Voters, by an overwhelming margin, are looking for a member of Congress to stand up to Trump, something Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) has regularly refused to do.
In a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, “By a whopping 25-point margin, voters say they’re more likely to back a congressional candidate who promises to serve as a check on President Donald Trump.”
The Washington Post took a closer look at the poll numbers for competitive districts, which includes Rep. Rohrabacher’s 48th Congressional District. The numbers are even more stark there than for Americans as a whole.
These numbers get more striking when you look at how they break down in all of the House districts that the Cook Political Report designates as competitive. According to the good folks at NBC, who sent over these numbers:
- By 52-19, voters in competitive House districts are more likely to support a congressional candidate who promises to be a check on Trump.
- By 55-28, voters in competitive House districts are more likely to support a congressional candidate who has opposed Trump most of the time.
Meanwhile, Rohrabacher has voted for the Trump agenda 86 percent of the time, and Trump has shown Rohrabacher quite a bit of affection in return.
After Rohrabacher received a paltry 30 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary, Trump took to Twitter to congratulate him, saying, “Congratulations to Dana Rohrabacher on his big California win. We are proud of you Dana!” Rohrabacher’s 30 percent of the vote was the lowest percentage of any Republican in California seeking re-election.
Trump’s tweet was roundly mocked by Democrats in California. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Los Angeles) begged Trump to come to California and host one of his “toxic rallies.”
Lieu added, “You can also explain how the
#GOPTaxScam increases taxes in Dana’s district,” referring to the unpopular tax plan that could cost Orange County homeowners as much as $4,500 in higher taxes this year.
Harley Rouda, a Democrat who may face Rohrabacher on the ballot in November, also laughed at Trump. On Twitter, Rouda mocked Trump, explaining, “Orange County rejected your hateful politics in 2016. We will reject them again in 2018.” Rouda also egged Trump to come to California and host a rally, asking, “When are you coming to OC to rally for my opponent @RepRohrabacher?”
Both Lieu and Rouda likely know that Trump’s popularity in California is abysmally low, hovering close to 30 percent. Even in Orange County, formerly a Republican stronghold, Trump’s approval has plummeted, causing one pollster to say, “It’s one more indication we are no longer a red county.”
Yet Rohrabacher and Trump maintain their mutual admiration, as the two have quite a bit in common.
Both are under intense scrutiny for unusually close ties to Russia. Trump is embroiled in an investigation initiated by his own Republican-led Justice Department, which has already resulted in multiple indictments, guilty pleas, and even jail time. Rohrabacher, known widely as “Putin’s favorite congressman,” has repeatedly defended Russian interference in the 2016 election by calling U.S. intelligence agencies “liars.”
In addition to their curious affinity for Russia, both Trump and Rohrabacher share a passionate animosity toward immigrants. One former Republican congressional aide called Trump’s xenophobia “toxic to what little is left of the Republican Party in California.” Meanwhile, Rohrabacher once allegedly made a young Latina cry after berating her and allegedly shouting that he “hated illegals.”
The NBC/WSJ poll shows health care is top issue on voters’ minds as the midterm election approaches. Yet both Trump and Rohrabacher are tirelessly working to dismantle the popular Affordable Care Act. Rohrabacher voted for a Republican bill containing an “age tax” that would have allowed insurance companies to charge people aged 50-64 up to five times as much as younger individuals.
Rohrabacher also tried to roll back protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. While Rohrabacher and congressional Republicans failed in their legislative attempt to remove these protections, Trump is now trying to use the courts to rip those protections away.
Rohrabacher has Trump’s back almost all the time, even when his own constituents could face negative consequences as a result.
“Trump and his policies are deeply unpopular,” concludes the Washington Post. Voters “want a check on Trump’s corruption, policies and temperament — his racist and authoritarian tendencies included.”