Trump’s powerful theory of politics

Now the president is testing out his theory for a third time—and it might work again. Many midterm elections go poorly for the party of the president. There is a long list of elections in which the opposition party either gains control of Congress—1946, 1994, or 2006—or at a minimum takes control of one chamber, such as in 2010. This year, the prospects for Republicans seemed even more bleak, given the depth of Democratic anger. It also appeared that many Republican voters were turned off about their commander in chief. But Trump refused to listen. He bet that, come November, Republicans would come home. Since Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court, the president has done everything possible to whip Republican voters into a frenzy. He has blasted Democrats as a radical mob, warned of an immigration crisis on the borders, joked about physically assaulting news reporters, and started to take jabs at potential Democratic presidential candidates.

Recent polls suggest that the Trump theory might work in November. There are a number of reports, including from the Washington Post, indicating that the races are tightening. Not only do Republicans stand a good chance of maintaining control of the Senate, but now it seems that Republicans might contain the House Democrats to a slim majority at worst—and that they even have a path to retaining control of the lower chamber. Given everything that Trump has done to shock and awe the nation, bringing radical extremism into the halls of power and mocking cherished government institutions, the recent numbers are remarkable.