picked up on the script in what is now the latest political cliché from the left: “Trump is not on the ballot, but Trumpism is.”

Donny Deutsch, MSNBC’s political commentator and resident “branding expert” put it in plain language.  The election will turn on whether the voters believe inflation is more important than stopping Republican “crazies” from gaining power.

According to Democrat strategy, former President Trump is evil and crazy – and an existential threat to democracy.  And … he has total control over the Republican Party.  Electing Republicans to any office will put Trump back in the White House as an authoritarian dictator who will take the nation back to the days of Jim Crow. 

(Really.  That is how extremely desperate and unhinged the Democrats and their media cronies have become.  And as far as Jim Crow, that was the creature of the Democratic Party.)

A number of MSNBC hosts, such as Mehdi Hasan, have posed the rhetorical question: “What is more important?  Inflation or the future of democracy?”

For any good American, that is an easy question to answer IF (ß a very big if) you believe the Democrat talking points.  However, if you see them for what they are – campaign propaganda hyped and promoted by a compliant news media – you might be inclined to cast your ballot on those other issues without consideration of Trump.  You know … the issues that actually impact on your life.

While Democrats have the advantage of a compliant news media to pump undeserved creditability into their wild accusations of an imminent downfall of the Republic, they have an even greater disadvantage.

The entire Democrat strategy is dependent on selling an ethereal narrative over substance.  Whether January 6, 2021, was a riot or in insurrections is controversial and a matter of opinion.  Whether the nation was on the verge of losing democracy – and is still endangered – is a partisan political thesis to which there is a compelling antithesis.

The Democrat strategy also depends on creating an all-evil Trump who has total control over the GOP.  To make the strategy work, Democrats must have the voters buy into the mendacious narratives hook, line and sinker – Trump is evil incarnate, and the entire GOP is a cult-of-Trump that will end American democracy if it gains power.  That is a tall order, but what else do Democrats have to offer?

In previous commentaries, I have expressed my opinion that the only ones who promote Trump as some superpower in the GOP are Democrats pumping him up as the evil straw man … and Trump, himself.  I have contended in the past – and still do — that Trump’s base is not as large as both he and his adversaries allege – and his influence is not as extensive. 

We are increasingly seeing that in the run of primary elections.  His endorsed candidate in Georgia, of all places, just got crushed by incumbent Governor Brian Kemp – a guy who tops Trump’s most wanted list.  In Pennsylvania, the Trump-endorsed candidate is in an unsettled tie with the non-Trump candidate – and facing an official recount.  That was always anticipated to be a close race – before and after Trump’s endorsement of Dr. Oz.  Most of Trump’s claimed wins have been candidates who were likely to win their primaries with or without a Trump imprimatur.

Some claim that Trump’s power comes from his ability to raise and dole out big bucks.  First of all, he raises more than he doles out – and even when he does, it is no guarantee of success.  He is reported to have funneled more than two million dollars into Kemp’s opponent, former Georgia Governor David Purdue.

Trump the only issue will not work because it is based on dubious narratives, jaded opinions and concocted scenarios – and Trump is not on any ballots.  Democrats are offering concocted scenarios and conspiracy theories that are more suitable for fantastic movie scripts. 

On the other hand, inflation is real.  People feel it every time they buy gas, go to the store or pay rent.  The crime wave spreading across the nation is real.  Many citizens are living in a constant fear that they had never felt before.  Contributing to the rise in crime is the drug issue.  Families and loved ones feel the pain of the drug-related deaths.  Contributing to the drug problem is the open southern border.  When folks see the hundreds of thousands entering America Illegally, they know that the migrants include a lot of bad hombres.  They know that the process is being organized by Mexican drug cartels and gangs – earning billions of dollars for their “services.”

Because they are dealing with a largely fictional scenario as their primary campaign strategy – and because reality, logic and common-sense work against them – Democrats have to sell their narratives with increasing hysteria – repeating the propaganda over and over with greater amplification and passion.

Pitting questionable political theories as tactical scaremongering against real issues that impact on voters’ fundamental wellbeing is a no-win strategy.  It is only being used because Democrats have nothing positive to attract voters in terms of real issues.  That is seen in the 80 percent of the people who believe the nation is going in the wrong direction – and who give President Biden a 39 percent favorable rating. That means the public sees Biden and the Democrats as being responsible for all those things going in the wrong direction.

Republicans may be seeing the Trump of the Democrats invention more like the character in an 1899 poem by William Hughes Means. 

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there!
He wasn’t there again today,
Oh how I wish he’d go away.

In terms of the 2022 midterm election, Trump is the man who is not there.

Branding guru Donny Deutsch is right.  The midterm election is likely to be between inflation and the “crazies.”  He just has the political polarities reversed. Voters are more likely to focus on inflation and reject the absurd political narratives of the Democrat “crazies.”

So, there ‘tis.

Written by CFP Staff Writer

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