Despite having an even lower favorability rating from the American people than President Donald Trump, former 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will selectively campaign for Democratic congressional hopefuls for the decisive 2018 midterm elections.
Clinton’s favorability rating sank to a new low of 36 percent, according to a December Gallup poll compared to a 40 percent job approval rating for Trump in the most recent Gallup poll from early February. Jaime Harrison, an associate chairman and counselor for the Democratic National Committee, told The Washington Post that Clinton plans to help candidates campaign that have a history of supporting her and her family, but Harrison said “she’s not going to be up front.”
Despite plans to campaign for some Democrats, advisors and friends of Clinton said the former secretary of state wants to keep a low enough profile so as not to attract criticism from Republican candidates. “The reality is Hillary is a nuisance to the Democrats and a gift to Republicans,” Sam Nunberg, a former Trump aide told the Post.
Clinton has also told Harrison that she hopes to rally African American and Latino voters, although both groups failed to turn out during the 2016 presidential election to help a her clinch a win.
“If she’s willing to go into those districts she won, she would be extraordinarily helpful,” former Democratic Representative Steve Israel of New York told The Hill in December. “Trump’s numbers have only fallen in those districts, so you start there. It would be such a loss if she sat it out and a double loss if she didn’t go into those districts.”
As of Friday, Democrats had an 11-point lead over Republicans for the 2018 midterm elections, but Republicans and Trump himself have begun efforts to bolster Republican congressional candidates.
In a Sunday tweet to his 47.8 million followers, Trump endorsed Representative Lou Barletta’s senate bid and simultaneously took a jab at Democrats. “Rep. Lou Barletta, a Great Republican from Pennsylvania who was one of my very earliest supporters, will make a FANTASTIC Senator. He is strong & smart, loves Pennsylvania & loves our Country! Voted for Tax Cuts, unlike Bob Casey, who listened to Tax Hikers Pelosi and Schumer!” Trump tweeted.
GOP lawmakers also discussed midterm strategies during a retreat in West Virginia earlier this month. During the retreat, Vice President Mike Pence told Politico that elections are about making choices and “if we frame that choice, I think we’re going to reelect majorities in the House and the Senate, and I actually think we’re going to, when all the dust settles after 2018, I think we’re going to have more Republicans in Congress in Washington, D.C., than where we started.”
Pence will push the president’s agenda in a cross-country tour to support GOP candidates.