NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Some North Texas Republicans and Democrats say a lot was riding on the November election already, but now, it’s even more so.
Sarah Slamen, a Democrat activist turned political consultant says, “The stakes are as high as they can get at this point with only 77 days left.”READ MORE: 'My Home Is Still Uninhabitable': 10 Months After Winter Storm Some Texans Still Waiting On Insurance Claims
Gina O’Briant, President of Texas Women for Trump Coalition, which has more than 1,400 members says, “I do think this midterm election is the most important election in our lifetime.”
SMU Political Science professor Cal Jillson says the guilty plea by President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen to campaign finance-related charges raises the stakes further. “Yes, it certainly does.”
While O’Briant and Slamen don’t agree on the issues, they do agree both sides will be motivated to vote in the 2018 midterm elections.
O’Briant says Democrats have it out for the president. “They will try to impeach the President because that’s their goal. They’ve been trying to impeach him since the day he took office.”
Slamen says the headlines should give their party a boost. “Absolutely, it energizes the Democratic party and elected officials and the base because they can affirmatively say our agenda is the right agenda for the country.”
Jillson says in some aspects this year’s election is no different than past midterms. “I do think the stage is set in 2018 to be as most midterm elections are: a referendum on the president.”
He says he believes Democrats will recapture the House in November because they only need to gain 23 seats, and recent predictions show they could gain more than that. “Democrats were already energized and this will keep that momentum going. President Trump is trying very hard to say they’re coming for me, you’ve to stand up for me you traditional Republican voters. We’ll see if that happens or not. I think the question of Republican turnout will be all-important in this election cycle.”READ MORE: Wife Of Suspected Killer Of Mesquite Officer Charged With Aggravated Assault With A Deadly Weapon In Disturbance Preceding Fatal Shooting
O’Briant says she has no doubts about Republicans turning out. “They’re very motivated to vote and they will go out and vote full force.”
She says she and others are focused on their key issues: ending illegal immigration and jobs and the economy. “President Trump has done such a good job and really boosted the economy, his base, that’s what we’re concerned with: having a better economy.”
Slamen says she tells fellow Democrats to focus on the issues most important to them including healthcare access and education.
She doesn’t want to fixate on impeachment. “So we can’t spend all of our time pointing at President Trump saying he’s bad. That happened in 2016 and that didn’t work very well.”
SMU Professor Cal Jillson agrees Democrats shouldn’t dwell on impeachment. “They’ve got to suggest they’re prepared to run the government. They can’t say our first priority is to get the president.”
He says if Democrats do retake the House as he expects, their new committee chairs will likely hold public hearings on the President’s activities while in office before they would consider introducing articles of impeachment. “I don’t think public opinion is down with impeachment, but I think it could be brought there with Congressional hearings.”
Even if the President were to be impeached in the House, Jillson says he doesn’t believe the Senate would vote to remove him from office.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Omicron Variant Arrives In Texas
That’s because at least two-thirds of the senators would need to approve, and Jillson expects Republicans to keep control of the upper chamber.