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Abandoning Trump

The argument that Republicans should “pull the plug” on Trump—should, that is, concentrate on winning congressional races rather than the presidency—has gotten mixed up with the raging arguments among them over Trump’s personality and views. But at this point, the case for making the congressional races a priority does not require opposition to Trump as a premise. The basic case is instead the same one that convinced Republicans to perform the same maneuver in 1996: The presidential candidate is highly unlikely to win; congressional majorities can still be salvaged; and directly helping congressional Republicans in difficult races is more likely to help them than trying to shore up the presidential nominee.
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