Republicans always try nationalizing congressional campaigns by accusing all Democrats-- even reactionary Blue Dogs and New Dems-- of being Socialists!!! and more so by reminding voters that if they elect their local Democratic incumbent or candidate, it will be a vote for the hated and horrible Pelosi. It hasn't been a terribly effective strategy other than to help turn out base Republican voters
According to a new YouGov poll for The Economist, Pelosi's overall national approval is 39%, as opposed to 48% who don't like her. On the other hand, 75% of Democrats approve of her. The strategy can be somewhat helpful to the GOP because 62% of independent voters join the 77% of Republicans who have an unfavorable opinion of her.
So why don't Democrats use that tactic? Don't vote for Brian Fitzpatrick, for example, because he will help give Kevin McCarthy, a fascist sympathizer, the speaker's gavel. First of all, a third of the voters (34%) have either never heard of Kevin McCarthy or have heard of him but don't know enough about him to have formed an opinion. His national favorables are 28% and his unfavorables are 38%. Among Democrats, 54% don't like him. Among Republicans that number 27% and among independents it's 39%. Problem though is that 35% of independents and 30% of Republicans don't know who he is or have no opinion.
However... what if Trump decides to run for speaker? That same poll last week, showed his approvals/disapprovals like this:
very favorable- 23%
somewhat favorable- 18%
somewhat unfavorable- 10%
very unfavorable- 43%
don't know- 7%
very favorable- 54%
somewhat favorable- 23%
somewhat unfavorable- 11%
very unfavorable- 7%
don't know- 5%
very favorable- 5%
somewhat favorable- 11%
somewhat unfavorable- 7%
very unfavorable- 75%
don't know- 3%
very favorable- 22%
somewhat favorable- 19%
somewhat unfavorable- 13%
very unfavorable- 40%
don't know- 7%
The overall approval rating for congressional Democrats is 44% (44% disapprove) and for Republicans it is 34% approve and 54% disapprove. Too bad they didn't ask the question, "do you think Trump is fit to be speaker?" Or even, "who would you prefer to see as speaker, Pelosi or Trump?" Why bring this up since it sounds like nonsense?
Well, it is nonsense but last night The Hill reported that Trump finds the prospect of running for speaker "interesting." The idea would be to run for a House seat and then nudge McCarthy aside while Trump led the congressional GOP, presumably until 2024 or until he's "reinstated."
Trump was asked about the proposal by far-right radio host Wayne Allyn Root on Friday after Steve Bannon, a former adviser to the ex-president, floated the idea.
“That’s so interesting,” Trump said.
"Yeah, you know it's very interesting," Trump added, saying that others had suggested he run for Senate. "But you know what, your idea might be better. It's very interesting."
...The proposal underscores the eagerness many in the GOP have for Trump to make some kind of return to politics.
The logistics of a House run would be complicated for Trump, who would have to figure out what district to run in after the redistricting process is completed.
As a Floridian, he could run in FL-21, which is where Mar-A-Lago is and that would put him up against an unimpressive Democratic Party hack, Lois Frankel, in a D+8 district he would probably lose. Last November Biden beat Trump there 58.2% to 41.2%. However, there's a red district in the neighborhood-- Brian Mast's district to the north, FL-18, which has a PVI of R+6. Trump beat Biden there 53.9% to 45.5%. Trump could easily push Mast aside and win the seat. A bit closer to Mar-A-Lago is an open seat-- Alcee Hasting's unfilled FL-20, but that is prohibitively Democratic with a huge African-American voter base. The PVI is D+28 and Biden beat Trump there 77.3% to 22.1%. So scratch that one.
Another possibility could be New Jersey. He could claim he lives at his Bedminster golf course, which is in Somerset County, part of NJ-07, a district with a shaky D+1 PVI. The incumbent, Tom Malinowski, is also shaky-- and, currently enmeshed in a corrupt insider-trading stock scandal of his own, beatable. Trump narrowly lost the district in 2106-- 48.6% to 47.5% but Biden managed to beat him more decisively-- 54.2% to 44.3%. This last cycle, Malinowski barely beat off a challenge from Tom Kean-- beating him 219,688 (50.6%) to 214,359 (49.4%). The corruption issue, which wasn't part of the 2020 election, is going to hurt Malinowski this time no matter who the GOP runs against him. Trump would be interesting... someone who could actually save him-- or someone who could crush him in an instant.
What a lesser-of-two-evils choice the voters would be faced with, even before they wonder if they want to see Trump as speaker of the House! NJ-07 Voters live in 6 counties, the two biggest ones, Somerset and Union leaning blue and then the portions of Hunterdon, Morris and Warren counties leaning red. The bluest county is Essex but only a tiny sliver is part of the 7th district. Trump agrees that he would like to be speaker so he can lead an impeachment investigation against Biden.
One prominent national political consultant, David Keith, who was born and raised in New Jersey, told us today that "Unless the Democrats shove Malinowski out and recruit Ed Potosnak, for a seat he should have had for 10 years, Central New Jersey will be welcoming Congressman Donald J. Trump with open arms. Maybe he'll arrange for free golf for the residents there." Currently, Potosnak is the executive director or the New Jersey League of Conservative Voters and has no plans to run for Congress. The prospect of Trump becoming speaker would certainly turn out the bases of both parties for the midterms... to put it mildly.