Unlike Presidential election years that garner a lot of media attention, mid-term elections fly under the radar for most voters.
Many voters are not familiar with the candidates which inevitably means that quite a few voters decide not to vote at all.
Mid-terms have historically also been more challenging for the party in control of The White House for the simple reason that those that are unhappy with the President seem to more motivated to get to the polls than those who support the President.
There is little question that there will be a lot of Democrats who will be eager to get to the polls this November to send a message to Donald Trump. They might not have know a lot about who they are voting for but they will know he or she does not have an (R) after their name. That will be enough.
The most effective mid-term election I ever saw was in 1994 when the Republicans introduced their "Contract with America". To that point, the Republicans had not been in control of both the House and Senate for more than 40 years. The GOP had also just lost the Presidency to Bill Clinton in 1992.
|Newt Gingrich talks about the 'Contract with America"|
Credit: CBS News
The "Contract with America"detailed the actions the Republicans promised to take if they became the majority party in the United States House of Representatives. As such, it became a great political device to nationalize the election and give voters a reason to turn out and vote. The GOP, led by Newt Gingrich in the House, recognized it was not enough to simply vote "against" Bill Clinton's policies. It was necessary to get people to vote FOR something.
The 1994 mid-term elections resulted in the Republicans gaining 54 House seats and 9 Senate seats and gaining control of both Houses of Congress for the first time since 1954. Bill Clinton served out the remainder of his six years as President with the GOP in control of Congress. That 1994 election put the Republicans on par with the Democrats in a way that had not been seen since the years before FDR.
The Democrats seem to think that they can win the 2018 mid-term elections by getting people to vote "against'' Donald Trump. They will undoubtedly get more of their voters to the polls than would normally be expected in a mid-term election with Trump in the White House. However, will that alone be enough?
And what are the Republicans going to do in response?
I have written previously that the Republicans lost the special elections in the Alabama Senate race and PA-18 House race for the simple reason that their voters did not turn out at the polls while the Democrats did.
What are the Republicans going to do to blunt the Democrat enthusiasm while also giving their voters a reason to turn out to vote?
My advice would be to nationalize the election like the GOP did in 1994. As I suggested in an earlier post, I would suggest that theme be "Defend America".
Trump's voters put him in The White House to "Make America Great Again". Since he took office Trump has been relentlessly attacked by the mainstream media and deep state. Trump voters have to be encouraged to get to the polls in the mid-terms to defend the Trump agenda. Their vote and their values are just as much under attack as is Trump. They need to be encouraged to step up and defend their vote and their beliefs. I believe that can only be done by nationalizing the election and doing it through a simple and straightforward message---DEFEND AMERICA.
Do all those Trump voters want to see their vote of two years ago nullified? I don't think so. Therefore, a message is needed to be conveyed to those Trump voters that they need to defend their previous vote. By doing so, they will also defend America from where the Democrats wants to take her.
What would I make as the cornerstones of "Defend America"?
I think these are the key elements of that theme.
Defend the Constitution
Defend the Rule of Law
Defend the American Economy
Defend American Jobs
Defend American Energy
Defend America's Borders
Defend our Men and Women in Uniform
Defend Your Tax Cut
There are several others that you could add if you wanted to align more completely with Trump's campaign agenda from 2016---"Defend the American Middle Class" and "Defend Social Security and Medicare".
I don't think there is much in here that almost all Trump voters do not agree with--Republican, Independent or Democrat.
It is often said that championships are won with great defense.
If the GOP wants to win the upcoming mid-terms. my suggestion is for them to start talking about how we need to "Defend America". Cohesive and consistent messaging used around this theme will clearly define the election and and once again provide the voters with something to vote FOR.