A Michigan Democrat is warning her party against feeling overconfident about the 2018 midterm elections, reminding them of President Donald Trump's surprise victory and that the economy is the "front and center" issue for American voters.
Rep. Debbie Dingell (D., Mich.) appeared on MSNBC on Sunday evening to discuss her party's push for gun-control legislation, and host Kasie Hunt brought up the midterm elections. Democrats are bullish about taking back the House of Representatives this year for the first time since losing it in the Tea Party wave in 2010.
"On the midterms, are Democrats going to retake the House of Representatives?" Hunt asked.
"I always say ‘don't mean to be Debbie Downer,'" Dingell said. "But having been someone that—no one believed her—said that President Trump could be elected, I'd much rather be where Democrats are right now, but it's a long time between now and November."
"We need to remember there are a whole lot of issues people care about, and the economy front and center is one of them, so we ought to talk about the economy," she added.
Trump won Dingell's state in 2016, marking the first time that Michigan voted Republican in a presidential election since George H.W. Bush's victory in 1988. Hillary Clinton's campaign was criticized for ignoring warnings on the ground that Trump could steal the traditionally blue state with his populist message.
Trump's narrow win there was part of a Rust Belt sweep that catapulted him into the White House.
However, Trump's low approval rating, the historic success of the opposition party in a president's first midterms, and a flurry of Democratic wins in special elections are leading to prognostications of a successful November for Dingell's party.