Sorry if you arrived at this post thinking it was about the dessert course for dinner. It is instead about politics and it is a very big deal.
After the election of Donald Trump, many people sensed that something was not right. Trump had too many conflicts of interest, suspicious relationships, and too little understanding of how government worked. The Russia thing is also a big, weird negative. And as his presidency went forward, that sense became more a reality. Again and again, Trump has lowered America’s expectations of itself and its standing in the world. Moreover, he has gotten away with stuff that would have had Republicans howling at the moon if Obama had even thought about them.
But Republicans have protected Trump. They thought that they could get away with that by passing a big tax cut — even though that tax cut dramatically favors the rich. Calling it a tax cut would be enough.
Bottom line: This game stinks. If there were ever a party in a western democracy more deserving of getting booted out of power than the Republican Party now, I cannot think of it. So what about the midterm elections?
As of January,there were 238 Republicans in the House, compared to 193 Democrats. Roughly speaking, we need around a net 21 seats to change hands to flip control away from the Republicans to the Democrats.
Last night, there was a special election in a Congressional district that Trump won by 20 points – the 18th district in Pennsylvania. It has not sent a Democrat to the House for over 2 decades. It should have been a slam dunk for Republicans. The Democratic candidate, Conor Lamb apparently just won by a razor sharp margin.
And this is not the first surprise dem win in special elections.
Here is the kicker
There are roughly 120 House seats currently controlled by Republicans in districts that are not as solidly Republican as Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District.
If the dems take half of those races — and after last night that is a real possibility — they will have a roughly 40 vote margin in the House. That is very exciting for people who want to move beyond Trump and the party that is protecting him.
The Senate also presents interesting prospects. As of January, 2018, there are 51 Republicans and 47 Democrats. 2 Independents (Angus King and Bermie Sanders) caucus with the Democrats. Democrats are defending 25 seats in 2018 while Republicans are defending just 8.
Looking at the map –—
There are most likely dem pick ups in Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin, – 5 of the 8 that Republicans are defending.
Republicans are looking for flips in Missouri, Indiana, West Virginia, North Dakota, Florida, Montana, Minnesota, Ohio, and New Jersey — 9 of the 25.
In other words, the dems have a lot more “skin in the game”, defending 25 seats where 9 might be shaky. There is more to lose. But if the tide is rising in their favor, they are more likely to hold onto risky seats and win weak Republican seats. In other words, despite the Senate will flip as well if there is a net 3 for dems.
This is a very big deal. And it is a very big story. If you are not involved, get involved. If you are involved, ramp it up! Now is the time to push!