The GOP isn't afraid to back Trump. Why are Democrats afraid to go after him?

A majority of voters agree on one thing: Donald Trump is guilty. Nearly half of independents and 15% of Republican voters say that they want Trump to withdraw from the race, and polls show that his conviction is costing him voters. All of this proves that Trump has never been weaker. It’s a perfect time for Democrats to go on the offense, to talk about Trump’s conviction and his many remaining indictments, and to nationalize every race into a decision about restoring power to a convicted criminal. Instead, as CNN reports, it’s Republicans who are talking about Trump in state and federal races. Even Republicans in districts that President Joe Biden won handily in 2020 aren’t shying away from promoting Trump. Across the U.S., Republicans are bludgeoning Democrats with the claim that the conviction was unfair, spreading Trump’s gospel of revenge.  And for some reason, Democrats seem afraid to fight back. The difference between the Republican and Democratic approaches to the 2024 congressional race is astonishingly stark. In district after district, Republicans aren’t running on their own backgrounds or ideas for the future. They’re running as proxies for Trump. They’re falling in line with the most extreme positions on abortion, civil rights, and education because these are the forces that Trump is embracing.  As Trump supports extreme far-right Christian nationalists, polls show that voters' positions on social issues continue to become more liberal. The same is true of economic issues.  Despite all of this, Democrats in tight positions are not seizing this opportunity to fight back. Senators and representatives in states and districts that Trump carried in 2020 are failing to emphasize his conviction and Republican extremism. Democratic strategists are standing back, as if fearful to take advantage of Trump’s conviction. In Montana, Republican candidate Tim Sheehy is attacking Democratic Sen. Jon Tester for Trump’s conviction in a New York state court, accusing him of supporting prosecutors who want to throw Trump in jail.  “He went through the process, trial by jury of his peers,” Tester said in reply. “And he has [the] right to appeal it.” If that sounds like a puny, weak rejoinder, that’s because it is. But it gets worse. “I try to stay away from anything that isn’t a uniting topic,” Rep. Mary Peltola of Alaska said when asked about Trump’s conviction. On CNN, Democratic consultant Paul Begala warned against being “fixated” on Trump’s conviction.  “I’m not very interested in Mr. Trump’s personal problems,” he said. To paraphrase the great Winston Zeddemore, if someone asks you if you’re a god, say yes. And if a jury has determined that the opposing party’s presidential candidate is a felon, run on it. Democrats have no reason to play defense. Biden has generated the best economy in a generation, the U.S. is stronger by just about every measurement than it was four years ago. Just this week, Biden beat OPEC without even trying. And 3,300 people per day are not dying of COVID-19.  Democrats can’t afford to run this election cycle as if it is 538 individual races. Republicans aren’t. There’s never been a more lopsided opportunity to nationalize an election or to dig into a national candidate. And polls are pointing out Trump’s weakness like a flashing red beacon.  Trump is a convicted felon. That’s not the end of the attack every Democratic candidate should be making on Trump, but it’s certainly where they should start. Donald Trump was convicted on 34 counts of falsifying business records on May 30. What are potential voters saying about this historic news? And what is the Biden-Harris campaign doing now that the “teflon Don" is no more? Embedded Content Campaign Action

The GOP isn't afraid to back Trump. Why are Democrats afraid to go after him?

A majority of voters agree on one thing: Donald Trump is guilty. Nearly half of independents and 15% of Republican voters say that they want Trump to withdraw from the race, and polls show that his conviction is costing him voters.

All of this proves that Trump has never been weaker. It’s a perfect time for Democrats to go on the offense, to talk about Trump’s conviction and his many remaining indictments, and to nationalize every race into a decision about restoring power to a convicted criminal.

Instead, as CNN reports, it’s Republicans who are talking about Trump in state and federal races. Even Republicans in districts that President Joe Biden won handily in 2020 aren’t shying away from promoting Trump. Across the U.S., Republicans are bludgeoning Democrats with the claim that the conviction was unfair, spreading Trump’s gospel of revenge

And for some reason, Democrats seem afraid to fight back.

The difference between the Republican and Democratic approaches to the 2024 congressional race is astonishingly stark. In district after district, Republicans aren’t running on their own backgrounds or ideas for the future. They’re running as proxies for Trump. They’re falling in line with the most extreme positions on abortion, civil rights, and education because these are the forces that Trump is embracing

As Trump supports extreme far-right Christian nationalists, polls show that voters' positions on social issues continue to become more liberal. The same is true of economic issues. 

Despite all of this, Democrats in tight positions are not seizing this opportunity to fight back. Senators and representatives in states and districts that Trump carried in 2020 are failing to emphasize his conviction and Republican extremism. Democratic strategists are standing back, as if fearful to take advantage of Trump’s conviction.

In Montana, Republican candidate Tim Sheehy is attacking Democratic Sen. Jon Tester for Trump’s conviction in a New York state court, accusing him of supporting prosecutors who want to throw Trump in jail. 

“He went through the process, trial by jury of his peers,” Tester said in reply. “And he has [the] right to appeal it.”

If that sounds like a puny, weak rejoinder, that’s because it is. But it gets worse.

“I try to stay away from anything that isn’t a uniting topic,” Rep. Mary Peltola of Alaska said when asked about Trump’s conviction.

On CNN, Democratic consultant Paul Begala warned against being “fixated” on Trump’s conviction. 

“I’m not very interested in Mr. Trump’s personal problems,” he said.

To paraphrase the great Winston Zeddemore, if someone asks you if you’re a god, say yes. And if a jury has determined that the opposing party’s presidential candidate is a felon, run on it.

Democrats have no reason to play defense. Biden has generated the best economy in a generation, the U.S. is stronger by just about every measurement than it was four years ago. Just this week, Biden beat OPEC without even trying. And 3,300 people per day are not dying of COVID-19. 

Democrats can’t afford to run this election cycle as if it is 538 individual races. Republicans aren’t. There’s never been a more lopsided opportunity to nationalize an election or to dig into a national candidate. And polls are pointing out Trump’s weakness like a flashing red beacon. 

Trump is a convicted felon. That’s not the end of the attack every Democratic candidate should be making on Trump, but it’s certainly where they should start.

Donald Trump was convicted on 34 counts of falsifying business records on May 30. What are potential voters saying about this historic news? And what is the Biden-Harris campaign doing now that the “teflon Don" is no more?

Campaign Action