INDIANAPOLIS – Joe Donnelly remains well connected to the people he serves while Republicans struggle with their “draconian” agenda, according to analysis from the latest Howey Politics. Immensely unpopular Republican proposals, such as the brutal cuts in the Trump Budget and their health care overhaul that will take away care for 23 million Americans, are setting the stage for a friendly Democratic 2018 environment. Meanwhile, Joe continues to put in the hard work that makes him popular with Hoosiers, making himself known to voters and reaching across the aisle to establish his independence. No matter the environment, Republicans “might have second thoughts” as they try to take him on.
From Howey Politics: How Trump will play in 2018 mid-term
WASHINGTON – The 2018 midterm elections are still a year and a half away, but Republicans in Washington are beginning to panic about their prospects. With questions about Russian interference and possible collusion connected to the 2016 Trump campaign on the rise, and the president’s approval ratings sinking, some political forecasters predict a big Democratic year.
Republican congressional leadership is said to be sticking to Trump for fear of jeopardizing their agenda, specifically repealing Obamacare and overhauling the tax code. But it is those very policies that may prove to be their greatest liability in 2018. The Trump budget includes cuts so draconian that even Senate Republicans like Lindsay Graham have blasted it. Those cuts are to be paid for by yet more tax breaks for the wealthy. Meanwhile, the House Republicans’ version of “repeal and replace” will eliminate health care for 23 million Americans according to the Congressional Budget Office, and empower the big insurance companies to make key health care decisions rather than doctors and patients.
…Donnelly has ridden both Democratic waves and withstood Republican routs. His 2012 win over the hapless Richard Mourdock for the Senate seat held by Dick Lugar was the first time a Hoosier Democrat won a Republican held Congressional seat, House or Senate, in a presidential year since Lee Hamilton and Andy Jacobs were swept into office by the Lyndon Johnson landslide of 1964. Donnelly comes across as genuine, is likable, and has demonstrated independence from Democratic leadership. He is visibly a hardworking senator in a state that believes in hard work.
Two Republican House members considering challenging Donnelly, Luke Messer and Todd Rokita, are raising money for a possible Senate race, but might have second thoughts about giving up relatively safe seats if a Democratic wave seems to be developing. They have until January 2018 to decide. Donnelly would be a tough out even in a more Republican friendly environment.