Gage Skidmore / Flickr Donald Trump...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

I’ll admit it, I like GOP strategist Mike Murphy on MSNBC. Like Steve Schmidt and Rick Wilson, he is not fan of Trump. But unlike the other two, Murphy doesn’t get emotional or derisive about Trump, instead he is dispassionate, and looks at Trump’s antics through the lens of political outcome.

Mike Murphy was on The 11th Hour with Brian Williams on MSNBC last night. He was there to discuss the effects of the last week on Trump and the GOP. His assessment was stark, he called it an apocalyptic nightmare. But, when asked by Williams about the potential fallout to the GOP, he stunned not only Brian Williams, he stunned me as well. He said that this could easily cost the GOP 100-120 House seats in November. This is a Republican strategist talking.

Personally, while I think that his prediction might be just a touch high, I don’t think that he’s very far off. I can see exactly what I think he’s looking at, and when you compare it to recent past events, it sings like Frank Sinatra.

The three biggest shock waves in electoral politics since November 9, 2016 have been the upset victory of Doug Jones in the Alabama Senate special election, the upset win of Conor Lamb in the Democrat proof PA-18 special election, and the Democrats flipping 15 House of Delegate seats in Virginia in 2017. And all three of those events have one common denominator, and it’s a nightmare scenario for the GOP going into this November.

For quite a while now, one of the staunchest and most dependable GOP constituencies has been suburban, white women, the so called “soccer moms.” In some cases, they have been critical in keeping GOP incumbents in office in districts where Democratic Presidential candidates win. But now, they’re voting with their feet.

In Alabama, it was a combination of outrage at Trump’s sexism and misogyny, as well as Roy Moore’s pedophile past. In PA-18, they crossed over to vote for Lamb. And in Virginia, they either stayed home, or crossed over and voted for Democrats, in many cases, Democratic women candidates running against pompous, white male, empty GOP suits. On election nights, both Steve Kornacki on MSNBC and John King on CNN spotlighted this sea change.

The operative word in the phrase “soccer moms” is moms. And most of these mothers are horrified. The sound of toddlers and young children screaming for their parents in a detention center offends every fiber of motherhood, and the phrase “tender age shelters” sounds a bit too much like the “resettlement centers” of Nazi Germany for comfort, especially when these shelters are located hundreds, if not thousands of miles from the parents. Trump has finally managed to offend people on a base, visceral level, and those memories will take a long time to fade.

It’s not like their elected officials are bright shining paragons of virtue. GOP incumbents have been sniveling, soulless toadies, too scared of the tweet of death to grow a pair, and open their mouth for any purpose other than to stuff some lobbyist paid steak into it. This humanitarian debacle has raised outrage, across almost all ideological lines. Trump is not on the ballot in November, but their pathetic GOP incumbent is, and somebody is going to have to pay the piper.

And worst of all for the GOP, this is not going away anytime soon. As I wrote in a previous article, it is going to take months to even begin to try to untangle the broken plate of spaghetti that is the nightmare of trying to locate and reunite these children with their parents. The media is going to cover every glitch and misstep of the process. And Democratic challengers, many of them women with children themselves, can campaign about their horror of this inhumane policy, and their opponents complete lack of moral courage in refusing to stand up to it.

Trump whisperer Devin Nunes was supposed to be an out of reach dream to flip in November. Don’t be too sure, not anymore. Nunes has had his nose so far up Trump’s ass that he had to get a degree in proctology. His district has mothers and aspiring mothers too. When the leader of the GOP House Freedom Caucus, Mark Meadows, goes on MSNBC with a Democratic colleague to announce they are cosponsoring legislation to keep families together, your ship has sailed. I’m going to be watching the Cook Report closely over the next 4-6 weeks, to see how many suburban districts slide from “lean GOP” to “tossup,” and from “likely GOP” to “lean GOP.”

And it isn’t just the Hose. Polling already showed that Trumpista cheerleader Marsha Blackburn was in trouble in Tennessee to replace Bob Corker, this isn’t going to help. And nothing will motivate the growing Hispanic populations in key states like Arizona and Nevada like this wholesale mistreatment of their Hispanic brothers and sisters by Trump’s GOP.

I think that Mike Murphy’s prediction of a 100-120 seat flip might be a bit optimistic for Democrats, but it seems much more likely today that with sustained enthusiasm in the Democratic base, we will not just barely flip the House in November, we will have a solid margin. And it’s no longer unimaginable that Mitch McConnell may go back to obstructing, instead of complaining about Chuck Schumer doing it. Don’t touch that dial.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


  1. The Dems need the Senate too, to cripple Trump, either by cutting short this nightmare of a presidency, or clipping his wings so that he becomes as meaningless as his reality tv show.


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