Mitch McConnell has a plan for keeping the Senate majority in the 2020 election: Pretend Donald Trump doesn’t exist and scare old people. The hope is to win back the suburbs and be the “firewall against socialism.”
“We have to correct what was a clearly on full display in ’18, which was the loss of support among women and college graduates,” said McConnell. “There’s no good reason for the typical suburban resident to be frightened by this Republican Senate.” Except, of course, for the fact that this Republican Senate exists for the sole purpose of rubber-stamping Trump’s agenda—in particular, the federal judges who will be approving his frightening agenda for the next two generations.
But never mind Trump, McConnell says. What he and fellow Republicans need to do is “downplay the red meat issues, such as immigration and Obamacare repeal, so appealing to grassroots Republicans, and instead shift the spotlight to […] concern about many Democrats’ open embrace of socialist policies.” That means the fearmongering around what he calls “Medicare for none” and that scary Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who wants to save the Earth. That doesn’t seem like an agenda to excite the college-educated crowd McConnell thinks he can win back.
He’s also got that little problem of avoiding the issue of Obamacare repeal and immigration, when that’s all Trump wants to talk about. McConnell acknowledges that, saying that he himself has “a better argument for the president to make […] but [Trump] makes his own decisions.” Beyond what Trump will be screaming about for the next 18 months, there’s also the little problem of those pesky federal courts, once again, deciding in the next year whether the Affordable Care Act can continue to exist. It’s going to be awfully hard for McConnell to change the subject on that one. Nevertheless, he says, “We’re planning on running independent campaigns.”
Seems like a tenuous strategy, but maybe McConnell is counting on a little help from Russia again.