Arizona Republican hits the panic button: Trump will make us lose the House


In a secretly obtained recording, GOP Rep. Martha McSally has been caught telling prospective campaign donors that Donald Trump is dragging down her and the rest of congressional Republicans, to the point where they could lose the House.

According to a newly released secret recording, Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) is panicking about the fate of the Republican Party in the 2018 midterm elections.

McSally appears to believe that Donald Trump's scandal-plagued presidency could flip the House of Representatives to the Democratic Party.

Tucson Weekly got ahold of the recording of McSally's meeting with the Arizona Bankers Association, where she tried to convince them to bankroll her re-election campaign.

McSally complained that Trump's obsession with tweeting is causing "distractions," and said the backlash to his poorly thought out outbursts is "basically being taken out on me." As a result, McSally said:

Any Republican member of Congress, you are going down with the ship. And we're going to hand the gavel to Pelosi in 2018, they only need 28 seats and the path to that gavel being handed over is through my seat. And right now, it doesn't matter that it's me, it doesn't matter what I've done. I have an "R" next to my name and right now, this environment would have me not prevail.

History favors a strong performance from Democrats in the midterm races. Trump began his presidency as one of the most unpopular people to do so in modern history, and the public assessment of his tenure has progressively gotten worse. Presidents usually lose seats in Congress in their first midterm, and the odds lean heavily in favor of Trump continuing the historic pattern.

Republicans like McSally face even more headwinds thanks to their decision to unify with Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan to pass their draconian answer to Obamacare. The so-called American Health Care Act and its provision to strip at least 23 million people of health insurance, while reinstating discrimination against pre-existing conditions, is extremely unpopular with a wide swath of voters. But out of ideology or party loyalty, Republicans have decided to back it.

McSally is among those. While she was blasted by constituents at a town hall meeting for backing the Trump agenda, a week later, she told her fellow Republicans they needed to rally behind Trump and get this "fucking thing" passed.

Now polling shows that McSally, who easily won her seat by 14 percent in 2016, is trailing a generic Democratic candidate.

It is a phenomenon that could be replicated in districts across the country, and it has Republicans worried for what could follow. More than a year before ballots are cast, Republicans are in retreat and sending up warning signs.

It doesn't look good.