It's somehow been only 231 days since President Donald Trump took office, and it often feels like more. With an approval rating around 38 percent right now, most Americans do not feel he's done a good job thus far. But if you live in a congressional district with a Republican representative, you probably have no one to tell that to.
According to Town Hall Project, nearly half of all Republicans in Congress have not held a public town hall since Trump took office. The website Mic reported that 167 Republicans in the House and Senate have refused to hold a town hall. In comparison, 217 out of the 242 Democrats in Congress have held at least one. And it's not that these Republicans haven't done so in the past. For instance, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo (an unfortunate last name for a politician) proudly advertises that he held 200 town halls between 2014 and 2016. He's held zero in 2017.
The lack of town halls is most likely due to both President Trump's unpopularity and left-wing activists who've used the events as ways to shame Republicans for trying to pass unpopular legislation. When Congress attempted to repeal and replace Obamacare earlier this year, many Republicans who held town halls were swamped by people voicing their objections to the bill. These stories often went viral. Since the House's health care vote, only seven percent of Republicans have held a town hall.
Unfortunately, Republicans won't be able to hide their heads in the sand in 2018 during the midterm elections. They'll have to answer to the public, or they'll be on their way out.