Republicans in Congress may finally be reaching their limit with President Donald Trump, according to a feature in the Washington Examiner on Wednesday, as they begin to see him as a potential drag on the party’s electoral prospects in 2018.
As chaos has taken hold at the White House and even Trump’s closest advisers admit that the president is in deep trouble, Republicans who were content to let Trump’s antics slide in the past are beginning to grow wary and concerned.
“You have this White House that is lurching from crisis to crisis, the image is of disarray — they can’t get their hands around the basic day-to-day agenda, and define the progress they have made,” said Republican pollster David Winston to the Examiner. “One of the things that the president has is the bully pulpit; the bully pulpit lets you drive the agenda and these crises haven’t let the White House effectively get there.”
The president’s poll numbers have fallen ever lower and now voters appear to be souring on Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (AHA) — also known as “Obamacare” — and the GOP is beginning to see that it is at risk for losing its majorities in both houses of Congress.
“The last couple weeks have left a mark,” said one GOP consultant who asked not to be named. “The risks of going down the present path include diminished enthusiasm in the base, low fundraising and candidate recruitment problems in down ballot races.”
An adviser to one Republican being eyed for a key 2018 congressional race told the Examiner that the president is effectively hobbling every Republican candidate with his antics.
“I’d be a fool if I said it wasn’t causing us at least a little heartburn,” they said. “I mean, seriously, when is this shit going to stop?”
Lobbyists report that complaints from donors are piling up as the wealthy elite who set the GOP’s agenda and financially grease the wheels of the party machine are getting restive and disenchanted.
“People are feeling — it’s disgust, it’s shame, it’s you name it, all of the above,” one lobbyist said. Donors reportedly keep asking, “When is this going to end? How can we recover? These are clowns.”