Trump’s Op-Ed, Kavanaugh Apology, Midterms, Haley’s Exit, Khashoggi’s Murder

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Trey Orndorff welcomes Alexandra Filindra from the University of Illinois at Chicago to The Politics Guys this week. The Politics Guys ask listeners to give us your comments and feedback on Alexandra and the show this week.

First up Trey thanks listener Erik who caught a mistake last week. Trey said Justice Kennedy withdrew his support of Kavanaugh when he meant to say Stevens. Thanks Erik, we truly appreciate it!

After the correction Trey and Alexandra get into the midterm question. Specifically Trey brings up Trump’s USA Today op-ed and his apology to Kavanaugh. Alexandra is surprised that Trump would write an op-ed and wonders aloud what the benefit might be. Trey sees a consistent communication pattern and thinks the op-ed is good strategy — as is setting up opposition to Kavanaugh as being for “the mob.”

This leads Trey and Alexandra to talk in detail on the midterm election strategy and transitions to questions of election fundraising in the wake of the Kavanaugh confirmation. Democrats are reporting big dollar donation increases and Republicans are pointing to percentage increases in funds. Both point to Kavanaugh as the reason why.

Trey asks Alexandra what she thinks of the Democrats chances in the Senate given the dip in the polls for Democratic Senator Heitkamp after voting against Kavanaugh. Alexandra brings up it is more difficult for Democrats due to gerrymandering and Trey argues it was a Republican party focused on local elections that set them up for these wins.

Trey and Alexandra then turn to Nikki Haleys resignation. Specifically they discuss the timing, both in relation to the midterm elections and to the Kavanaugh confirmation process. It also gets both of them to discuss party and campaign strategy for 2020 and beyond.

The final story is the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. As of the show’s airing it appears likely that the Saudi King ordered Jamal killed with video evidence coming from Turkey. On the American front it has led to a split between Congressional Republicans and President Trump on the proper response.

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