The statistical website FiveThirtyEight gives the Democratic Party an 86 percent chance of winning the House next Tuesday which is not a sure thing.
But recent travels by President Donald Trump prove that the Republican Party has given up all hope of retaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Many people seem to think that Trump’s recent flurry of travel activity and his full schedule of political rallies is intended to help GOP candidates win close House races. However when you look at where he has gone, you can see that this is not true at all.
According to an analysis by The Washington Post:
“From October 1 through Election Day, Trump will hold at least 26 rallies. Out of the last 17 of those rallies, three were in districts where there’s a contested House race.”
In fact, the vast majority of Trump’s travel has taken him to states where there is a contested Senate race. To many political observers this means that Trump and his political advisers have given up on the House so are using all of the resources to help the GOP keep control of the Senate.
Again, according to the Post analysis:
“Twelve of the 17 rallies are in places where the Cook Political Report rates the Senate contest as a toss-up or leaning to one party or the other (as opposed to being a likely win for the party). Six are visits to states with close gubernatorial races, according to Cook. In only one of the 17 final rallies is the local House race the most-contested thing on the ballot.”
“Most of the places Trump is headed over the next week are places he won easily in 2016.”
“As the House map got increasingly bleak, Trump seems to have stopped scheduling trips to contested districts.”
Given the president’s low approval ratings, it is doubtful that him traveling to districts with close House races would help Republican candidates anyway. Still, there is this persistent narrative that Trump is a great “closer.”
If Republicans wanted to use their great “closer” to help keep control of the House they could send him to swing districts that they must win. But they are not doing that.
As the Post article said:
“It probably wouldn’t matter. The state of play in the House suggests that maintaining GOP control of the chamber is already out of reach. One way to preserve a reputation as a good closer is to try to close only the deals you can win — like helping to flip Senate seats from blue to red in states you won easily two years ago.”
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.