2 Numbers Should Scare Trump, Republicans
Cook report: Approval ratings among GOP, independents suggest midterm trouble
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2017 11:37 AM CDT
President Trump gestures while speaking during a meeting at the White House on March 13.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – The non-partisan Cook Political Report has a sober warning for President Trump and Republicans: If things stay on their current track, the midterm elections in 2018 could be "disastrous" for them. The forecast has two numbers to watch: Trump's approval ratings among Republicans (currently 85% at Gallup) and among independents (33%). Generally speaking, if a president dips below 85% among his own party and sits in the 30s among independents, his party is in real danger of losing control of one or both houses of Congress in the midterms. (The GOP currently controls both.) The analysis warns that Trump's public criticism of the GOP's Freedom Caucus in the wake of the health care failure is only making things worse for him by ratcheting up divisions within the party.

"The more the GOP gets bogged down in process instead of progress, the more likely it is that their voters become disillusioned and that independent voters abandon them," writes Amy Walter. "Combine these ingredients with an energized Democratic base and you have all the ingredients for a disastrous midterm election in 2018 for the GOP." There's a lot of time before the elections, of course, but the analysis has a reminder of the consequences: Think all these Russia stories are troubling for the White House now? "Just imagine what they'll look like with Democrats in charge of the oversight committees." (Click for the full analysis.)

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