"Clinton stars in the Republican party's medium-term strategy for 2018. With no Democrats to attack in the White House for the first time in nearly a decade, Republicans are betting strongly that Clinton's ghost will serve them well in 2018.  "Even if it avoids the spotlight, the Republican Party plans to evoke it early and often in the main legislative elections, especially in the regions where Trump triumphed, which present most of the competitive races of the intermediate season."  And, some evidence to support Clinton's approach within the Republican Party, witness the new announcement of Don Blankenship, a Republican candidate for the Senate in West Virginia.
Are the 2018 elections going to be a referendum on Hillary Clinton?
It's not clear what Blankenship wants to arrest Clinton for (email server? Uranium deal?) Only that she wants to make sure she's incarcerated.
There's a BIG difference between Republican candidates and c ommittees who run ads with Clinton and those announcements that really work to turn the mid-term elections of 2018 into a referendum on the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate.
The first thing that could happen is that elections special since the victory of Trump in 2016 have shown is that the Democratic base is very animated, largely because of its aversion to Trump and his displeasure with the decisions he has made as president.Meanwhile, the republican base is fat and happy; his side controls the White House, the Senate, the House, most of the governor's mansions and most of the state legislatures in the country.
The type of energy disparity between the two bases of the party is bad news for the side that suffers from the deficit of passion. The mid-term elections tend to be battles between the bases, so if one side is much more enthusiastic, it can cause significant losses in the seats on the other side.
How do you motivate the base of the Republican Party? Find the equivalent of Donald Trump for the left. The problem, of course, is that there is no equivalent in the right of how the left considers Donald Trump. Trump is president. Hillary Clinton is a private citizen. Is not the same.
The problem with the we-will-make- this-election-all -about Hillary's logic is that it does not have a logical ending. Clinton is not in the position. She is not in charge of much of anything. He will not run again for any national office and he probably will not win if he does.
How do you raise the bet to vote for a Democrat who is in the same party as Clinton? For example, if, for example, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is re-elected in West Virginia, will he somehow find a way to install Clinton as president or work to approve his agenda? Um no.
History tells us that mid-term elections are always a referendum on the president and his party. Since the First World War, there have only been three elections, 1934, 1998 and 2002, in which the president's party has not lost seats in a mid-term election. In all three cases, there was a catastrophic event that intervened: the Great Depression, the removal of Bill Clinton and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, respectively.
Short of something that happened most important, the Republican Party is certain to lose seats in the House this fall; the only question is if they lose the 23 that would reinstate the democrats to the majority.
The reality is that voters make decisions based on politicians in office, the elected officials who can affect their lives, often, in their mind, in a negative way. Clinton is simply not that. She has left the office, never to return. Whether or not she is a visible presence in the election campaign or the fundraising circuit this fall, I suppose I could make some money raising but it's not likely to be a hot commodity on the stump, it will not change the fact that she is out of the office, and stay there.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, will be president until (at least) 2020.