How Mueller Figures in the 2018 Midterms

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Special Counsel Robert Mueller; Photo: Dimitar Dilkoff / AFP/Getty Images File

Political campaigns plot out their messaging strategies far in advance, but need to be ready to respond to relevant news as it happens. For the 2018 Midterms, what will or won’t happen with the Mueller investigation during the campaign season looms large.

McClatchy just posted a great article that walks through some of the scenarios that political strategists are considering. I encourage you to read 2018 Campaigns Are Not Ready for Robert Mueller, but here are some highlights:

One Republican strategist:

“If they come out with something before the election, I think there’s an opportunity to rally the base and remind people that…Trump has a lot of enemies out there, a lot of people trying to bring him down,” said a Republican strategist who is working largely in districts that Trump won. “We need to rally together to keep sending Republicans to Congress to work with him.”

A Republican donor:

“Nobody knows whether President Trump or Nancy Pelosi will be a bigger drag on local candidates,” said the major Republican donor. “We’re not going to know that for six months, so the smartest strategy is to focus on constituent and local issues and create the platform to then nationalize or not, based on the circumstances in September and October.”

A Democratic strategist:

Zac Petkanas, a former aide to Hillary Clinton who now works on messaging related to the Russia investigation, agreed that for now, Democratic campaigns should stick to issues like health care and taxes. But, he said, “if charges come down and wrongdoing is found, the political landscape changes dramatically. And then everyone needs to re-evaluate what kind of campaign they have.”

One thing for sure: Those of us who want to see a lot of Republican seats in state and federal legislatures flip to Democrats, we need to be helping our candidates right now by volunteering. It’s always good to pay attention to news items that may affect our candidates, but there’s a lot of work to be done no matter what kind of news comes out of Mueller’s camp.

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