Sep 1, 2022 - Politics & Policy

GOP's midterm fear: Referendum on Trump

Mike Allen
Former President Trump
Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Top Republicans' biggest private fear — that November's midterms will turn on public opinion about former President Trump, not inflation and crime — is unfolding across the political landscape.

Why it matters: Trump is dominating the news, picking Trump-like candidates in primaries — and shaping the views and rhetoric of elected officials, and those hoping to become one.

That's why Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is telling people his party is blowing a golden opportunity to win the Senate.

  • It's also why Republicans no longer feel so confident of a landslide in the House.

What we're hearing: The Trump document case is likely to remain in the news for months.

  • I'm told there are lots more investigative threads to pull before an indictment — including interviewing Trump lawyers about what they said about the classified documents he kept.

The bottom line: GOP midterm candidates — who want to talk solely about the prices of gas and groceries — now must contend with background music that once again is Trump, Trump, Trump.

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