President Donald Trump scored two proxy victories in Wisconsin and California on Tuesday as the mainstream media, with the noted exception of Fox News, ignored the wins to keep their base in the dark regarding the GOP and Trump victories. These triumphs, in the middle of the virus crisis, show the still strong pull of the president and his policies.
Mike Garcia, a former Navy fighter pilot, flipped the seat from blue to red as he beat Christy Smith in the California 25th congressional district. Tom Tiffany, a state senator, beat Tricia Zunker to keep the Wisconsin 7th congressional district in GOP hands.
The 25th was a high profile race as it is the former seat of Democrat Katie Hill who resigned because of a love triangle involving staffers. The charge was that she used taxpayer time and resources to conduct the relationships. National Democrats and Nancy Pelosi, as they consider California their private political preserve, put money and personnel into the race. But it didn’t pay off and losing a seat in that deep blue state does not bode well for their national chances in November. The question is, if they can’t hold on to an almost gimme seat against the specter of President Trump, how will they convince voters to reject the president in November?
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The Wisconsin seat is in strong Republican territory and was only open because GOP Rep. Sean Duffy decided to retire. It is a safe bet for the fall. In California, Garcia and Smith will face each other again in the fall.
These victories for the president will play out differently for both parties and their associates. For the GOP and the president it will give them confidence that the Trump brand is still strong, especially with his base. Because of the economic slowdown and horrible job numbers associated with the virus there have been some in DC GOP circles who have counseled caution and a defensive strategy. These wins will kill that for now and the GOP is likely to, per the president’s wishes and inclinations, to go full bore against the Democrats and continue to mount a full-throated defense of the president and his policies.
If the Democrats were a political party composed of logical and calm pros they would look at these Trump wins and question some basic assumptions about their national message. But they are not. Granted, there are some smart pros left in the operational ranks. But they are far eclipsed by the firebrands and ideologues who have extended their control from platform to command of the details of retail politics.
They will not advise a judicious analysis of events. These GOP and Trump wins will enrage them and they will double down on the bile and invective. The word will also go out from the Speaker’s office to the press: make sure these events go down a memory hole. Mention them briefly, if at all, and then forget them. Pelosi will be obeyed by the likes of CNN and CBS.
So going into November, not counting any upcoming developments from the Durham probe that could make it worse for the Democrats, voters will see a confident winning president up against a party and its representatives who will screech gloom and doom and point their desiccated bony fingers at the president to blame. That is not a formula for Democrat victory, as these two races have shown.