Heilemann said inflation is “psychologically the most devastating thing politically” and said the key to mitigating losses, according to the strategy, was to make Donald Trump the face of the Republican Party and then harangue attacks against him as an undemocratic force in U.S. politics.
“They have to scare the crap out of [the Democratic base] and get them to come out,” Heilemann said. “[The Democrats] can’t motivate them on the basis of hope or their pocketbooks or any of these accomplishments. They have to scare the crap out of them.”
“The strategy that people are kind of thinking about now … is we’re going to have these [Jan. 6] committee hearings. Donald Trump’s going to be in the spotlight … Let’s take Donald Trump, take that [Jan. 6] committee, the threat he poses to democracy, make [Trump] … the face of the Republican Party, talk about Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Madison Cawthorn. Say this party is crazy town, it’s Trumpist [and that] Trump is a threat to our democracy,” he continued. “Democrats are thinking about what kind of strategy could incorporate those events in a way that would maybe at least point towards a path to limit losses, if not hold on to the house.”
He added that it could be a “dark thought” but Democrats can also use Roe v. Wade as a scare tactic. “The other thing that people look at as a variable is the possible repeal of Roe v. Wade and that being a motivating factor for a lot of Democratic voters.”
“There’s never been a time … where Democrats uniformly have been more … convinced that they are going to lose the house in the fall and that it might be really, really bad,” he said. “Right now, they look at the picture and say, ‘It’s brutal for us;’ and that’s partly about Biden’s popularity and the party itself. It’s just like it’s the political picture couldn’t be worse.”