January 15, 2018


New alarm among Republicans that Democrats could win big this year (Michael Scherer, Josh Dawsey and Sean Sullivan January 14, 2018, Washington Post)

In the Camp David presentation, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) described scenarios to the president ranging from a bloodbath where Republicans lost the House "and lost it big," in the words of one official, to an outcome in which they keep control while losing some seats.

McCarthy outlined trends over recent decades for parties in power and spotlighted vulnerable Republican seats where Hillary Clinton won in 2016. Eight years ago, before the 2010 midterms swept the GOP to power, he had drafted a similar presentation with the opposite message for his party.

Republicans hold the advantage of a historically favorable electoral map, with more House seats than ever benefiting from Republican-friendly redistricting and a Senate landscape that puts 26 Democratic seats in play, including 10 states that Trump won in 2016, and only eight Republican seats.

But other indicators are clearly flashing GOP warning signs. Democrats have benefited from significant recruitment advantages -- there are at least a half dozen former Army Rangers and Navy SEALs running as Democrats this year, for example -- as Republicans struggle to convince incumbents to run for reelection.

At least 29 House seats held by Republicans will be open in November following announced retirements, a greater number for the majority party than in each of the past three midterm elections when control of Congress flipped.

The president's own job approval, a traditional harbinger of his party's midterm performance, is at record lows as he approaches a year in office, according to Gallup. Polls asking which party Americans want to see control Congress in 2019 show a double-digit advantage for Democrats.

"When the wave comes, it's always underestimated in the polls," said a conservative political strategist who has met with GOP candidates. "That is the reason that Republicans are ducking for cover."

The GOP won last year be ignoring Donald and dragging him over the line in their wake.  They need to restore Haley-like distance ASAP.

Posted by at January 15, 2018 10:18 AM