AUBURN, Alabama — During a speech to the Auburn University College Republicans on Tuesday, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) argued one of the crucial elements for Republican success in the upcoming midterms involves President Donald Trump and his willingness to campaign around the country.
According to the Alabama congressman, Republicans were facing a larger deficit according to polls at a similar point in the 2016 election cycle, yet were able to maintain control of both chambers of Congress. The difference-maker he said was candidate Donald Trump and his barnstorming campaign effort.
“He has every reason to get out and campaign – more than any president in history,” Rogers said. “And what my hope is he will do in this election what he did in 2016 … You hear on the news right now there’s going to be a ‘blue wave.’ Republicans are going to lose the House.”
“Our polling numbers nationally were worse in 2016 than they are now,” he said. “And we kept our seats. We kept our majority almost exactly the same size as it was when we went into the election because Donald Trump and his base defied the polls. The polls were all wrong. I think he can energize his base again.”
Later in an interview, Rogers laid out a potential roadmap for Trump, which included campaigning in the final month and warning about the possibility of Nancy Pelosi reassuming the role of House Speaker.
“I think the president is going to have to do two things,” Rogers said. “I think he’s at least going to have to spend the last 30 days campaigning almost nonstop because the truth is the president, where he goes he gets media attention. People that disagree with him have to be there to cover it. He’s going to have to be there to be in the voters’ minds. And secondly, he has to tell the voters why it matters that they turn out, about the complacency issue and how that cannot be allowed to continue because if it does, then Nancy Pelosi is going to be the Speaker of the House.”
Rogers contrasted what he deemed “complacency” on the Republican side and the energy on the Democratic Party’s side, which he said Republicans could overcome with Trump’s potential campaign efforts.
“We all see the complacency and I don’t mean to say complacency to be disparaging,” Rogers added. “Our voters are content. We’ve got a president who is doing things they like, a Congress that is doing things they like, we’re getting a Supreme Court – things are going really well. And it’s just human nature that when things are going well, you’re not motivated to go out and do something different, whereas the Democratic base is livid about the things that we’re doing and they can’t wait to go vote.”
“I think if the president gets out – and he communicates so well and tells people that, you’ll see the voters turnout in 2018 just like they did for him in 2016, which as you remember just defied gravity,” he added.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor