In an important development, Donald Trump has confirmed that the midterms coming up on November 6th are not a “real election,” sending an unmistakable signal to his supporters that they need not—and in fact probably should not—bother to turn out to vote, in what looks increasingly like a futile effort to maintain a Republican majority.
From Politico (h/t to Talking Points Memo, linked above):
According to two people familiar with the conversations, Trump is distancing himself from a potential Republican thumping on Election Day. He’s telling confidants that he doesn’t see the midterms as a referendum on himself, describing his 2020 reelection bid as “the real election.”
Trump is also preparing to blame individual Republicans for what he sees as a likely Democratic victory in these “phony” and pointless midterm elections.
[H]e holds House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell responsible for protecting their congressional majorities.
According to one person with knowledge of these talks, Trump has said of Ryan and McConnell: “These are their elections … and if they screw it up, it’s not my fault.”
Trump has also expressed sympathy for those of his supporters who do not plan to vote in the midterms.
Trump told the Associated Press recently that some of his supporters have said to him, “I will never ever go and vote in the midterms because you’re not running.”
Aides point out that Trump’s base of supporters should take comfort in the fact that their Leader already has determined why he expects Republicans will lose:
“The arc is gonna be he wasn’t on the ballot, and people didn’t fully appreciate his policies and [candidates] didn’t tie themselves enough to him,” said a person close to the president, who was among several sources to say Trump will likely blame the media as well.
So while Trump voters gear up for the real election in 2020, it appears they can already start patting themselves on the back for “owning the libs” in 2018, simply by not showing up and wasting their time.