Front-page headlines in both The Washington Post and The New York Times on the Sunday before the midterm elections (at least for those of us who still vote at the polls in the old-fashioned way) loudly proclaimed that the coming contest was to be a referendum on President Trump. “Ah,” said I to myself, “they must be pretty confident that the Democrats are going to do well, or they wouldn’t be saying that.” A Republican success, or even Republicans doing less badly than expected, would have had the economy or local issues to thank, in their view, and certainly not Mr. Trump, whose popularity is axiomatically limited to his fanatical, deplorable “base,” long since written off by the media as “irredeemable”—at least to the extent that it is unavailable to Democrats in search of votes. The

 

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