On Monday, CNN changed their ratings on a dozen GOP congressional seats, saying that they are in “more electoral danger” and thus more likely to be won by a Democrat in November’s midterm elections.
This change by the CNN “key house race tracker” is just the most recent in a series of developments which point to the existence of a very real Blue Wave that makes it more and more unlikely that the GOP will keep their congressional majorities this fall.
There is a trend here which absolutely must concern all Republicans, and especially the experts and strategists whose job is to hold onto the GOP majorities in the House and in the Senate.
Almost every week there are additional Republican seats that are announced as more competitive on some election tracking website. And every time this happens it gives the Democrats a much larger margin for error and increases their odds of victory.
Just as importantly, with each new competitive house race — like Arizona’s 8th District last week — it is forcing Republicans to spend more and more precious campaign cash which means they are getting stretched thin in ways they had not anticipated.
All of the 12 seats that CNN moved in a “blue” direction on Monday are in districts won by Trump in 2016. But as Conor Lamb showed, this doesn’t mean anything. He is a Democrat who won a special election in a congressional district that Trump had won by 20 percentage points just 18 months ago.
But it’s not just CNN who is adding more seats to the Democratic column. According to Sabato’s Crystal Ball, “Of our 15 House ratings changes this week, 14 races move in a more Democratic direction.”
According to CNN:
“The changes mean that Republicans now have 78 seats in some form of political peril as compared to just 40 for Democrats. If Republicans lost only the seats they hold that CNN currently rates as toss-ups or leaning toward Democrats, they would lose 28 seats — five more than Democrats need to retake the majority.”
“Everyone knew that 2018 would be a tough year for Republicans, given historic trends against the party who holds the White House. Trump’s inability to move his job approval numbers much above 40% compounds those problems as does the fact that he has been, to date, the best turnout driver Democrats could possibly hope for.”
“While Democrats came up short in last Tuesday’s Arizona special election — losing by fewer than five points in a district Donald Trump carried by 21 points — the results offer yet another sign the party still holds the energy edge heading into November’s midterm election.”
“If districts that Trump won in 2016 by 10 to 15 points are competitive this fall, the GOP House majority is as good as gone. The only important question will be how many seats Democrats can pick up.”
And Republicans can’t count on the president to help them turn the tide of the Blue Wave. There are some people who love him but more people who severely dislike him. So while Trump may fire up the “base” of his supporters like he did in Michigan on Saturday night, he is just as likely to turn off moderate Republicans and fire up Democrats to turn out at the polls in record numbers.
“There are districts where Trump is neither welcome nor likely to show up. He is at once the most effective tool Republicans have for turning out their base voters and a political lightning rod who has set the table for Democratic gains in November.”
The truth is that Donald Trump is the worst thing for Congressional Republicans. They can’t campaign against him because that will anger a large number of Republicans (maybe 30% of the country). But if they support the president that will turn off most other voters.
All in all, it looks like the deplorable presidency of Donald Trump is going to have at least one positive result: it makes it much more likely that the GOP will lose power. If that happens, maybe sanity can be restored to the presidency and to the country.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.