So, must Democrats come up with a unified program in order to beat Trump and the Republicans in 2018 and 2020? Of course not. All they need to do is tear down Republicans and then wait for either a major bill to pass or a major mistake for them to hang their hats on. That’s why it’s so important for Republicans to pass legislation that makes a difference — not deeply unpopular third-rail politics like Obamacare repeal, but tax cuts, for example. And that’s why it’s absolutely foolish for Republicans to assume that because Trump retains popularity among his base, his behavior with regard to the firing of FBI director James Comey won’t haunt him in future elections.
Here are the numbers: By the time of the 2006 election, the generic congressional polling was D+12, with President Bush’s approval ratings about 16 points underwater; President Obama was nearly four points underwater by the time of the 2010 election, and the generic congressional polling was R+9; in 2014, President Obama was underwater by double digits, and the congressional polling was R+2.
So, where are we now? President Trump is underwater by 15 points. Democrats are up seven points in the generic congressional vote. That’s wipeout territory. And no, they don’t have to provide a positive agenda. All they have to do is oppose. After all, it’s a tactic that’s been working for both sides for over a decade.