With the proposed expansion of offshore drilling and a crackdown on marijuana, the Trump administration created huge political headaches Thursday for scores of Republicans who were already facing a tough environment in 2018.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions revoked Obama-era guidance to make it easier for federal prosecutors to enforce existing marijuana laws in the eight states that have legalized the substance.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, meanwhile, unveiled a proposal to permit drilling in most continental-shelf waters, including protected areas of the Arctic and the Atlantic, in a boon for oil companies.
Both moves are unpopular with voters, especially key people in places that are likely to determine whether the GOP holds the House. In practice, these two stories probably pose bigger challenges for the president’s party in the midterms than any book about White House dysfunction. A Gallup poll in October found that 64 percent of Americans want to legalize marijuana, including a 51 percent majority of Republicans. Support is also particularly strong among millennial voters who Democrats are trying to galvanize for the midterms.