GOP cancels release of TV ads touting failed tax law in deep red district


Republicans are pulling ads touting the tax bill because they aren't working in a congressional district that Trump won by 20 percent. The party is in trouble.

Republicans are giving up on ads touting the tax legislation passed by Trump, in another sign that the party understands it faces a major blue wave in the coming election.

In the hotly contested special election in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District, the Washington Post reports that "Quietly, the tax-cut ads have cycled out of the major buys." While Republicans have said that they intend to hammer Democrats over the legislation and use it to keep their majorities in the House and Senate, the Post notes, "Just one commercial now on air mentions the tax cuts."

The race in a district that went to Trump by 20 points is between Democratic Marine veteran Conor Lamb and GOP state Rep. Rick Saccone.

It should be the sort of district that Republicans can hold on to, and where tax legislation crafted by the party is a help, not a hindrance. But that is not the case. Voters there are ambivalent at best about the law, and one Trump voter in the district said it was "almost like being thrown a bone."

Recent polling shows that voters aren't seeing the effects of the legislation on their paychecks, which makes sense because the bill was designed to benefit the ultra-wealthy, not average people.

Democrats have won races in places like Virginia and Alabama thanks to Trump's historic unpopularity. He and his party are on defense, while Democratic voters have shown over and over that they are energized and dying for an opportunity to reject the GOP.

Ignoring the reality of the tax legislation — it was designed for the few, not everyone — Republicans held out hopes that they could use it to stave off massive losses. But the Pennsylvania election shows that even in Trump country, it isn't working.

Republicans know this now, and they are beginning to grasp just how much trouble they are in.