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Will Trump campaign for GOP candidates in 2018 midterms?

Here are the stories our DC insiders are talking about in this week's "Inside Politics" forecast, where you get a gli...

Posted: Jan 8, 2018 7:13 AM
Updated: Jan 8, 2018 7:13 AM

Here are the stories our DC insiders are talking about in this week's "Inside Politics" forecast, where you get a glimpse of tomorrow's headlines today.

1) Trump's 2018 midterms mindset

Trump must decide whether to campaign for House and Senate Republicans or stay away

Steve Bannon's future at Breitbart News may be up in the air

It's now 2018 and for both political parties, that means the focus is all on midterm elections. This past weekend, as President Trump met with advisers and Republican leaders, he was briefed on the GOP midterms strategy.

As CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports, one question is how much we will see Trump on the campaign trail.

"President Trump, I'm told, is increasingly focusing on House and Senate races. He's saying he'll do whatever he can to help, even if that means staying away, " Zeleny says. "He'll raise money for them but will he be asked to campaign for them?

"He has not shown a willingness to really help anyone besides himself at these rallies. We'll see what his role is in 2018."

2) Immigration reform, beyond DACA

The DACA policy on immigration, and what to do about so-called Dreamers, have been in the headlines as both parties try to negotiate a permanent government spending bill. But the Trump White House has actually been talking about immigration reform in the broader sense.

As the New York Times' Julie Hirschfeld Davis tells us, this measure could come later.

Davis says the deal "would be basically a way of addressing the situation of the other 11 million undocumented immigrants who are in this country -- if they're not felons, finding a way to give them legal status in exchange for some future stiffer worksite enforcement, bigger enforcement efforts on the border as well.

"Even though it seems like a long shot to imagine that something like that could happen, I think folks are looking at this Dreamer deal as a potential prelude to something a lot bigger," she adds.

3) Breitbart and Bannon's future up in the air

Steve Bannon has gone from White House chief strategist to outside ally to earning a derisive nickname name, "Sloppy Steve," from the President. Now that Bannon appears to be out of favor with Trump, his political future also seems uncertain.

As Bloomberg Businessweek's Josh Green reports, Bannon's future at Breitbart News, the right-wing media outlet, may be up in the air as well.

"My sources tell me we may be headed for a power struggle because Rebecca Mercer, the billionaire investor at Breitbart, wanted Bannon out but doesn't have enough equity to force him out on her own," Green says.

"Bannon very much wants to stay and fight. The problem is, he gave up his own equity when he went into the White House. So he doesn't have control of it either. It's not impossible to think that the President himself could weigh in on the issue as a way of further punishing his ex-strategist, who he has now branded 'Sloppy Steve' Bannon."

4) GOP lessons from VA statehouse battle

In case you missed it this past week, election officials in Virginia pulled a name out of a bowl to break a tie and pick a winner for a seat in Virginia's House of Delegates. The Republican, David Yancey, won. The balance of power inside the Virginia statehouse stays with the GOP.

But according to Mary Katharine Ham of the Federalist, that was too close a call for Republicans.

"Republicans looking forward are talking about bracing for better organization and better get-out-the-vote [efforts] and better enthusiasm from Democrats. You saw it in Alabama with a lot of people not knowing that ground game was what it was," she says.

"Virginia was sort of the precursor of that, and a warning, because the balance of power in the House of Delegates went almost to Democrats when it had been a solid majority for Republicans. I think it's a lesson that the Democrats learned during the Obama years, that when you have the guy at the top, sometimes that can wipe out a lot at the state level."

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