Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion by the Trump administration has been almost completely absent from the midterm campaign trail, Politico reported on Monday.
Experts cite a number of reasons for this, mainly that most Americans are not following so closely the details of the investigation’s legalities and are instead concentrating on issues that are more important to them in their daily lives.
“In our state, we’re losing 70 to 80 dairy farms a month,” Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin told Politico. “I can tell you in rural Wisconsin that’s what people are asking me about rather than something that is, well, just, it’s immediate to them.”
Some also point out that Democrats have kept in mind what happened in the runup to the 1998 midterms, when the Republican-led House voted to release independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s report about President Bill Clinton’s extramarital affair with a White House intern, raising Democratic fears that they would do very poorly at the ballot box.
But the GOP plan backfired, as the public - apparently fed up with Republican tactics or worried more about other issues the GOP did not address - instead voted to give the Democrats more seats.
With that history in mind, many consider the Democrats smart not to make this year's midterm campaign a referendum on the Mueller investigation and instead are trying to focus on topics that matter more to voters.
Ironically, it is Trump who has focused more on the Mueller probe in an attempt to energize his own base and stoke fears that if Republicans lose their majority, Democrats could use the special counsel’s findings to begin impeachment proceedings.
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