President Donald Trump has turned one familiar feature of midterm election campaigns inside out: Democrats are now more likely to vote than Republicans.
The Democrats' nine-point lead is among likely voters, who prefer Democratic Congressional candidates over Republicans by that margin. "But it's just classic behavior on the part of this president to not shoulder the blame if things go bad, and to definitely take responsibility if things go right". Obama won the state in 2008 and 2012, while Clinton carried it by just two points in 2016. Both sides' bases have appeared energized by the recent, contentious confirmation process for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. About the only factors he will not offer are the two main ones: his own outrageous bullying behaviour, serial lying and objectionable policies, and the actions of Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and almost all of the other Republican senators and congressmen and the dereliction of their constitutional duty to "check" the power of the president.
The Biden-Trump circling of one another in the same state happened recently in Kentucky, where Biden campaigned for a Democratic congressional candidate on a Friday night and Trump held a rally the next evening.
Trump week: Khashoggi, Putin, West wing spat, Stormy and the mob-They're b-a-c-k, the Russians that is, messing around with the midterms, practicing for the big show in 2020.
Trump also used the rally as an opportunity to speak about the caravan of migrants headed for the Southern border, telling supporters that, "The Democrats want caravans". For months this and expectations of a high voter turnout has led many to believe the party will at least retake the House.
After a multitude of marches, demonstrations and angry protests that followed Trump's surprise presidential victory, this will be the first chance for U.S. voters angered by the real estate billionaire's policies and personal behavior to express themselves at the ballot box.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly due to wrap up his own official probe into Russian meddling in November after the midterm elections, and media with sources close to the investigation are already managing expectations, downplaying the importance of any official report and suggesting that Mueller may not release his findings for public consumption. While the preferences of partisans have remained stable, shifts among independents have swung the last three midterm elections against the incumbent president's party.
Does the president help more than he hurts?
Republicans hold a 51-49 advantage in the Senate now. Dean Heller, who is fighting to maintain control of his seat from his Democratic challenger, Rep. Jacky Rosen, whom he called "Wacky Jacky" at the rally as he has done in the past. More Dems were very interested in the election than Republicans - 69% to 56% - and the GOP lost control of both the House and Senate that year.