Jon Ossoff’s incredibly strong showing in Georgia last night is not the only good news for Democrats looking ahead to 2018 (and for liberals, looking ahead to 2018 is all that is keeping us sane right now). Buzzfeed is reporting that Jason Chaffetz — who was obliterated by constituents at a town hall in February — has decided not to seek reelection in 2018, due in part I would assume to a string of gaffes since the inauguration of Donald Trump. That means, at the very least, that we will see a much-needed new chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and it also means that maybe Chaffetz will actually start to do his job and investigate Donald Trump now that he is not running for reelection.
We don’t know yet exactly why Chaffetz made the decision, other than perhaps the mood of the country is swinging against Republicans. He did have one formidable Democratic challenger, Dr. Katherine Allen, who brought in a record $564,000 in the first quarter, thanks in part to the public response to Jason Chaffetz’ very dumb suggestion that poor people would have to choose between health care and cell phones, a quote that would have likely come back to haunt Chaffetz in the midterm election.
Cell phone vs. health ins. People have to make a choice. Yes they do, Jason! https://t.co/9iuL6an4og— Dr. Kathie Allen (@kathrynallenmd) March 7, 2017
It’s a very red district, however, and if Katherine Allen can’t mount a credible campaign, hopefully the country’s most tolerable Republican and one of Donald Trump’s most outspoken critics, Evan McMullin, will step up.
Meanwhile down in Texas, it’s early yet, but Senator Ted Cruz is behind in the polls to his Democratic challenger in a state that hasn’t had a Democratic Senator in nearly 30 years. Currently, Cruz is not only losing out to Joaquin Castro by a margin of 35 to 31 percent, but he’s tied in a hypothetical race between Cruz and the Democratic runner-up. The same poll shows a 54 percent disapproval rating for Donald Trump. IN TEXAS. There’s still a year and a half to go before the midterms, which means a year and a half more for Joaquin Castro to boost his appeal and a year and a half for Ted Cruz to continue losing his appeal by the simple act of speaking aloud in public.
Again, this is not only a good sign for the midterms, but it illustrates that Republicans may need to further distance themselves from Trump if they expect to compete in 2018, which will make it much more difficult for Trump to enact his agenda. That’s a win win.