Democrats are gearing up for one big stand against Donald Trump.
Led by Senator Chuck Schumer, liberals believe that if they deal Trump this defeat, their path is clear for a November route.
But the last person Schumer ever expected just threw a monkey wrench into his plans.
Donald Trump has claimed he is willing to shut down the government in September in order to secure funding for his border wall.
Establishment Republicans like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are trying to downplay this possibility because they buy into the fake news media narrative that a shutdown would destroy the GOP’s chances of hanging onto their majorities.
But President Trump understands that ten red state Democrats are running for re-election in November and Trump’s immigration policies are popular in those states.
The pressure is on those Democrats because they can either alienate their base – which is not big enough to win – or appeal to the broader, more Republican electorate.
And cracks are already showing in the Democrats usually solid opposition.
Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, maybe the most endangered Democrat Senator running for re-election, made a surprise announcement about the upcoming border wall funding fight.
In an exclusive interview, Donnelly told Politico he was willing to side with Donald Trump and vote for border wall funding in September.
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), who is facing a new round of ads criticizing his position on immigration this week, said that Trump should get much more than the $1.6 billion the Senate Appropriations Committee has been preparing to send him. Trump has repeatedly threatened to shut the government down either before or after the election without a significant infusion of money to fulfill his signature campaign promise, often telling lawmakers he wants $5 billion in the September spending bill.
The moderate Democrat says he does “not want under any circumstances” a shutdown. So he said Congress should “absolutely” provide the president with a larger amount of border wall funding this fall to avoid one.
“I’m fine with providing him some more. I actually voted for border wall funding three different times,” Donnelly said in an interview here. “I’m fine with that. I’m fine with $3 [billion], $3.5, $4 or $5” billion this fall.”
Republicans are going to need at least nine Democrats to flip their votes to win passage of border wall funding.
And while the fake news media’s conventional wisdom is that this is a bad fight for the GOP, the reality is the exact opposite.
Immigration fires up the GOP base.
Red state Democrats know that siding with coastal liberals like Chuck Schumer on immigration will alienate their constituents in Middle America and sign their own political death warrant.
Donnelly may be the first Democrat to fold a losing hand and join Trump in supporting border wall funding.
Or he could be the only Democrat Senator who jumps ship.
But one thing is for certain – Donald Trump has the advantage in this fight and the pressure is on the Democrats.
We will keep you up to date on every development in the 2018 midterm elections.