After Health Care Vote, 20 Republican House Seats Have Shifted Towards Democrats

According to The Cook Political Report, 20 Republican House seats have shifted towards Democrats in 2018 thanks to their votes for unpopular American Health Care Act (Trumpcare).

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The Cook Political Report explained why the health care vote has made 20 Republicans more vulnerable in 2018, “Of the 23 Republicans sitting in districts won by Hillary Clinton in 2016, 14 voted for the repeal and replace measure. For these Republicans, time is still on their side and healthcare reform can’t be disposed of soon enough. There are still 18 months before the 2018 election, whereas House Democrats eked out final passage of the ACA less than eight months before the 2010 midterms. These Republicans can’t afford a year-long Senate slog….Still, for several dozen Republicans, adding support for the AHCA to their voting record is an unequivocal political risk. And, several of the 20 Republicans who voted against AHCA could end up being blamed anyway, much as 17 of the 30 Democrats who took a pass on the ACA and then ran for reelection ended up losing in 2010. For others, tough votes could make the prospect of retirement more appealing.In light of the vote, we are shifting our ratings in 20 districts, all reflecting enhanced opportunities for Democrats.

There is one big caveat. The damage that House Republicans may suffer depends to a degree on what the Senate does. There has been no sign that the Republican Senate majority will move quickly on health care. The first thing that Senate Republicans did was proclaim the House bill dead on arrival. Senate Republicans are going to write their own bill, and then have to pass that bill, then reconcile the two bills into a single bill that will pass both the House and the Senate.

The fastest way for Trumpcare to become law would have been for the Senate to pass the House bill, but that is not what is going to happen. It is going to be a long process that could eat up a lot of the time between now and the 2018 midterms.

The absolute worst case scenario for House Republicans is that the Republican health care bill gets signed into law early in 2018 and that people will start feeling the impacts of the law by the time they go to the polls in November.

Democrats need to pick up 24 seats to take back the House, and a movement towards Democrats is not the same as Democrats leading or winning seats.

The potential is there for a blue wave election in 2018, but there is much work to be done to turn that potential into a reality.

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