Every week, Republican lawmakers plan to promote the tax cuts and the surging economy, and every week President Trump sparks some kind of controversy that utterly dominates the news cycle. Dave Weigel of The Washington Post says that this is particularly frustrating for Republicans in light of poll data from Pew Research that shows the GOP with an edge among voters on fiscal issues:
“Asked to rate the parties across 13 issue categories, registered voters trusted Republicans more on five: terrorism, taxes, the budget deficit (really!), trade and the economy. Those are exactly the issues that the GOP’s campaign apparatus would like to fight the election on. … But the president, who controls earned media like no one on earth, is not really talking about those issues. According to Pew, voters prefer Democrats to handle immigration by a 14-point margin, health care by a 16-point margin and race relations by a 24-point margin. In speeches and administrative actions this week, the president shifted his focus to those issues. And at the moment, Democrats are incredibly comfortable arguing about them.”
Weigel notes that the House has only 40 days of work left on its calendar before the election, leaving little time to steer the national conservation back to the issues they most want to talk about – that is, assuming they can ever get a word in edgewise against such a media-savvy leader as Trump.