As Trump’s triumphs continue to pile up, and Americans begin to see Robert Mueller more and more as a villain, the odds of a blue tidal wave in November’s midterm elections have decreased. If the opening round of the 2018 primary season is any indication, the path to a Democratic takeover of Congress may be more challenging than once thought.

Many of the winners of Republican primaries won by campaigning on the same issues that Trump ran on in 2016 such as lower taxes, job creation, a decrease in government regulation on businesses, and as unpopular as it is on Wall Street, improved trade deals.

Doug Schoen, a Fox News contributor and Democratic pollster, said the primary results offer “some warning signs for Democrats.” In particular, he pointed to the “robustness” of the Republican primary in the Indiana senate race. He says it could “signal trouble for incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly in November, as President Trump carried the state by 19 points in 2016.”

Schoen thinks Republicans will hold on to John Kasich’s governor seat. The winner of the primary, Mike DeWine, has “already beat the 2018 Democratic candidate in the 2010 attorney general race and will likely be able to do so again for governor in November.”

Also, he believes that the winner of Tuesday’s Ohio Republican Senate primary, Jim Renacci, “poses a serious challenge to Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown.”

Schoen agrees with many pundits that it’s not enough for Democrats to run with a message of “resistance” to Trump:

Instead, the Democrats need to focus on fresh faces and fresh ideas. They must present effective proposals for inclusive economic growth, showing voters nationwide how voting Democratic will benefit them, their states and our nation.

For instance, there continues to be a fresh crop of exciting new Democratic candidates, such as Dan McCready, a 34-year-old Marine veteran and solar energy entrepreneur running for Congress in North Carolina’s Ninth District.

They must support candidates like McCready and help produce a new generation of Democratic leaders with new ideas and effective policy alternatives to the Republicans, rather than relying on the same leaders who have served for as many as four decades.

They must shake off the ghosts of 2016, handing the gavel to new voices in the party.

If the Democrats are able to accomplish this, they stand a good chance of making significant gains in November. But if not, dreams of a blue wave returning control of the U.S. House and Senate and more governorships to Democratic hands may be nothing more than wishful thinking.

Nancy Pelosi is convinced Democrats will take back the House and she is all set to run for Speaker. Other Democrats believe they must seek new leadership.

Republican strategist and chairman of GOPAC David Avella believes that the winners of the Republican primaries in West Virginia, Ohio and Indiana prevailed because they “followed Trump’s 2016 playbook.”

Candidate Trump spoke to Republican concerns for economic and personal security. His business background of creating jobs drove his wins among Republican primary voters, including social conservatives. His ideas for driving job creation centered on lowering taxes, reducing government regulations and getting fair trade deals for American workers.

GOPAC Election Fund polling found that 87 percent of Republican voters in West Virginia were less likely to vote for Manchin when they learn that he voted against President Trump’s tax cuts. This issue presents problems for Manchin with his own supporters, as 12 percent of Manchin voters are less likely to support him based on his tax vote.

The survey also discovered that more than 71 percent of Republican voters agreed with the following statement: “President Trump’s recent moves on better trade deals are designed to create and protect jobs. Fifty-three percent of total voters agree with this statement, including 60 percent of independents. Of note, almost 4 in 10 (37 percent) of Democrats agree with it as well.

In Ohio, Renacci’s first ad promoted his experience, stating his business was responsible for creating 1,500 jobs.

In Indiana, Mike Braun talked about bringing jobs that were lost to foreign countries back to his state and touted his success at creating hundreds of jobs.

Fox News reporter Lukas Mikelionis made an interesting observation:

Democrats on Tuesday -- much to the chagrin of the progressive base -- favored blue-collar, middle-of-the-road candidates.

Moderate Democrats also won in two North Carolina districts, defeating far-left challengers.

In West Virginia's 3rd District, state Sen. Richard Ojeda clinched the victory in the Democratic primary. The win was a defeat for progressive supporters of the party, as Ojeda famously said he backed Trump over Clinton in 2016, the Washington Post reported.

Recent polls are showing an inverse relationship between Trump’s impressive accomplishments and his continued demonization by Robert Mueller and his henchmen. A Monmouth University poll, consisting of 26% Republicans, 41% Independents and 33% Democrats, released on May 1st asked if Mueller’s probe should continue or end. 54% said it should continue, down from 60% in March and 73% from May 2017. 43% said it should end, up from 37% in March and 24% in May 2017. These numbers point to a meaningful trend.

Even a CBS poll conducted between May 3 and May 6 shows that 53% of voters see the Mueller investigation as politically motivated, up from 48% at the end of December 2017. Considering the source, a five-point move in four months is significant.

Several other polls support this shift in sentiment and if the trend continues, even gradually, over the next six months, it could take the wind out of the Democrats’ sails.

Last month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “This is going to be a challenging election year. We know the wind is going to be in our face. We don’t know whether it’s going to be a Category 3, 4 or 5.”

A month ago, that statement was accurate. But, as British politician Harold Wilson once famously said, “A week is a long time in politics.” And six months is even longer. Fasten your seatbelts.

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