Republicans, increasingly worried about losing control of Congress, could rev up their ongoing voter suppression efforts in the final days before the 2018 midterm elections.
A loss of expected momentum has the GOP scrambling for its political life, as the party tosses lifelines to House candidates in districts that President Trump won in 2016, the Washington Post reported.
Republican strategists find themselves making tough choices about which struggling candidates to save and which ones to ignore. Political experts had long predicted that Democrats would retake the House. But after a series of political wins, the GOP saw a chance to stem the blue wave. However, Republicans now see their hope slipping away.
In desperation, the Republicans could step up their voter suppression efforts in key races.
Fresh off their victory in placing Judge Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, some Republican leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, boasted that their base was fired up and ready to keep the party in power.
There was indeed an upswing, but the momentum has fizzled, according to the Post. Added to that, Trump and his party face a surge of criticism and blame for inspiring the recent mail bomb attacks on prominent Democrats, as well as the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
Republicans are scrambling, using every trick in the book to retain control of Congress and state governments. Suppression efforts targeting Black voters have already been seen in Georgia, where Stacey Abrams could make history as the first African-American female governor. Voting rights advocates joined a lawsuit against Georgia election officials for the unusually high rate of absentee mail ballot rejects.
On Monday, former President Jimmy Carter urged Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp to recuse himself from overseeing the state’s elections. Kemp is competing against Abrams for governor and has come under fire for alleged voter suppression. But Kemp continued to decline calls to step down.
Voting rights groups are prepared for a surge in suppression efforts and urge voters to know their rights. Signs of voter intimidation include aggressive questioning about voting qualifications from poll workers and harassment that targets specific racial or ethnic groups, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).