Insiders: Rough Midterms for Republicans

by Placerville Newswire / Apr 19, 2018 / comments

[Jonathan Easley and Alexis Simendinger]

The race is on to Nov. 6 and things look bleak for Republicans as they seek to protect majorities in the House and Senate. We asked veteran midterm-watchers to share what they’re seeing.

“The last time the Democrats won back the House was 2006, but back then, few were predicting a flip until the fall of that year when the Mark Foleyscandal broke. Now, Democrats are publicly expressing confidence they will secure the majority and Republicans privately acknowledge the chances are better than 50-50. Still, there's one big caveat: the election is 200 days away." – The Hill editor in chief Bob Cusack.

The data for Republicans is harrowing:

-- More than three-dozen GOP lawmakers have opted to retire, rather than seek re-election. Democrats only need to flip 23 seats to take back the House.

-- The party in power historically loses seats in a midterm election.

-- Democrats have an advantage in enthusiasm. More than 40 House challengers have outraised their GOP incumbents.

 

Some view the Senate as in play, although the map favors Republicans. There are 10 Democrats up for reelection in states President Trumpcarried in 2016.

 

Shock poll: Sen. Ted Cruz (R) leads Democratic challenger by only 3 points in Texas.

 

“At this point the math still favors Republicans. But if a real wave develops – which won’t be known until fall – the Senate could be in play. ” – Former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman and former Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.)

 

“Sure the Senate could flip. I’d still say more than likely it doesn’t, but absolutely it’s possible. It will be a good year for Democrats and a bad year for Republicans. The only question is how bad.” – Chris Wright, GOP donor and oil industry executive.

 

More bad data for Republicans:

-- Democrats hold a 5.6 point lead in the House generic ballot. (RealClearPolitics)

-- President Trump’s historically low approval rating is a drag on the party.

-- Polls show Republicans are losing support among women, young voters, non-white voters and independents.

 

Some donors think the House is a lost cause and are considering whether they should shift their money to focus on protecting the Senate. They’re being more strategic, targeting specific House members in an effort to pull them across the finish line.

 

“You have to pick races where you think you can make a difference because the likelihood is that we’ll lose the House.” – GOP donor and investment manager John DeBlasio.

The Hill: House, Senate GOP compete for cash.

 

Some Republicans remain bullish, believing tax cuts and a growing economy will save them.

"At this time, and of course much can change, I believe the Republicans will continue to hold both the House and Senate.” – former Sen. Judd Gregg(R-N.H.)

 

Outside groups will provide plenty of cash, with the Koch Network, Republican National Committee (RNC) and leadership-aligned PACs pushing the election price tag past the half-billion-dollar mark.

 

The Hill EXCLUSIVE: Koch-backed group targets Sen. Jon Tester (D) in Montana.

But…

“Republicans for years have been running against Obama … They’ve got to find their rhythm on this...It's not Trump versus Clinton … They're one-trick ponies. They're giving the same speech they've been giving before." – former National Republican Campaign Committee chairman and former Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.)