After midterm election, the challenges facing Democrats and Republicans go well beyond policy disagreements.
By JIM PUHL
As the 2018 Election Cycle Begins, Republicans face a choice that may ultimately help shape the new Congress. If the party loses the Senate and takes the House, it’s going to have to figure out how to govern. If Republicans do well in the Senate and take the House, however, the stakes are potentially even more consequential.
Republican candidates will need to navigate a range of challenges as they seek to keep their majorities in both chambers. There will be pressure from the right for the party to compromise on issues like health care and taxes. But beyond policy, there are also broader challenges Democrats face with Republicans that may determine their ability to govern.
With the midterm elections less than four months away, the political climate is especially ripe for change in the House, where the GOP will be trying to win back the majority it lost in 2010 and where Democrats could face the prospect of holding the House for the first time since 2010 in either the Nov. 6 elections or in 2025.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) speaks to members of the press as he leaves a campaign event at a cafe in Madison, Wis., on May 4, 2018. Ryan is set to introduce House Democrats’ health care plan in a bid to bolster his argument that his party is more in touch with mainstream America. (TNS)
In the Senate, Republicans must find ways to win back the 24 seats it lost in 2016, which is a tall task given the unpopularity of their party in 2016 and their historic unpopularity in the 2018 midterms.
So far, though, the GOP is making good progress. While a number of congressional districts remain competitive, several districts that have historically been viewed as “tossups” have tightened, causing Republicans to have a shot of winning just enough to control the chamber.
But Democrats could also make significant gains. Because of a number of competitive races, some of the Senate’s top pickup opportunities are already in play. And Republicans could also see success in a number of districts where Democratic candidates have little