Trump's Safe Republican Congress

Donald Trump, while he thinks it is tough dealing with some Republicans in Congress, will get nothing done if Democrats in 2018 gain either the House of Representative or the Senate.  While anything might happen in the 2020 presidential election and while Republican majorities in the House of Representatives might shrink in the 2018 midterm, Republican control of Congress is all but certain for Trump's first term in office.

The re-election rate of incumbents in the House of Representatives in 2016 was a mind-numbing 96.7%, and the margin of victory in House elections in 2016 was an equally mind-numbing 37.1%.  What that means is that very, very few House districts are actually competitive. 

Part of that is the incredible power of incumbency, but most of it is the much greater power Republicans have had since the 2000 redistricting in drawing congressional districts.  Democrat media outlets weep for our Republic because Republicans received only slightly more of the popular vote in House elections than Democrats in the 2016 House races, but Republicans won more than 55% of the House elections. 

Gerrymandering, the primary basis of Democrat political domination in state legislatures and the House of Representatives for an entire century, no longer serves.  It is impossible to feel the slightest sympathy for Democrats, and Obama's belated discovery of how this distorts elections is a fraud: when he was an Illinois state senator, serving in a legislature Democrats controlled, Obama drew his own state Senate district to suit him.  

In 2016, there were significantly more House Republican incumbents who decided to retire than Democrat incumbents, but House Republicans lost only six seats.  If the numbers had been even, Republicans might well have actually gained a seat or two in the House of Representatives.

Democrats going into the 2018 will be completely out of power at every level of state and federal elective office.  That makes it very tough to recruit House candidates, who would be at best minority members of the lower chamber of Congress.  The foreknowledge that in four years, Republican legislatures would be redrawing any incumbent Democrat who might be vulnerable to insure his defeat means that Democrats in most instances will be trying to recruit someone to serve four years as a minority party member before losing re-election.

What about the Senate?  Although Republicans need lose only three seats to lose the Senate, a quick glance at the map of open seats makes that even more unlikely than Republicans losing the House of Representatives.  Here are the eight states with Republican seats up in 2018:  Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona...and Nevada. 

Those first seven states have these political facts in common: (1) Trump carried them, (2) all current senators from those states are Republicans, (3) all of the governors of those states are Republican, (4) almost all the House members are Republicans, and (5) the legislatures of all the states are controlled by Republicans.

Add to this the fact that in 2012, six of the eight incumbent Republicans from these states won by landslides, with Senator Flake of Arizona and Senator Heller of Nevada the only close elections.  All the political rating services have those two senators, as majority party incumbents seeking re-election, favored to win.  It is unlikely that Republicans will lose a single Senate seat in 2018.

Ten Democrat senators will seek re-election in states Trump carried.  Four of those – Ohio, Wisconsin,  Florida, and Michigan – have term-limited Republican governors looking for new offices, and the same is also true of New Mexico.  As Thomas Lifson noted on April 29 in American Thinker, Senator Menendez in New Jersey may be in big legal trouble that blossoms into a full-scale scandal just before the 2018 election, and a full 12 Democrat seats may be in jeopardy in 2018.

That, though, is not the truly "bad" news for Democrats.  In the 2020 election, every incumbent Republican senator except Susan Collins will hail from a conservative state Trump carried in 2016.  Republicans actually have a better chance of gaining a seat or two in New Hampshire or Virginia than Democrats do in Maine.  The same election the Republican House advantage should hold, and it should expand after that as Republican state legislatures after the 2020 Census redraw districts to elect even more House Republicans.

Trump and Republicans in Congress may have eight years to begin the giant cleanup needed to save America, and they may have it...and need, as bad as things are, every single year.

Donald Trump, while he thinks it is tough dealing with some Republicans in Congress, will get nothing done if Democrats in 2018 gain either the House of Representative or the Senate.  While anything might happen in the 2020 presidential election and while Republican majorities in the House of Representatives might shrink in the 2018 midterm, Republican control of Congress is all but certain for Trump's first term in office.

The re-election rate of incumbents in the House of Representatives in 2016 was a mind-numbing 96.7%, and the margin of victory in House elections in 2016 was an equally mind-numbing 37.1%.  What that means is that very, very few House districts are actually competitive. 

Part of that is the incredible power of incumbency, but most of it is the much greater power Republicans have had since the 2000 redistricting in drawing congressional districts.  Democrat media outlets weep for our Republic because Republicans received only slightly more of the popular vote in House elections than Democrats in the 2016 House races, but Republicans won more than 55% of the House elections. 

Gerrymandering, the primary basis of Democrat political domination in state legislatures and the House of Representatives for an entire century, no longer serves.  It is impossible to feel the slightest sympathy for Democrats, and Obama's belated discovery of how this distorts elections is a fraud: when he was an Illinois state senator, serving in a legislature Democrats controlled, Obama drew his own state Senate district to suit him.  

In 2016, there were significantly more House Republican incumbents who decided to retire than Democrat incumbents, but House Republicans lost only six seats.  If the numbers had been even, Republicans might well have actually gained a seat or two in the House of Representatives.

Democrats going into the 2018 will be completely out of power at every level of state and federal elective office.  That makes it very tough to recruit House candidates, who would be at best minority members of the lower chamber of Congress.  The foreknowledge that in four years, Republican legislatures would be redrawing any incumbent Democrat who might be vulnerable to insure his defeat means that Democrats in most instances will be trying to recruit someone to serve four years as a minority party member before losing re-election.

What about the Senate?  Although Republicans need lose only three seats to lose the Senate, a quick glance at the map of open seats makes that even more unlikely than Republicans losing the House of Representatives.  Here are the eight states with Republican seats up in 2018:  Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona...and Nevada. 

Those first seven states have these political facts in common: (1) Trump carried them, (2) all current senators from those states are Republicans, (3) all of the governors of those states are Republican, (4) almost all the House members are Republicans, and (5) the legislatures of all the states are controlled by Republicans.

Add to this the fact that in 2012, six of the eight incumbent Republicans from these states won by landslides, with Senator Flake of Arizona and Senator Heller of Nevada the only close elections.  All the political rating services have those two senators, as majority party incumbents seeking re-election, favored to win.  It is unlikely that Republicans will lose a single Senate seat in 2018.

Ten Democrat senators will seek re-election in states Trump carried.  Four of those – Ohio, Wisconsin,  Florida, and Michigan – have term-limited Republican governors looking for new offices, and the same is also true of New Mexico.  As Thomas Lifson noted on April 29 in American Thinker, Senator Menendez in New Jersey may be in big legal trouble that blossoms into a full-scale scandal just before the 2018 election, and a full 12 Democrat seats may be in jeopardy in 2018.

That, though, is not the truly "bad" news for Democrats.  In the 2020 election, every incumbent Republican senator except Susan Collins will hail from a conservative state Trump carried in 2016.  Republicans actually have a better chance of gaining a seat or two in New Hampshire or Virginia than Democrats do in Maine.  The same election the Republican House advantage should hold, and it should expand after that as Republican state legislatures after the 2020 Census redraw districts to elect even more House Republicans.

Trump and Republicans in Congress may have eight years to begin the giant cleanup needed to save America, and they may have it...and need, as bad as things are, every single year.