Why Democratic party candidates should welcome Trump backing their opponents

Why Democratic party candidates should welcome Trump backing their opponents

There’s a new academic analysis just been published which seeks to measure the effect of Trump backing certain Republican contenders in the 2018 midterm elections.

This is how the academics involved summarise their findings:

We find that President Trump was more likely to endorse candidates with a higher pre-endorsement likelihood of winning and to endorse candidates in more competitive races, suggesting the president used endorsements strategically both to try and help Republican candidates win and to boost his reputation for helping candidates win. However, while President Trump’s public endorsements provided a financial boost to endorsed candidates, they also increased donor support of opposing candidates and were ultimately detrimental to candidates’ vote shares and likelihood of winning.

Essentially the work finds evidence for potential backlash effects among opposition voters in response to Trump’s intervention. Thus Trump’s interest in a contest is a great turnout driver for both sides with in many cases the Democrats doing better as a result.

This could be important in the run-up to next year’s midterm where Trump is playing a big role in deciding which potential nominees will get his backing – the recipients hoping, of course, that the 45th President will be a big plus for them.

Mike Smithson

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