With a guilty verdict in the Paul Manafort trial and guilty plea from Michael Cohen the Mueller investigation is picking up steam and can no longer be ignored (despite what the President wants), so it is important to note how to message around it for upcoming elections.
1. Firing up the base:
The Democratic base is rabid and ready to do anything that is against Trump. Any messaging that talks about the Mueller investigation is being eaten up. This is a prime opportunity to pick up volunteers and donors. People want to do something, so give them something to do. Tell young potential volunteers that they can get involved and actually do something that will put a stop to this mess.
2. Where appropriate, making the election a referendum on Trump's conduct:
This only works in districts where Trump’s approval numbers have taken a real dip, but if you know people are fed up with Trump, positioning yourself as a check on him will serve you well in the election. It is important not to get carried away but forcing a GOP opponent into a conversation about Trump is often a losing battle for them.
3. This issue is polarizing:
The other side of this coin means it is vital to remember the Mueller investigation is incredibly polarized, with much of Trump’s base seeing it as a witch hunt with nothing of substance. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this news somehow changes it. If you are trying to court Trump voters stay as far from this topic as possible as there is no winning for you.
4. Trump isn't going anywhere soon:
You are appalled by Trump's conduct and see the latest news as clear ground for impeachment. However, we are still a long way from anything substantive. Losing in 2020 remains the most likely scenario for Trump leaving office. If the Democrats re-take the House this fall, impeachment is possible, but conviction and removal from office will require a lot more to come out. All this is to say, don't count on Trump being gone before the election.
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What We're Reading
This week Mike is recommending "The Years of Lyndon Johnson - Book One: The Path to Power" by Robert Caro
"This epic first volume details Lyndon Johnson's early life and the beginning of his career. Author Robert Caro retraces the future President's beginnings in poverty, his family's complex background, and his first political experiences. Due to Caro's extensive research, this book also presents a comprehensive overview of life in rural Texas, as well as entire chapters on key figures in LBJ's life. 'The Path to Power' is not simply a first volume of a biography, it is a complex study of a man and his harsh environment, who learned that if you 'do everything,' you will win."
-Eric, Dave, Mark, Mike