Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is, theoretically, the second most powerful man in the Republican Party. However, things do not look good for him.
So far, Republicans running for the 2018 primaries have avoided McConnell’s name like the plague. This is a clear indication that Republican candidates see McConnell as electoral poison.
Much of this view is based on McConnell’s ongoing war of words with President Donald Trump. Many Republican candidates want to copy President Trump’s success, so they’ve placed their bets in the Trump camp.
Another reason for McConnell’s unpopularity is the undisputed fact that McConnell’s Senate, despite enjoying a Republican majority, repeatedly failed to pass any of President Trump’s major pieces of legislation.
McConnell and House Majority Leader Paul Ryan whiffed several times on repealing Obamacare, with Ryan proposing a worse alternative.
Even moderate Republicans like Erick Erickson have called on McConnell to resign due to his “do-nothing” approach. It seems likely that, under McConnell, Republicans might just blow their once-in-a-lifetime majorities in the Senate and House.
According to a report by Politico, the Democrats are trying to tie McConnell to Pelosi, thus undermining him at the same time as an insurgency within the Democrat Party threatens to unseat Pelosi from her top position.
Frankly, Democrats do not have to do much to turn Republican politicians and Republican voters off from McConnell.
Corey Stewart of Virginia, a member of Steve Bannon’s unofficial nationalist-populist coalition, has called McConnell “toxic,” while Detroit business leader Sandy Pensler has described McConnell as useless.
“If he can get health care, immigration, tax reform done, terrific. Otherwise … he shouldn’t be the leader. It’s a results-driven analysis for me. So far he hasn’t gotten it done,” Pensler said.
Obviously, none of this news bodes well for McConnell. Even despite strong support from establishment Republicans in Washington, it seems that McConnell’s days might be numbered.
“Why are Republicans candidates tweeting out selfies with Steve Bannon, while at the same time doing everything they can to publicly distance themselves from McConnell? Because they know that McConnell is an albatross, not only in GOP primaries, but more importantly in general elections,” said Bannon aide, Andy Surabian.
This is not just bluster, either. According to The Hill, McConnell is the least popular politician in America. A poll published in the summer of 2017 found that McConnell’s popularity stood at an abysmal 19-percent. This means that McConnell is more loathed than President Trump, whose own negative numbers are driven by unprecedented and intense media smear campaigns.
The Republican move away from McConnell and his Senate may benefit Democrats in the short run. Democrats will likely tell voters the truth that some DC Republicans in Congress have managed to do nothing for them.
Should Mitch McConnell resign?
That being said, an anti-McConnell, pro-Trump and pro-Bannon Republican Party would ultimately spell electoral doom for the Democrats for a considerably long time.
So far, “Trumpist” Republicans have managed to take the gleam off of the establishment GOP. McConnell and other milquetoast Republicans may never recover. Thankfully, we have a President in the driver’s seat who hasn’t, and won’t, let us down.