He’s wrong. Trump is so invested in sowing division that he fails to understand when certain cultural issues play to his advantage (like attacking the NFL protesters) and when they will backfire (blaming both sides after Charlottesville violence). One GOP official told National Journal he’s seen more organic mobilization against the administration’s family-separation policy than anything else since he’s taken office. Even immigration hard-liners, like Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, have been running away from the president on this issue.
In our polarized times, the backlash against Trump’s immigration policy accomplishes a rare reverse trifecta: keeps the liberal base supercharged, alienates independent-minded suburbanites critical to the GOP’s ability to hold a House majority, and divides Republicans at the worst possible time. Republicans want the economy to overshadow all else, but Americans are sending an unmistakable message that they’re voting their values in 2018.