Politico has a fun little piece about how politically vulnerable Democrats are finding voters in their districts don’t care about the Mueller/Russia/Trump fiasco. The Democrats won the House from the GOP in places running moderates so the constant hysteria on display by the Democrat leadership isn’t going to help the party retain control of Congress.
No one, for example, asked Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) about Mueller’s report during a town hall here this week at a high school auditorium in her central Virginia district. The former CIA spy acknowledged in an interview that some people are still digesting the 448-page report, but added that it’s proof that “what’s in the news constantly” shouldn’t drive Democrats’ focus.
Congressfolk are back in their districts now meeting with their constituents. Voters attend town halls to let their representatives know what political issues are important back home. It’s not the Mueller report, but rather it is the issues on which representatives campaigned in their moderate districts: economy, health care, or immigration.
“I’m concerned that the country might start feeling like all we’re doing is talking about Mueller, and that’s not the case,” Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) said after he spent about two weeks in his district. “I’ve been very surprised by how few people brought it up since I’ve been back.”
In separate town halls hosted by Reps. Angie Craig (D-Minn.) and Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.) on Tuesday — both of which were livestreamed online — the Mueller report came up only a handful of times, about as often as the rising federal deficit or the legalization of marijuana. The rest of the questions were far-ranging, from fossil fuels to gun control to Trump’s diminished Cabinet.
Even in town halls where lawmakers began with a briefing on Mueller’s findings — like events on Tuesday hosted by Reps. Antonio Delgado (D-N.Y.) and Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.) that were also livestreamed — the conversation quickly steered to issues like education funding and local pollution and mostlystayed there.
“Literally, they’ll talk to me about the Green New Deal or climate change,” Rep. Jefferson Van Drew (D-N.J.) who won a Trump district said in an interview. “But it’s the issues that are coming up, not necessarily all this other stuff, with impeachment, and the hearings.”
The Democrats have refused to work with the White House on any issue because they don’t want to give the president any victories. But that means they don’t give their constituents any victories either. The Democrat leadership doesn’t seem to be changing course so we will see next year how that effects their House majority.