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Mara Liasson

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Donald Trump and his party are gearing up for a hard-fought midterm election. But the president loves to campaign and has already started to raise lots of money and hold lots of big rallies for Republicans.

It's part of a larger playbook that his advisers think can keep the GOP in power this fall, and they think so far it's on track despite the president's tendency to go off script on Twitter or during political speeches.

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Republicans are breathing a sigh of relief after last night's primaries. Here's President Trump at the White House this morning.

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After the demise of yet another Trump administration nomination, it's worth taking a look at lessons learned. So far, the president has tried to blame Democrats as "obstructionists" for White House physician Ronny Jackson's downfall and described Jackson on Friday as an "American hero."

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Also listening to this conversation NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Hey there, Mara.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi there, Audie.

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The 2018 election cycle has officially begun, with the first primaries being held in Texas on Tuesday.

In every campaign cycle, analysts look at the fundamentals — the political laws of gravity that, in the past, have influenced elections. In 2016, Donald Trump seemed to defy a lot of these laws, and Republicans are hoping they can do the same this year to prevent the hit that the party in power usually takes in a president's first midterm elections.

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