President Donald Trump on Monday predicted that Republicans will perform “very well” in next year’s midterm elections, touting his party’s record last year in special elections to fill vacant House seats while claiming that he had predicted recent GOP losses in Virginia and Alabama.
“Remember, Republicans are 5-0 in Congressional Races this year. The media refuses to mention this,” the president wrote on Twitter. “I said Gillespie and Moore would lose (for very different reasons), and they did. I also predicted ‘I’ would win. Republicans will do well in 2018, very well!”
It was not clear why the president put “I” in quotation marks. Trump also amended the Twitter username for Fox News' “Fox & Friends” morning show, a program that gives almost unflinchingly positive coverage of him, to the end of his post.
Despite Trump’s claims that he predicted the respective losses of Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie in Virginia and senatorial candidate Roy Moore in Alabama, the president was outward in his support for both candidates. Trump endorsed both and implored voters to support them via Twitter. In Moore’s case, Trump recorded a robocall on behalf of the GOP candidate and stumped for him at a rally in Pensacola, Florida, just across the Alabama state line.
In Gillespie's case, Trump did not express doubt about the Virginia Republican's candidacy until after his Election Day defeat.
Omitted from Trump's online post was the victory by Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.) in the special election to fill the vacant seat in California's 34th District, left vacant by Xavier Becerra's departure to serve as California's attorney general. The lone Republican who entered the special election for the reliably Democratic seat did not finish high enough in the race's primary to qualify for the June 6, runoff, where Gomez defeated another Democrat.
The defeats in Virginia and especially in deep-red Alabama have stoked concern among some Republicans that the GOP could face a difficult road in the 2018 midterms, weighed down by a president with low approval ratings, a failure to repeal and replace Obamacare and a tax cut bill on the verge of passing that remains unpopular with many Americans.
Even in the five Republican special election wins in House races across the country, Democrats performed much better than they typically might in those districts, mounting significant challenges even in some GOP strongholds like Georgia’s 6th District, Kansas’ 4th District and Montana’s single, at-large district. (Politico)