This came despite the poll, conducted by the SSRS, according to which two thirds of Americans said they want Robert Mueller's Russia probe to end before November's midterm elections.
Radio Sputnik discussed the Democrats' policy towards Russia with Dr. Jeanne Zaino, American political analyst and professor of political science at Iona College.
Sputnik: In your view, how effective are the Democrats' efforts to portray their competitor as Russia's stooge?
This political action committee called "Red to Blue California," as the name indicates, is trying to turn any remaining Republican parts of California to the Democrats, has decided to take out thousands of dollars in these two digital ads, which are really jabbing Rohrabacher for his relationship with Putin and with Russia. They're obviously parodies. In one of them we see Putin endorsing Rohrabacher, obviously, that has not happened.
One of them is a photoshopped picture of the two of them together. One of the ads is in English and the other is in Russian. They are really trying to make the case to voters in the district that he has ties to Russia, that those ties are illicit, to raise the Mueller investigation and to say for those reasons they really should think twice about returning him to Washington.
Sputnik: How likely are the voters in the US to change their mind about a candidate over these alleged or real links with Russia and does this really matter to them? I remember reading an article that was actually stating that less than two or one percent of Americans consider Russia to be a top issue anywhere regarding anything, whether it's day-to-day politics or elections. If so, why are the Democrats choosing this strategy? What's your take on that?
That said, I think what Democrats are trying to do here, as much as possible throughout this election and across the country, is to keep the focus on President Trump who is widely unpopular amongst Democrats. And one way to do that is to talk about the Mueller investigation and to keep reminding people about the potential collusion and the 2016 elections.
For that reason, I think this "tie him to Putin and tie him to Russia" with Rohrabacher is something they're trying to utilize. We also have to remember that the gentleman who is the leader after the second in command of the Republicans in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, at one point not long ago was caught on tape saying that the two people in DC who are closest to Putin are President Trump and Dana Rohrabacher.
So, they're sort of using the Republicans' own words against them to try to make voters think about this as they go to the poll. I don't think this is going to change any minds; I do think it's seen as something to try, if there somebody on the fence, to try to push them over, one way or the other.
Sputnik: Is the average intellectual person in the street really buying into this or are they sick and tired of it? What do the people talk about with regard to this issue in your circle? Are they tired of it or is it something to keep discussing, has it still got a lot of mileage left in it?
I think what most people would like is for Congress and the president to focus on issues that matter to them and unfortunately many of those issues in this election cycle have been pushed aside and the focus has been almost completely on this very tough campaign, because there's really good chance that the Republicans lose the house and they may lose the Senate. So, with just a few months to go in this campaign, it's pretty much eaten up all of the media coverage over here.
Sputnik: In your opinion, why are the Democrats insisting on portraying Russia as an enemy? What's their long-term strategy in regard to Russia? I was listening to an expert this morning who was saying that the industrial military complex and the Deep State were very much the case when it came to Eisenhower and President Kennedy; it's almost backed to that. Is the Deep State running the country? Is it so important that Russia is perceived as the enemy nowadays in the US?
In terms of the long-term strategy towards Russia, I don't think the Democrats, and I would say quite frankly even the Republicans, have a very thought out long-term strategy.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Jeanne Zaino and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.