Speaking to Erick Erickson at the 2019 Resurgent Gathering,
David Drucker of the Washington Examiner said that many Republican donors who
were not engaged in 2016 are writing checks to the president for his reelection
campaign. They don’t like his behavior, but they like his policy, Drucker said.
Mr. Drucker added that many voters in the suburbs are so
turned off by the president’s behavior that they will not support him. “They say
that if one of his rallies is on tv that I can’t watch it with children in the
room,” he added.
“Trump will juice turnout on the Republican side,” Drucker
pondered about 2020, “But Democrats will also be motivated.”
“If the election were held today, I think Republicans would
hold the Senate,” he added.
“One of the reasons that Republicans would hold the Senate
is that Susan Collins is running for reelection in Maine,” Drucker said. Although
Collins is widely considered to be a RINO by other Republicans, Drucker added: “I
don’t think that a more conservative Republican could win in Maine.”
There are several Republican senators whose seats are at risk.
Corey Gardner of Colorado is up for re-election in a state that has become
purple over the past few elections. Likewise, Martha McSally in Arizona will be
facing a tough Democratic opponent in Mark Kelly, the astronaut husband of
Drucker said that Thom Tillis of North Carolina is the most
vulnerable Republican senator, due to a contentious primary. He added that if
Tillis wins the primary, he would be favored to win in the general election.
Drucker said that Democrats are going through the same “angst”
that Republicans have experienced over the past decade. Many Democrats still
like Obama, but the progressive factions of the party are not happy with what
they see as his moderate legacy, much like many Republicans were not happy with
George W. Bush’s legacy.
With respect to the Democratic primary, Drucker said that Joe
Biden was not a moderate, but was an “old school liberal.” Drucker believes that
if Biden can show life, which he did in the most recent debate, and defend
Obama era policies such as Obamacare and his immigration policy, Biden will
become the Obama Democrat, which would give him an edge in the race.
Drucker said that the media likes compelling stories so “if
there’s a compelling politician, even if he has no chance of winning, he’ll get
media coverage.” Pete Buttigieg is an example of a candidate that the media
likes to cover, but who has not caught on with voters. On the contrary, Beto O’Rourke
was a media darling in his Senate race last year but has been all but abandoned
by the media in the presidential campaign as more interesting candidates emerged.
Drucker said that he believes that there is a bias against
conservatives from most mainstream media but says that he doesn’t believe that
it is intentional. Instead, he says he believes that it is a result of a different
worldview on the part of journalists and the conservative subjects that they
Erickson suggested that Donald Trump may become the first
president to win twice while losing the popular vote twice.
“That’s what they are planning on,” Drucker replied. “He has connected with the
right voters in the right places.”
“But, as I like to tell Republicans,” he added, “there’s no telling what can
happen if Democrats nominate someone who is likable, trustworthy, and not under
The scandals surrounding Hillary Clinton undercut the one
big reason that voters might have supported her. The bad judgment surrounding
Hillary’s decision to use a private email server cut to the core of whether
voters could trust her to lead the country.
In 2020, “it’s all about margins,” Drucker continued. “And
whether Trump can eat into that suburban drift.” In 2018, Democratic gains in
suburbs around the country led to a blue wave in the House of Representatives.
“The election could go either way as of today,” Drucker said.
“We just don’t know enough.”
Drucker said that the big stories for the next six months are
attitudes of Republicans who are turned off by Trump as well as which candidates
Democrats rally around. He noted that disaffected conservatives and moderates
might be willing to vote for some Democratic candidates against Donald Trump
but not others.
“I’m trying to talk to voters and get the lay of the land,”
he said, “I want to talk to campaigns and find out more about their ground
“I can only get that by talking to voters.”