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The big picture: 2018's stormiest clouds for the GOP

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A source close to Republican leadership emails about the biggest political clouds hovering over the rest of the year:

"Only thing that matters now is a) how bad they get crushed on ACA premium increases; b) the final Mueller verdict; and c) how crazy Trump gets with the CR."

Between the lines: Republicans are worried about the potential for health insurance premiums to skyrocket in September, shortly before the midterms. Democrats are seizing on health care as their number one issue.

  • Senior Democratic sources say their polling shows voters are now blaming their dissatisfaction with health care on the party that controls the House, Senate and White House rather than the party that implemented the Affordable Care Act.
  • The final Mueller verdict speaks for itself: it would take a new revelation of the most explosive kind to persuade any Republican senators to vote to impeach Trump.
  • And the CR — or continuing resolution — refers to the government spending bill that's due to expire at the end of September. The unanswerable question is whether Trump decides to shut down the federal government if Congress doesn't give him enough money to build his wall (spoiler: it won't).
  • Sources close to Trump tell me they think he knows it'd be political suicide to shut down the government so close to an election, but given it's Trump, nobody is confident enough to rule it out.